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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Keys to victory for the Women’s Basketball team Friday night

Published: March 7, 2008
Section: Sports

Having watched the Judges since January of this year, I have to say that they are an interesting squad., capable of dominance and equally capable of arousing sheer despair. With a tough match up coming up against Southern Maine, here is what I see as vital to a Judges’ victory in no particular order:

1. Consistency is key

Throughout the season, the Judges have been plagued by games where they would play well for parts of it followed by stretches of agonizing futility. Such examples include blowing a second half lead and falling on the road to NYU and surrendering 47 points in the second half in an awful loss to Emory at home. If Brandeis doesn’t come out for the full 40 minutes this weekend, their Jersey trip will be shorter than a Family Circus punch line.

2. Get the ball inside

In particular, I’m looking at Lauren Orlando, who has been up and down in her first year as undisputed starter. Having her and wing mate Cassidy Dadaos putting points on the inside will open up opportunities for Capra, Holgash and Chapin to make those outside shots. They have to get inside scoring, plain and simple. It will help that Orlando and Dadaos both have a height advantage over Huskies forwards Kent and Santa Fe, so the Judges should look to take advantage of that if they can.

3. All Capra all the time

Jaime Capra is the dynamo for the Judges. Averaging 14.7 points this season, third highest in the UAA and currently three points behind the second highest career scoring mark (held by Rachael Perry with 1352). All energy and heart, when Capra gets hot, the team follows her lead. The UAA saw this and awarded Capra the co-UAA player of the year (shared with NYU’s Jessica McEntee). In last year’s playoff action, Capra poured in 33 points in a first thumping of Maine-Farmington but in the next contest against Emmanuel, Capra never got going and Brandeis eventually collapsed under Emmanuel’s full court press.

4. Jess Chapin needs a big game

Second year Jessica Chapin had a strong year as a starter, averaging 10.4 points and finishing third in the UAA in three point field goal percentage and first for steals. Chapin has done it all – drive, shoot and defend. Chapin was named a second team All-UAA member but if the Judges want to advance, Chapin needs to produce and her consistency hasn’t always been there. If Chapin is on, Brandeis’s chances improve even more.

5. Defense, defense, defense!

Offense wins games, defense wins championships. Southern Maine has shown they can do both against the LEC. Brandeis though has relied on strong defense throughout the regular season. They will need it with three Huskies finishing in the LEC top 10 in field goal percentage. Brandeis needs to keep Southern Maine, especially Stacey Kent in check.

6. Please stand up

The playoffs are a time for unknowns to step up and make their impact felt. In their first NCAA run back in 2006, Alison Chase ’07 almost single-handedly upset Bowdoin with a tying three in the final minute of play. This year’s surprise player could be Kiersten Holgash. Holgash is not necessarily known for her scoring, her role primarily being to set up the offense but lately, her shots have been falling in, picking up 13 points on three three-pointers against NYU. If her hot shooting carries into the playoffs it may be too much for the Huskies to handle.