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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s basketball splits the weekend

Published: January 29, 2010
Section: Sports

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME: Coach Carol Simon gives the women’s team a pep talk during one of the timeouts. <br /><i>PHOTO BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot</i>

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME: Coach Carol Simon gives the women’s team a pep talk during one of the timeouts.
PHOTO BY Andrew Rauner/The Hoot

The Brandeis women’s basketball team opened up home University Athletic Association play this past weekend. The Judges bested the Rochester University Yellowjackets on Friday night 55-48, but fell 73-65 to the Emory University Eagles on Sunday afternoon. With the split Brandeis moved to 9-6 on the season and 2-3 in conference play.

The Judges got on the board first when guard Jessica Chapin ’10 nailed a three-pointer just 20 seconds into the game. Within the first three minutes of play Brandeis held a 9-2 lead over their guests. Rochester responded quickly, though, and tied things up at 11 apiece with 13:20 remaining in the first half.

For the rest of the half things went back and forth as both sides fought to gain an advantage. Neither Brandeis nor Rochester could get a decisive lead, resulting in a total of five ties in the course of ten minutes.

With less than two minutes left before the break guard Lauren Rashford ’10 put up a three-pointer to give the Judges a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

“Having Lauren back has been fantastic for the team,” Coach Carol Simon told The Hoot. “She is a benefit to our running game and she is giving us more punch to our perimeter scoring.”

In the opening minutes of the second half the Yellowjackets challenged their hosts, reducing the Judges lead to just a single point. Each time Brandeis answered back to maintain control, including guard Morgan Kendrew ’12 who put up five points in less than three minutes. Thanks to the consistent scoring, the Judges finished up the game seven points ahead of their opponents.

“We followed our defensive game plan with only a few break downs,” Coach Simon said. “On offense our scoring was well spread out and we did a good job on the offensive boards.”

Four Brandeis starters ended up with double digits in the game with Chapin and Kendrew putting up 11 points each. Amber Strodthoff ’11 had 10 points as well as a game and career high 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Forward Kasey Gieschen ’10 also put up 10 points. Guard Diana Cincotta ’11 had seven points as well as a game-high five assists.

This was the first time this season the Yellowjackets were held to less than 50 points.

The Judges went on to face Emory on Sunday afternoon and once again got on the board first with a jumper by Gieschen 15 seconds into play.

Brandeis held the lead for the entire first half, remaining at least six points ahead of the Eagles from the 14-minute mark onward. Brandeis led 35-24 going into the break.

Kendrew put up 12 of the Judges 35 points in the half, including going four-for-four from the line.

The second half opened up with the Judges continuing their offensive push, keeping a double-digit lead for most of the first nine minutes. With 10:45 left to play, the Eagles knocked the Judges lead down to seven points and kept fighting from that point on.

Emory cranked up their offensive effort and went on an 18-0 run in just over three and a half minutes to come back from an eight point deficit to gain a ten point lead with 0:59 left to play.

While Brandeis was able to grab four from the line, thanks to Strodthoff, and guard Carmela Breslin ’10 threw up a three-pointer with seven seconds on the clock, the Judges were unable to come back.

Coach Simon told The Hoot that there were “too many defensive breakdowns in the second half, especially the last 5:30 minutes.”

Despite the disappointing loss, Brandeis still had a number of impressive performances on the day. Kendrew came up big with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Rashford contributed a season-high 15 points off the bench. Kendrew, who averaged 15 points and six and a half boards per game was named on of the UAA Outstanding Athletes according to their website.

The women will continue their UAA home stand this weekend when they will face Case Western Reserve University on Friday night at 6 p.m. and Carnegie Mellon University at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Case Western is 11-5 overall on the season, and 2-3 in conference play while Carnegie Mellon is 8-8 overall and 1-4 against UAA squads. The Judges are tied for fourth place in the UAA rankings with Case Western.

“This will be a very tough weekend,” Coach Simon explained. “Both Case and Carnegie are very strong teams. We have our work cut out for us.”