Women’s basketball begins the new season undefeated
The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team traveled to Wilmington, Ohio on Saturday to face off against the Wilmington College Fightin’ Quakers in the championship game of the Wilmington Tip-Off Tournament. The Tartans earned the victory with a thrilling fourth quarter performance, and improved to 3–0 on the season while retaining their No. 18 national ranking.
The Tartans opened the contest on the offensive, scoring the first points of the game on a long three-point shot from junior guard Anna Novak. A Wilmington player scored a quick layup in transition before the Tartans came right back as senior guard Jackie Hudepohl hit a clean jump shot to keep her team in the lead. The Fightin’ Quakers answered with another layup before Novak scored her second goal of the quarter to put the Tartans up 7–4. First-year guard Makayla Filiere drained a three-pointer of her own to further increase the lead, but the Tartans just couldn’t keep the opposing offense down. The Tartans only allowed two more goals in the quarter, and even earned another three-pointer from first-year guard Megan Jaeb. The first period ended with the Tartans with slight lead at 18–13.
The Tartans opened the second period with the same vigor as they did in the first, and sophomore guard Jenn Mayberger nailed a three-point shot to give her team a comfortable lead. The teams traded layups throughout the rest of the half, and Wilmington College began to gain momentum with successive shots while the Tartans failed to convert their possessions into points. Senior center Lisa Murphy pulled it together for the Tartans though, and tied the game at 29 with a three-point shot. It wasn’t enough, however, and Wilmington ended up outscoring Carnegie Mellon and headed into the half ahead of the Tartans by two points at 37–35.
The third quarter began with another three-pointer from the rookie Mayberger, and eventually the Tartans would earn another eight points in the quarter. Murphy scored four of those points and first year Katharine Higgins contributed the other half with a free throw and a three-point shot. The Tartans then made crucial mistakes at the end of the quarter and allowed the Fightin’ Quakers to take the lead at 46–49 with only 10 minutes left in the game.
The first play of the final quarter looked grim for the Tartans because it saw Wilmington earn another point on a free throw, increasing the lead to four points. The Carnegie Mellon squad must have ate a large can of spinach after that free throw, because they came roaring back with a quick jumper from Hudepohl followed by Mayberger’s third three-pointer of the game to give the Tartans a 1 point lead at 51–50. Novak then hauled in a clutch rebound from a failed Wilmington layup, and Hudepohl turned it into a short shot to increase the lead. Wilmington came right back with their own jump shot to put themselves within one point, but then the game stalled out and no team could score for just over four minutes. Filiere would be the one to break the drought with 3:33 to play by making an incredible steal and finishing the layup on the fast break in true playmaker fashion. After her shot, there was no doubt that the Tartans would win the game.
Oddly enough, the rest of the Tartans’ points would come from free throws. Murphy made two with just under three minutes left to play to put the Tartans up by 5 points, but Wilmington was still fighting and managed a three-pointer to try and close the gap. With less than one minute left to play, Murphy drained another free throw. Wilmington answered with another three pointer, but it was in vain. The final 30 seconds saw the Fightin’ Quakers foul the Tartans in desperation, resulting in five successful free throws on the part of the Tartans. Carnegie Mellon would close out the game with a seven-point lead at 63–56.
The team must travel once again for their next contest at Waynesburg University on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m.