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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Judges gain winning conference record, look to NYU

Published: February 27, 2009
Section: Sports

The Brandeis Women’s Basketball team has won their last four games, bringing them up to 17-6 overall on the season and 7-6 in the UAA. “Our backs were against the wall and we knew that we would have to have a total team effort in order to get these wins,” said Captain Jessica Chapin ’10. “Everyone stepped up and basically the key was we did this as a team.”

Their most recent victory came this past Sunday, Senior Day, at home against the Case Western Reserve University Spartans with a final score of 76-56. The Judges were led by Jessica Chapin ’10 who had her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. In addition to leading the game in points and rebounds, Chapin also led with six assists and four steals. Morgan Kendrew ’12 also had a big night, putting up a career-high 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half, and matched her career high of four assists. Lauren Orlando ’09 finished strong in her last regular-season home game with 11 points and eight rebounds. Cassidy Dadaos ’09 finished her last regular season home game with six points and four assists.

Less than five minutes into the game Brandeis had an 8-2 lead. The Spartans responded with a 9-2 run and, with 11:59 left in the first half, they grabbed an 11-10 lead. It was at that point the Judges went on the most significant run of the game, scoring 19 of the next 22 points and taking a 24-14 lead with 5:12 remaining in the first. The Judges started the second half with a 41-23 lead. With 5:38 left on the clock, Brandeis had a 33-point lead of 70-37. While Case Western had a 19-6 run to end the game, they weren’t able to make up the difference.

Near the end of the game, Lauren Goyette ’09, out all year due to injury, saw her first action of the season. Utilizing a timeout, Goyette was subbed in, received the inbounds pass. With one possession to her name this season, Goyette was then subbed out, leaving the court to a standing ovation from the bench and the fans.

The path to breaking .500 in the UAA began Friday with a hard fought 67-57 win over the feisty Emory Eagles. Having lost their first meeting at Atlanta earlier this season, the Judges came out strong, opening the game with nine unanswered points. Emory launched a furious comeback in the second half though, with 10:52 left in the game, Lora Turner’s three point play brought the Eagles to a one point deficit. Brandeis however would not be overcome and responded with another seven unanswered points, four of them coming off the hands of rookie Kelly Ethier ’12 as the Judges would never trail in the game.

Chapin led the scoring with 15 point, eight rebounds followed by Kendrew who finished with 12 and Diana Cincotta ’11 with 10. Emory was paced by Lora Turner who had a double-double 17 points, 10 rebounds. LaShonda Lillard also finished with 17 of her own. Turnovers proved key as Brandeis converted 20 Emory turnovers into 23 points, conversely Emory was held to seven points off of the 16 Judges turnovers.

Brandeis started their streak Friday February 13 in Pittsburgh against the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans with a decisive 71-49 win. The Judges shot 55.4 percent from the floor while also holding their opponents to only 28.5 percent. Orlando led Brandeis with 15 points, blocked a season-high three shots and picked up six rebounds. Chapin also had another great night with 13 points, a game and career-high eight steals, and a team high eight rebounds. Amanda Wells ’09 also contributed to the win with 12 points.

Carnegie Mellon started off the game with a 7-5 lead less than five minutes into the game, but that wouldn’t last long. Starting with a three-pointer by Chapin, Brandeis went on a 10-0 run over three minutes to take the lead, 15-7. The Tartans responded with a run of their own, going 10-2 starting with six straight points to tie the game at 17-17. With 7:36 remaining in the first half the Judges went on another run to reclaim the lead, heading into the break with a 36-27 advantage. They didn’t end there, though, starting with an 18-5 run in the first seven minutes of the second half. Brandeis held on for a 22-point victory.

The win was then followed up with an upset, edging out number two ranked Rochester 52-50 on February 15. Trailing 30-19 after a sluggish first half, Brandeis turned the tables, shooting 54.5% in the second half while holding the Yellowjackets down to 26 percent. With 6:48 left in the game, it was Cassidy Dadaos who gave the Judges their first lead since the 11:40 mark in the first half, 47-46. Both sides traded baskets until Amber Strodthoff’s ’11 jumper with 57 seconds left proved to be the game winner. An insurance free throw from Diana Cincotta following a Rochester turnover wrapped up the win.

Chapin picked up a double-double, playing all 40 minutes and finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds. Cincotta also finished with 12 points on the strength of three three pointers. Rochester’s Melissa Alwardt led all scorers in the game, finishing with 17 points. Alex Porter also had a double-double, pulling down 14 rebounds to go along with 12 points in the Yellowjacket loss.

Brandeis is now 17-6, 7-6 in conference play and look finish the regular season on a high note as they travel to New York and take on heated rival NYU. Poor shooting doomed the Judges the last time they faced each other, falling at home 61-49 back on January 17.

“The team is very excited for this weekend,” Jessica Chapin said. “It is obviously a very big game for us along with the fact we are playing against our rival. This game also hold importance because we know if we win we potentially secure our berth into the NCAA tournament.”

Although the Judges are close to a lock for NCAA play, currently ranking number three in the Northeast region and having worked their way back into the top 25 polling, nothing short of a division title is a guarantee for NCAA play.

“Obviously it is something we all think about,” Chapin explained, “and know that if we win this game against NYU that we will have potentially secured our berth into the tournament. But now as one of our goals was to go to the NCAA so this is the last step to reaching that goal.”