Women’s basketball starts off with two wins

The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team stormed into the season with a perfect 2–0 record, defeating Otterbein College Friday and Mount Union College Saturday, in the University Athletic Association/Ohio Athletic Association Challenge hosted by Carnegie Mellon.

In the season opener against Otterbein, junior guard Colleen Light hit a crucial jump shot with 1:17 remaining to give the Tartans a 74–73 lead, which they maintained, winning 77–73. The game was close throughout, with both teams fighting to start off their seasons on the right foot.
With less than three minutes to play, and the game hanging on the line, junior guard Corey Innes hit a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 68.
Otterbein guard Laura Roth, who led her team in scoring with 23 points, responded with a layup, but was answered right away by Tartan senior guard Leah Feola, who sank a layup of her own.

Otterbein’s Ana Gamble then made a three-pointer and Feola sank a jump shot, before a steal by junior guard Stacie Aleski led to Light’s three-pointer, which put the Tartans ahead and eventually led to their win.

Carnegie Mellon had four players in double figures, led by Aleski with 15 points and Innes and Feola with 14 each. Junior forward Jeanette Schilling added a spark off the bench with 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Although they were out-rebounded 37–50, Carnegie Mellon shot 40.9 percent from the field compared to Otterbein’s 40 percent.

Saturday, Aleski and Schilling were once again the main scoring options for the Tartans, with 17 and 13 points, respectively. With their outstanding performances on both days, Aleski was named the Most Valuable Player of the UAA/OAC Challenge, with an average of 16 points per game, while Schilling was named to the All-Tournament team, with an average of 12 points and five rebounds per game. Also worth noting was junior forward Ashley Rothwell’s performance of 13 rebounds and the steals in Saturday’s game.

The Tartans opened the game with two three-pointers, one by sophomore forward Rachelle Roll and the other by Innes, which gave them an early 6–4 lead. The Tartans then went on a 10–0 run, fueled by the duo of Aleski and Schilling, who accounted for seven of those 10 points.
Mount Union tried to hang tough, but back-to-back three-pointers by Aleski and a jump shot by Schilling at the start of the second half gave the Tartans their biggest lead of the game, at 37–26.

Mount Union mounted a comeback, with forward Alicia Williams’ layup closing things up at 46–44 with just 2:04 remaining. However, Aleski responded with her fourth three-pointer of the half and Schilling sank two free throws to seal the victory.

When asked about her great performance, Aleski gave all credit to her teammates. “My performance was all thanks to my teammates; I don’t think I hit a single shot that did not come from a pass,” Aleski said.

The camaraderie among the players was obvious, with the team totaling 16 assists in each of the two games. “Everyone is friends on the team and we spend a lot of time with each other,” Aleski said. “There are no cliques and we’re really starting to gel as a team both on and off the court.”
“This team has a lot of poise, the players are very confident, and they are really starting to get together both offensively and defensively to help each other out on the floor,” said head coach Gerri Seidl. “To win two games against two tough teams is a great beginning.... It gives us a good indication that we can compete, and this is going to get us well prepared for the UAA.”

The Tartans’ next game is at Grove City College on Tuesday.