Women's basketball falls to Wash. U., will seek revenge

Senior center and forward Lisa Murphy fights through three Washington University players to score one of the eleven shots she made in the loss. (credit: CMU Athletics) Senior center and forward Lisa Murphy fights through three Washington University players to score one of the eleven shots she made in the loss. (credit: CMU Athletics)

The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team fought in a gripping, close game against University Athletic Association (UAA) rivals the Washington University Bears, falling just short in the final minutes of their second game of the season.

Scoring first, the Tartans got to a quick start, but soon found themselves trailing early in the first quarter after several consecutive baskets by the Bears. Neither team’s offense dominated, with the great defense of both sides dictating the flow of the game. The Bears’ stellar defense forced the Tartans to attempt several contested shots and make errant passes that the Bears turned into steals. The Tartans, however, refused to allow the Bears to run away with the same, keeping the score close and ending the first quarter with the Bears leading 17–12.

The second quarter continued the low scoring and kept the defense at the forefront. The Bears maintained their momentum and pulled away from the Tartans, extending their lead to nine points. The Tartans answered, led by senior guard Lisa Murphy, fresh off her Division III Player of the Week honor from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a career performance last Sunday, who continued her superb play, leading the Tartans’ attack to put the squad within two points at 29–27 with 1:31 remaining. The Bears responded, ending the half with a 33–29 lead over the home team.

Both teams began the second half with fast starts, trading baskets. Each team gained the lead by a basket, only for the other to quickly tie the game. The rest of the third quarter saw the game at a stalemate, with neither team building any momentum nor willing to give the other any advantage. The third quarter ended with the score tied 55–55.

Entering the fourth and final quarter, the Bears focused on an aggressive attack, scoring right at the start, only for the Tartans to tie the game up again. Just like the third quarter, no team could establish a flowing offense or dominance, with no lead more than three points. However, in the final minutes, the Bears surged, finding the same power they had in the second quarter, and slowly built a lead over the Tartans, going on a 6–0 run and maintaining their strong defense. The Tartans tried very hard, using fouls and timeouts to design a comeback, but could not gain an upper hand over the Bears to clear the point deficit. The game ended with the score of 78–72, with the Bears having the edge over the Tartans.

This game was very close, a competitive contest from start to finish. The Carnegie Mellon and Washington University teams were very evenly matched. Though the Bears ultimately won, they did not dominate the game. The field percentage of the teams were comparably similar, Carnegie Mellon with 39.1 percent and Washington with 42.4 percent. They had the same number of points in the paint (36) and nearly the same number of assists and turnovers. However, the Bears won the competition for points off of turnovers (14 to the Tartans’ 5) and for points off the bench (29 to 9). For the Tartans, Murphy continued her impressive season finishing with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and a perfect 10 for 10 in free throws. Senior guard Jackie Hudepohl added 25 points. Though a loss to a UAA rival at home is hard, the Tartans played with resilience and toughness, battling the equally great Washington University Bears.

With their record now 15–2 overall (4–2 UAA), the Tartans will next travel to St. Louis for a rematch against the Bears on Friday, Feb. 3.