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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Judges go 1-1 in two close contests

Published: December 6, 2013
Section: Sports

The past two games for the women’s basketball team have been nail-bitingly close as they overcame Emmanuel before the break and fell to UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday. On Nov. 26, the Judges managed to beat Emmanuel by only eight points, but on Dec. 3, they lost to the UMass team by 11. Both games signify the Judges’ most narrow contests thus far in the season, as they now carry a record of 2-4.

Besides walking away with a victory against Emmanuel for their second win of the season, the Judges managed to accomplish another milestone since it was their first time beating the Saints since 2010. With a final score of 80-72, the game was also a big win for the Judges because the Saints are a 25th-ranked team and fifth in their league.

The Judges got an early 10-3 lead in the game and ended the first half with a 19-point lead at 42-23. Brandeis was led by guard Niki Laskaris ’16, who tallied 12 points in the first half alone and 18 in total for the game. Behind Laskaris was center Angela Miller ’14, who had 10 points in the first half and added four more in the second.

Following a personal foul and a technical by the Saints, both Laskaris and Miller nailed four consecutive free throws, which sent the Judges ahead at 26-11. Before the halftime break, a three-point jumper by rookie guard Frankie Pinto ’17 put the Judges in a comfortable 32-15 lead with five minutes left in the period.

At the start of the second half, the Judges quickly reached a lead of over 20 points. The Saints attempted a counter attack with a 12-0 run that put them within nine points of the Judges, but a three-point shot by guard Janelle Rodriguez ’14 sent the Judges on another shooting spree. Laskaris nailed her second three-pointer with less than three minutes left in the game, giving the Judges a 72-58 lead. While the Judges held on to their double-digit lead until the last minute, a final three-point jumper by an Emmanuel player with seven seconds left put them within eight points at the buzzer.

The Judges shot 49.1 percent from the field compared to the Saints who had 38.9 percent for the game. The loss brings Emmanuel’s record to 4-2.

In the non-conference matchup between the Judges and the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs, the Judges fell 71-60 on their home court. The Corsairs got off to a quick start with one player nailing a three-point shot in the first minute of the game. They quickly got a lead of 10-2 as the Judges missed 11 of their first 12 shots from the field. At one point in the first half, the Corsairs had their biggest lead over the Judges by 17 points. But a 15-4 run by the Judges brought them within single digits of the opponent for a brief period, and the half ended with a final score of 36-26.

While a jump shot by Pinto triggered the Judges’ shooting escapade in the eighth minute of the game, a layup by forward Nicolina Vitale ’14 with less than a minute in the period brought the Judges within six points of the Corsairs.

The Judges continued their momentum at the start of the second half nailing the first three points, which brought the score to 36-29. After a few shots were made by the Corsairs, a layup by Vitale brought the Judges within seven points again at 40-33, but the visitors were unable to narrow the gap by any less for the remainder for the game.

Following a technical foul on guard Kasey Dean ’14 and an offensive foul, the Corsairs sunk six consecutive free throws and claimed their biggest lead of the game by 18 points. Though the Judges responded with a 12-5 run with less than three minutes left in the match, they were unable to come back in time.

The final run by the Judges began again with a three-point shot by Pinto, who had seven points for the game, and guard Samantha Mancinelli ’16 netted five points in that spurt as well. Rodriguez led the Judges with 13 points and five steals. Vitale also had an impressive double-double performance, leading the team with 10 rebounds and contributing 11 points for the game. Dean recorded a team-high with five assists.

The Judges went 18-55 or 32.7 percent in field goal shooting for the match, while UMass Dartmouth recorded 37.9 percent from the field. Both teams were fairly even in rebounds, the Corsairs with 42 and the Judges with 40. The Judges, however, managed to outscore the Corsairs with points off the bench with 25 in total, compared to the Corsairs who had 19. With the win, the Corsairs raised their record to 4-3.

The Judges will next face Johnson & Wales on the road for a Dec. 7 matchup. With these two close games, the Judges will attempt to carry their momentum into the upcoming matches and hopefully come out with more victories to add to their resume.