Women's basketball fights hard against Rochester

The Carnegie Mellon University women’s basketball team ended its season with a close loss to the University of Rochester Yellow Jackets, 49–55, last Saturday.

The Tartans started the game sharp from behind the arc, as junior point guards Stacie Aleski and Corey Innes and senior forward Leah Feola all connected on their three-pointer attempts. The Tartans led 14–10 at 9:53, but the Yellow Jackets reeled off nine straight points over the next five minutes to take the lead 19–14. At halftime, the score was 26–20 in favor of Rochester, with both teams playing solid defense and almost matching each other on the offensive end as well.

In the second half, the Tartans came out strong. They applied greater pressure on defense and moved the ball more effectively on offense, also grabbing several impressive offensive rebounds. Sophomore guard Paige Willamson hit a jumper at the 7:03 mark, allowing the Tartans to close in on Rochester’s lead, narrowing it down to 39–37. However, Rochester junior guard Helen Baroody responded with two quick three-pointers to extend the Yellow Jackets’ lead to eight points. Rochester then continued to increase its lead to 49–40 with 4:21 remaining, but the Tartans answered with six straight points to pull within three at the 2:26 mark.

An Aleski three-pointer cut at Rochester’s lead, to 51–49, with just under a minute to play before Williamson had a chance to take the lead for the Tartans, when she set up for a three-pointer with just 26 seconds to play. This crucial shot was unfortunately a tad too long, hitting the back rim, and Carnegie Mellon was forced to foul. Rochester was able to connect on its free throws and seal the victory.

Feola, in her final collegiate game, led the Tartans with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Junior forward Rachelle Roll added 12 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. Aleski contributed 10 points, Williamson scored eight, and junior guard Colleen Light tallied eight to go with her team-high three assists. Junior forward Julie Marriott led Rochester with 15 points and seven rebounds. Baroody chipped in 12 points toward her team’s win.

The Tartans fought hard throughout the entire game, and the same can be said for their entire season. The team is graduating only one senior, Feola.

Feola has ended the season first among the Tartans in field goal attempts, at 10.3 a game, and second in both field goal percentage and field goals made, at 0.377 percent and 3.9 per game, respectively.

She was also second behind Aleski in points per game. Besides points per game, Aleski also led the Tartans in free throws, steals, and field goal percentage. Junior forward Jeanette Schilling led the team in free throw percentage, while Roll dominated in rebounds and assists.

The Tartans finished the season with a record of 7–18 overall and 0–14 in the University Athletic Association.