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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Wells wipes out Wheaton 73-72

Published: December 1, 2006
Section: Sports

Womens basketball is off to a strong start;

at least they were until Tuesday nights game against Wheaton College. In a tight affair, tighter than it should have been, a three point play by forward Amanda Wells 09 with seven seconds helped the eighth ranked Judges avoid an embarrassing upset, pulling out 73-72. Wheaton certainly lived up to their description by several players, small and scrappy. Their scrappiness kept them in but their lack of size helped the Judges lift their record to 5-0.

The game began with the Judges jumping out to a 12-5 lead. The Lyons however had the hot hands and utilized a 21-3 run that at one point gave them an eleven point lead. Fortunately for Brandeis, even though the three point line was not a friend, the free throw line was converting 10-of-12 from the charity stripe over the remaining six minutes of half to come within three. In the second half, Wheaton came out firing but Brandeis managed to stay with them until Wells three point play gave the team the win.

Leading the way for Brandeis was Jaime Capra 08 with 19 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes of action while Caitlin Malcolm 07 had 12 points but had foul trouble in the game. Rookie guard Jessica Chapin 10 chipped in 10 points in 27 minutes. Wheatons offense was paced by forward Kim McCormack who had 17 points while teammates Kristen Hickey and rookie Jenny Champney each had 11 points. Also making a presence for Wheaton was rookie Ida Kruse with 10 points in nine minutes off the bench.

The Lyons enjoyed some exceptionally strong shooting, their 56.9% shooting percentage being the fifth best in Wheaton history and shot a deadly 84.6% from the line, missing only two times out of 13 attempts. What kept the Judges in the game was not only their clutch free throw shooting but their rebounding;

using their height advantage to pull down 20 offensive boards to Wheatons eight. This was crucial given that the team was missing its sterling sharp shooting that was there in the previous games, making only 3 of 19 three point attempts, an abysmal 15.8% for the game.

The near blemish follows a string of one sided routs for the Judges, starting with a rout of Regis College back on November 18 for the Tip Off Tourney. Overmatched Regis had only six playersthats right, one sub for the entire team. Nonetheless, they kept it close until Brandeis switched to a full court press and never looked back. Malcolm had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 15 minutes and 10 players had an assist. They continued their roll in the next game, taking down St. Lawrence 68-47 to win the tip off tourney. Malcolm won the MVP honor and Capra contributed 15 points. Brandeis then proceeded to pulverize Wesleyan and Endicott 80-27 and 77-34 respectively. Lauren Orlando 09, who has been making herself noticed when on the court, led the scoring against Endicott with 13 points.

Early on, it is clear that the depth is there rookies Jess Chapin and Lauren Rashford '10 have been seeing plenty of action off the bench, helping Kiersten Holgash 08 and Alison Chase 07 stay fresh. Also, the forward rotation of Wells, Orlando and Cassidy Dadaos 09 have all been doing their parts to make the interior a misery for their foes. Still, in order to return to the NCAAs, they need to take out the softer opponents and then ride that momentum when they take on the UAA. Their struggles against Wheaton raise concerns, especially if the team starts to live and die by the three point shot. Nonetheless, the team is on the right track, the only thing now is to see how they respond from the near upset. Do they destroy Babson when they face off at home on Saturday or do they let them stay close?