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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s basketball gets revenge against Rochester, ends seven-game losing streak

Published: February 8, 2013
Section: Sports

Back on their home court after two consecutive travel weekends, the women’s basketball team got their chance for revenge last weekend against Emory University and the University of Rochester. With their goals for the weekend fresh in their minds, the Judges beat the UAA third-ranked Rochester Yellow Jackets, breaking their seven-game losing streak on their home court.

Junior guard Janelle Rodriguez described the second-straight match up against these teams as both bittersweet and motivating.

“I know we were all upset after losing not only away at Rochester and Emory but also that Friday against Emory, but we wanted to work harder and we really wanted to win that game more than anything, all of us,” Rodriguez said. “Personally, I could feel that the entire team really, really wanted this win even before we started warming up.”

Now carrying a conference record of 2-7 and an overall record of 8-12, the Judges can look toward the five remaining UAA games of their season with a renewed confidence and motivation that this win brings. In both games, the Judges maintained a steady offensive performance, crushing the Yellow Jackets with a final score of 62-49 and falling to the Emory Eagles 66-52.

Against the Eagles, the 16th-ranked team in the NCAA, the Judges widely improved their offensive performance from the previous weekend where they only managed to shoot 17 percent from the field, ending the game with a score of 59-28. In their second matchup, the Judges’ field goal percentage improved to 33 as they recorded 18 points at the end of the first half and gained 34 more in the second half.

The Eagles mostly dominated the first half of the game. Brandeis came in close contact in the 14th and 13th minutes when the score was 9-7 and two Brandeis players, guards Kasey Dean ’14 and Julia Scanlon ’14 nailed two free throws apiece, while only allowing one jump shot by an Eagles player in between their chances at the line. This brought the score to 11-10.

The Judges, however, were unable to keep a tight hold on the Eagles as they put on an offensive rally for the rest of the half and didn’t let up in the second, either. Still, the Judges managed to pick up the intensity in the second half as several players pitched in on offense and defense.

Both Dean and guard Hannah Cain ’15 tied for team-high scoring with nine points each, while senior forward Samantha Anderson trailed with eight points. Rookie guard Samantha Mancinelli ’16 had an impressive performance, nailing six points in the last three minutes and recording seven altogether, also putting up six rebounds behind Cain who led the team with seven. Overall, the Judges were able to out-rebound the Eagles by a wide margin of 49-24.

In the game against Rochester, the Judges nearly doubled the opponent’s field goal percentage, shooting 44 percent on offense while the Yellow Jackets only managed 27 percent. Tied at halftime with a score of 25-25, the Judges decided to turn on the heat in the second half, gaining 37 points while the Yellow Jackets added 24 more to end the game 49-62.

The final score, in favor of the Judges, was a huge step up for the team as they fell to the Yellow Jackets the previous weekend by 14 points with a score of 72-58. Getting a quick lead in the first half, the Judges propelled further in the 13th minute when Mancinelli nailed a 3-point jumper to make the score 4-11. The opponent, however, was able to catch up to the Judges in the last five minutes of the half to even the scoreboard out at 25-25.

In the second half, the Yellow Jackets barely stood a chance against the Judges as they maintained control of the ball and nailed shots left and right while only giving up one turnover.
Leading in scoring for the Judges was Rodriguez who nailed 13 points, followed by Dean who chipped in 10 and recorded a career-high five steals. Off the bench forward Nicolina Vitale ’14 and Mancinelli tied for eight points apiece; Mancinelli went 2-3 at the 3-point line. Anderson, one of the tallest players on the team at 6’0”, led the Judges with nine rebounds, followed by Cain who had seven.

By facing these two top teams for a second weekend in a row and dramatically increasing their scoring, the Judges have proved their offensive capability. With this win on their side, Rodriguez says the next step is to look forward to the next game.

“We are obviously all really happy and it helped us as a small confidence booster. But we know that we have more games ahead of us and now we’re focusing on the next game and working hard so we can continue winning,” she said.