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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s basketball wins two of five games over break

Published: January 22, 2010
Section: Sports

full court press: Jessica Chapin ’10 and classmate  Lauren Rashford put the pressure on Washington Univeristy of St. Louis last season.. <br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</>

full court press: Jessica Chapin ’10 and classmate Lauren Rashford put the pressure on Washington Univeristy of St. Louis last season..
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

The female Judges faltered slightly during mid-season play, dropping two of three University Athletic Association matchups against Washington University of St. Louis Bears and the University of Chicago Maroons. They are now 1-2 in UAA play and 8-5 overall going into the weekend where they will host two more UAA teams: the University of Rochester and Emory University.

“We have been playing much better teams lately and we are constantly in games,” co-captain Jessica Chapin ’10 explained to The Hoot, “but there are points where we struggle and put ourselves in a tough position to win.”

Brandeis finished out 2009 with a 65-55 victory over the Regis College Pride on New Years Eve. The Judges had trailed 30-28 at the half but were able to rally back to secure the win thanks to a career performance by center/forward Kasey Gieschen ’10. Gischen had her first career double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds. Brandeis exploded in the last 7:46, going on an 18-6 run to close out the game. During that stretch Gischen put up five points, including the go-ahead point.

Morgan Kendrew ’12 also contributed to the victory by adding nine points in the closing run and was six-for-six from the line. Chapin, who became the ninth player in team history to reach the 1,000-point plateau on Dec. 5, had 11 points, four rebounds, and a game-high four steals in her effort against the Pride. Chapin also put up four assists, as did classmates Carmela Breslin and Lauren Rashford.

While Chapin admitted it was a “very nice personal accomplishment” to reach that 1,000-point plateau, she remained focused on the team and the task at hand. “There are many more team accomplishments I would rather attain by the end of my career,” she said.

Although they closed out the year with a win, the Judges opened 2010 with a loss at home against the University of New England Nor’easters on Jan. 5. Chapin had another career game when she scored her 138th career 3-pointer, a new school-record. Brandeis held the lead for the entire first half, leading by as much as 18.

Chapin reached her record with 5:42 remaining and after nailing her shot from the foul line, the Judges held a commanding 35-17 lead. After a brief run by the visitors, the Judges went into the break with a 12-point lead of 42-30.

The Nor’easters answered back in the second stanza and went on a 13-3 run in the first five minutes of play. With 15:45 remaining in the game Brandeis held a narrow two-point lead. The Judges held on to single digit leads for most of the half, but the Nor’easters finally broke through to take the lead for the first time with 7:08 remaining off a three-pointer.

Brandeis struggled to regain their foothold but after some back-and-forth shooting by the two teams, New England pulled ahead for good with 4:33 left on the clock. Despite numerous attempts by the home team to take control, they were unable to come back and finished the game just four points back.

The Judges went down to New York on Jan. 9 to open up UAA play for the season against the New York University Violets. Thanks to double-digit performances by four players, Brandeis took down their rival 73-68.

Chapin paced the Judges with a game-high 25 points. Forward Amber Strodthoff ’11put up 17 points for Brandeis while Gieschen had 12 and Kendrew added 11.

Chapin scored the first points of the game on a layup at 18:32 and the Judges held the lead from that point forward, starting with a 5-0 run over the next minute and a half. The Violets tied it up at 14:56, but Brandeis answered back immediate with four points to regain control.

The Judges led by as much as 13 in the first stanza thanks to layups from Strodthoff, Kendrew, Gieschen, and Chapin in addition to numerous foul shots. Their hosts brought it back to single digits and took game to 34-27 going into the break.

The Violets came out of the locker rooms with a pressure defense that brought them within five of the visiting Judges. Brandeis quickly got back in the game and kept pushing themselves back up to a double-digit lead through the first five minutes of play. NYU would not give up, though, and fought to bring it within three with just ten minutes left. That started a 10-4 run for the hosts, which tied the game at 57 a piece with under five and a half minutes remaining on the clock.

Brandeis fed off the pressure and responded just over 20 seconds later to regain the lead off a trifecta by Chapin with an assist from Cincotta. From that point forward the Judges battled to maintain the lead and fell within one at 4:35. They kept the pressure up for the remainder of the game and held on for a five-point victory.

The Judges continued their UAA roadtrip on Jan. 15 when they faced off against nationally ranked WashU. The Bears, currently the number-three team in the country according to, opened the game with eight unanswered points and would not give up the lead from that point forward. Although the Judges were able to get within three thanks to a three-pointer from Cincotta with just over siz minutes remaining in the first half, the Bears responded with a dominating 15-4 run to take a 41-27 lead into the break.

While Brandeis fought to get the game to single digits in the second half after WashU led by as many at 17, they were unable to overcome their UAA competitor. A three-pointer by Kendrew brought the Judges to just a nine point deficit with 3:33 remaining in the game, but once again the Bears held on, eventually finishing the game by a ten-point margin of 67-57.

Strodthoff had her second double-double of the season and her career with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds while Kendrew led the Judges with 13 points. Guard Lauren Rashford ’10, who has been recovering from an injury, came off the bench to tack on 12 points. Chapin was only able to get two points after being shut out by the WashU defense, significantly lower than the 17.8 points per game she has been averaging.

Brandeis faced off against the Maroons this past Sunday in Chicago but despite a career performance by guard Diana Cincotta ’11, who contributed 16 points to her team, the Judges were unable to triumph. Cincotta put up eight of the team’s first ten points, helping Brandeis jump to a 10-6 lead in the first three minutes. The home team responded swiftly with a 13-4 run to pull ahead 19-14 by the ten minute mark. Kendrew nailed the next three-pointer and thanks to a lay-up shortly after the Judges tied that game at 19 with 9:25 left in the half.

The Judges momentum slowed in the last five minutes of the half and by the break Chicago owned a ten-point lead, 38-28. Brandeis did not stay down for long, though. After trading shots to open the second half, the Judges rallied with a 16-4 run in less than seven minutes. With 12:48 remaining in the game Mia DePalo ’11 nailed her shot to give the Judges a 46-45 lead.

Their lead would not last for long. Chicago fought back with nine straight points in just over two minutes to take back the lead 54-46. They would not relinquish the lead from that point forward and finished up the game with a double-digit advantage of 74-61. The Maroons improved to 10-4 on the season and 2-1 in UAA play with the win.

Looking ahead to this weekend, the Judges will open up home UAA play when they face Rochester, ranked second in the UAA with a 12-2 record overall and 2-1 in conference play, on Friday night at 6 p.m. “We are focusing on playing our game for 40 minutes without having any let downs,” Chapin told The Hoot. “If we can do this we should have a successful weekend.”

After taking on Rochester, the Judges will take on Emory on Sunday at 2 p.m. They currently sit second to last in UAA rankings with an 8-6 record after going 1-2 in UAA play.

“We still have a tough schedule to finish out the season but if we continue to progress and get better we should do very well,” Chapin added.