Women’s basketball struggles in last game

The Carnegie Mellon University women’s basketball team lost its final game of the season on Saturday, 65–40, to the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University. The game was close early on, as juniors Nicole Vaccarella and Jen Larsen both knocked down three-pointers within the first ten minutes of the game.

Unfortunately, Case began to pull away as the first half came to a close, with the halftime score favoring the Spartans, 30–17. Junior Jacki Cortese said of the first half, “We had a good defensive first half, but we couldn’t put the ball in the basket.” This early lead by Case proved to be insurmountable as the Tartans failed to come back in the second half. The women end the season 2–23 overall and 0–14 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.

Even in the loss, the Tartans got strong performances from sophomore Emily Peel and juniors Jacki Cortese and Jen Larsen. Peel had eight points, four rebounds, and two steals. Cortese recorded eight points, while Larsen also had eight points, including two three-pointers. All three of these women have had solid seasons for Carnegie Mellon; Jacki Cortese led the team in points (11.7 per game) and was second in rebounds (5.8 per game), Emily Peel led the team in rebounding (6.3 per game) and was second in scoring (11.2 per game), while Jen Larsen was second on the team in making three-pointers with 16 on the season.

The Tartans also saw strong play all season from first-years Gina Tudi and Jacquie Shaw, giving the women’s basketball program something to look forward to in the future.

The Tartans didn’t meet their expectations this season, but fortunately there is much promise for next year, as the team didn’t have any seniors and can build on a strong core of younger players.

Cortese summed up the season in this way: “We were a bit of a young team this year, so now everyone has some experience under their belts, which is good.” This experience will make the 2011–12 season more successful for the Tartans, as they will turn this year’s lessons into wins.