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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

OSTROWSKY: Questionable Judgement

Published: March 4, 2005
Section: Arts, Etc.

The Evil Empire has struck again. This time it is in the form of Womens Division III College Basketball. At the Cole Center in NYU in front of a booming crowd of 1,914 the lady Judges, ranked number 13 in the nation, were defeated by a convincing score of 60-47. If you had the misfortune of listening to or attending the game you would know it was not that close. They got out-rebounded, out-hustled, and outplayed for the entire 40 minutes. Simple as that. No excuses. In the biggest game of the year (not to mention in school history), the Judges put forth a lackluster effort.

From the opening tip to when the game finally ended a little after 3:30 p.m., nothing went right for the Judges. Caitlin Malcolm sustained a severe knee injury midway through the first half, yet made a triumphant return later in the game. Not even that could spark the Judges. They went in trailing 30-22 at the half, and instead of coming out hot, things only got worse. NYU started the second half with an 8-0 run and were never down by more than 10 points the entire game.

It was not even so much that they lost, it was how they lost. We all knew that the Judges werent gonna run away with this one. Sure, there was the revenge factor (Brandeis had defeated 79-65 NYU back in January), playing in Greenwich Village, New York and the fact that NYU is pretty good themselves. But did anyone think they would lay an egg like this? Never having the lead once all game? A dismal field goal percentage of 23 percent? Being out rebounded 54-36? Those arent Brandeis basketball stats. Think the Patriots going to Pittsburgh late in the season in a meaningful game and Brady throwing four interceptions en route to a 35-14 loss. Some things are just inexplicable.

If youre a Brandeisian, youve gotta be more than upset. Youve gotta want answers. If this was the first Judges game of the season, note that this game should be next to the word aberration in the dictionary. This team is good, real good. They play hard night in and night out, every game. With the Bill Belichick of womens college hoops in Carol Simon patrolling the sidlines, this team never gets too high on themselves. They dont look past any opponents and they certainly play tenaciously night in and night out. One has to ask the proverbial question, why was this night different from all other nights?

Was it those obnoxious NYU fans chanting, Whos Your Daddy in the waning moments of this contest? (Yo NYU fans, for your information everyone and their mother is a Yankees fan at our school). Was it the hard fall that the superman-esque Caitlin Malcolm took midway through the first half? Can you chalk it up to coming off two consecutive nail-biters at home and then having five days off?

This team deserves to play in the NCAAs. When you lose four games all year, that warrants a ticket to the big dance. It was a blip on the radar screen. Okay, fine a rather big one. One that killed their dreams of playing in warm Virginia Beach the weekend of March 19th for the Division III national championship.

The Judges will be playing in the ECAC tournament this upcoming weekend. Dont confuse this with the Beanpot consolation game or NIT tournament. The ECAC is quite an impressive tournament of its own, one in which the Judges hope to defend their title. If you want to see the teams true colors come out to Gosman today.