CLEVELAND, Ohio — Senior forward Erin Hollinger scored a game-high 19 points, classmate Chelsea Peck bettered her career-high from a day ago with 15 points, and the Case Western Reserve flexed its defensive muscle surviving a late rally in a thrilling 56-53 victory against No. 16 Denison on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the 2011 University Athletic Association/North Coast Athletic Conference Challenge at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans level their record at 3-3 on the season.
For the game, the Spartans held the Big Red to 37.5 percent from the field (21-of-56), including 24 percent (6-of-25) in the opening half.
In addition to her game-high 19 markers on 8-of-15 shooting and 3-of-4 at the free throw line, Hollinger added six rebounds and a team-best three assists. Peck finished with her career-high of 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and a perfect 3-of-3 at the charity stripe. Freshman forward Berit Eppard finished with six points and six rebounds, while junior forward Marissa Miles added a career-best and team-high eight boards.
Denison was paced by Alyx Ingram with 10 points, while Nicole Coggins, Paige Robnett and Kyli Parker each finished with eight points apiece. Additionally, Gretchen Staubach finished with seven points and a team-high nine rebounds.
In the opening stanza, the two teams traded defensive stops as points were hard to come by. Tied at 17-17 with 4:15 remaining, the Spartans eventually possessed their largest lead of the first half at six (23-17) with just 32 seconds left capped off when Orcutt hit one of two charity tosses. That same score remained headed into the halftime intermission.
The respective teams were able to find their offensive flows and the bottom of the net in the second half. Case maintained its lead with its largest advantage of eight coming several times in the final stanza despite attempts from the Big Red. However, Denison slowly chipped away extending the game with quick fouls and baskets and eventually cut the deficit to three at 56-53 with 21 seconds left on a lay-up from Parker. After a Case missed free throw, a pair of game-tying attempts by the Big Red fell short and the Spartans hung on for the 56-53 non-conference victory.
Also of note, Case committed a season-low four turnovers as a team.