ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Rochester leaned heavily on sophomore center Danielle McNabb during the final five minutes of play to hang on to a 73-61 win against Case Western on Friday night. The win moves the Yellowjackets to 15-0 (4-0 UAA) and matches the best start in Rochester history.
Rochester got off to a quick start in their first UAA home game of the season rattling off a 19-0 run early on to seize control of the game 22-6. During the stretch, UR displayed its balanced scoring with five different players scoring. During the run, Case went without a point for more than six minutes.
The stifling UR defense held the Spartans (8-7, 1-3 UAA) in check for over nine minutes in between made field goals with the cold streak ending after a Brooke Orcutt 3-pointer halfway through the first half.
Rochester kept up its blistering pace after Kristyn Wright and Laney Ming jumpers made the lead 24 at 37-13. Case then trimmed the lead down to 13 after an Erica Iafelice and Erin Hollinger combined on a mini 7-0 Spartan run. UR then answered with a 6-0 run to build back the lead.
The half ended with the score 43-29 in favor of the home Yellowjackets. Leading the way for UR was Wright who had 10 points and McNabb and Jackie Walker who had eight apiece. Case’s leaders were Evy Iacono and Iafelice who scored nine and seven points respectively. Rochester shot a combined 50 percent (15-30) from the floor in the first half while the Spartans shot just 33 percent (9-27).
Two Wright 3-pointers early in the second half showed that UR wouldn’t ease up and let Case back into the game easily. Hollinger and Iafelice showed toughness for the Spartans and engineered a 15-7 run to help get Case back within nine points with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The score was stuck at 57-48 in favor of the Yellowjackets for nearly four minutes until two Laney Ming free throws ended the scoring drought.
Case then answered back an 8-0 run behind strong play both inside and outside from the 6-foot senior Hollinger. The UR lead was slimmed to just three.
That’s when the sophomore McNabb took the game over. She hit a free throw, followed by a big turnaround lay in to make the lead six with just fewer than two minutes remaining. Then after a Case miss, UR brought the ball up the court and McNabb hit a 3-pointer that seemed to put the game out of reach. Ming nailed 6-6 free throws at the end of the game that put the Spartans away.
Rochester’s leading scorer was McNabb who netted 18 points (6-9 FG), grabbed eight rebounds and also had three steals. Wright finished with 16 points (4-5 3-pt FG) and Laney Ming added 14, including going 10 for 10 from the charity stripe.
Case was paced by Hollinger who finished with 17 points. Iafelice netted 13 points along with 6 rebounds while Iacono finished 12 points.