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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women's bball #3 in nation

Published: January 21, 2005
Section: News

The temperature may be dropping outside these days, but inside Red Aurebach Arena the Brandeis womens basketball team has things sizzling. The women enter this weekend with a perfect 13-0 record and are currently ranked third in the latest Division Three womens basketball poll.

The Judges own a 17 game winning streak dating back to last season, the longest current streak in Division Three womens basketball. On top of that, with a 68-58 victory over cross-town rival Tufts University on Tuesday night, the Judges finished the season with an undefeated record (10-0) in non-conference play for the first time in school history.

Unlike last years ECAC Championship team that was led by All-American Danielle Fitzpatrick, this years Judges Team does not feature any one go-to player. Instead the Judges have become one of the most balanced teams in the country. Four players are averaging over 10 points per game and it seems as though every game someone new steps up for the Judges.

Pacing the Judges offensively is center Caitlin Malcolm 07, who is averaging over 14 points per game and more than seven rebounds per contest. Placed with forward Christine Clancy 06 (12 points per game), the Judges boast one of the top post duos in the conference. Freshman sensation Jamie Capra 08 has a tremendous start to her college career, averaging 11 points and almost seven rebounds per game. And dont forget about the point guard combination of Amanda DeMartino 06 and Barbara (Basia) Grzyb 07, who form a relentless one-two punch against opponents.

The offense is great, but it has been the defense that has led the Judges to this sensational start. The hard-nosed defense is only allowing 45.6 points per game to opponents. Compare that with the offense, averaging almost 74 points per game, and it is no wonder why the Judges are 13-0.

The glue that holds the Judges together, though, are senior captains Catherine Brady and Emily Malkin. Brady is a three-point specialist averaging over seven points per game while Malkin has become a defensive stopper for the team.

As Coach Carol Simon said, The seniors [Brady and Malkin] deserve a lot of the credit for this. They have really taught the younger players how to win.

The two captains were integral parts of the ECAC Championship team a year ago, but this year they came in with their sights set on the NCAA tournament. Last year was great with ECACs, but this year we set a goal to reach the NCAA tournament, Brady said.

The rest of the road to the NCAAs will not be easy for the Judges however. After traveling to Case Western University and Emory University this weekend, the team returns home to face 12 ranked Washington University and the University of Chicago, which is currently tied with Brandeis atop the UAA conference standings. Add that to a regular-season ending contest at New York University, whom the Judges defeated last Saturday 79-65, and one can see why the Judges will have their hands full for the rest of the season. With three teams currently ranked in the top 15 nationally, it becomes clear why the UAA conference is considered to be the best Division Three womens basketball conference.

While the accolades keep mounting for the Judges, the team keeps playing and winning. The team remains focused on approaching the rest of the season with a day-by-day mentality.

The conference is so strong that on any given day, the eighth place team can beat the first place team, Simons stresses.

With every game that goes by, the Judges move one step closer to achieving their goal. So, starting next weekend, brave the cold and make your way down to Gosman Gymnasium to support the Lady Judges. They deserve it!

The next Lady Judges home game is Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. against Washington University.