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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Judges go 0-2 on the road, now carry UAA record of 1-4

Published: January 24, 2013
Section: Sports

Following last week’s pair of UAA losses, the women’s basketball team sought to redeem themselves this weekend against two tough teams. They came up short, however, and now hold a season record of 7-9 and a UAA record of 1-4. The UAA competitors that got the best of the Judges’ performance in their first away conference games of the season were the University of Chicago Maroons and the Washington University St. Louis Bears.

After last week’s losses against Carnegie Mellon and Case Western, the Judges were focused on entering this weekend’s UAA match up with a tough attitude and a renewed confidence.

“The losses to Case and Carnegie spoke as motivation to our team,” Erika Higginbottom ’13 said. “One thing that our team never has trouble with is playing hard. Even in tough games or tough losses, our team does not back down.”

Against the University of Chicago Maroons, Brandeis managed an evenly-matched game for the most part, but slowed down offensively in the second half. At the end of the first half, the Judges were down by one point with a score of 32-33, and the final score of the game was 61-73. Decreasing their amount of baskets in the second half, the Judges added 29 points to their halftime score while the Maroons stole 40 more to increase their final shooting percentage to 40 percent from the field.

The nail-biting first half began with the Maroons sinking the first two baskets of the game. Higginbottom then shot two layups, sending the Judges into offensive mode as both teams went back and forth trading shots. The first lead for Brandeis came in the 12th minute as senior center Angela Miller made a layup to bring the score to 10-8. The Judges maintained the lead at 32-31 until just 10 seconds left in the first half when a layup by the Maroons broke the Judges’ lead to bring the halftime score to 32-33.

In the second half, the Judges never managed to regain the lead as they gave up several offensive opportunities to the Maroons. After a jump shot by junior guard Kasey Dean in the 13th minute that brought the score to 38-44, the Maroons went on a shooting spree, surging out to a 16-point lead. Although Higginbottom nailed two 3-point jump shots in the last minute and led her team in scoring with 14 points, the Judges were unable to catch up to the Maroons in the second half and fell by a 12-point deficit with a score of 61-73.

Against the Washington University Bears, the Judges endured their lowest-scoring performance of the season and the last 15 years with a score of 28-60. The Bears, seventh ranked in Division III and second in the UAA, earned 29 points in the first half and 31 in the second, shooting 39.6 percent from the field. Recording 16 points for the first half and 12 for the second, the Judges barely put up a fight against the Bears, shooting a paltry 16.9 percent from the field.

The Judges started to lose their grip against the Bears in the 15th minute when they were down 7-8 and the Bears started their offensive rally. With just under two minutes left in the first half, two layups by captain forward Courtney Ness ’13 and one 3-point jump shot by rookie guard Niki Laskaris brought the halftime score to 16-29. The second half continued much the same way with the Bears maintaining their offensive pressure until the last minute as the Judges fell by a 32-point deficit and struggled to stay in the game.

The low score for the Judges in the Washington Univeristy game stands in stark contrast with their offensive performance in the recent UAA games and the overall season. The Judges remain focused on moving forward with their season in order to face the upcoming UAA competition.

Even Higginbottom, the 5’10’’ Judges’ veteran from Millbury, Mass., insists that the outcome of the game doesn’t reflect her team’s willpower and competitiveness.

“The low score by the end of the Wash U game failed to reflect how close and how tough we played against them,” Higginbottom said. “Our shots didn’t fall but the girls on our team kept playing. It’s easy to give up when you’re losing, but our team never stopped playing hard,” she confidently stated.

The key objective for the Judges as they carry out the rest of their season is focusing on the games to come without looking back on their recent losses.

“If we look back, or focus only on our record, it will be easy to fall into a rut and stop playing. If we continue to look forward and play harder, we will be successful,” Higginbottom said. “I see us going nowhere but up from here.”