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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Judges fall short of Sweet 16

Published: March 10, 2006
Section: Sports

BRUNSWICK,ME-Brandeis faced the Salem State Vikings who made their record 23rd straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. Even though there were times when Brandeis nearly squandered their chances, they managed to clamp down for a 63-59 victory in their first ever NCAA appearance last Friday.

Brandeis had three players with points in double digits, but forward Christine Clancy 06 really carried the team, with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Jaime Capra 08 had an injury-filled day but managed 12 points of her own while the unheralded Alison Chase 07 had 10 points largely thanks to two three pointers.

Also helping out the Brandeis cause was rookie Lauren Orlando 09, who was a perfect 2-2 in her three point attempts and kept up the interior defense after Caitlin Malcolm 07 got into foul trouble.

Salem State jumped out to a quick lead. With the Vikings up 18-11, the Judges regrouped after a time-out and put together a 12-4 run to claim the lead thanks to a steal by Alison Chase leading to a lay-up by Christine Clancy. The first half ended with Salem State up 33-32.

The second half started off ugly for both sides. Capra scored the first points of the second half only after 3 minutes had passed. Both sides traded 5-0 runs until Salem State built up a 47-41 lead. Brandeis fought back with multiple three-point shots, to make a 13-2 run, to gain the lead for good. The Judges were now set to go on to the next day of the tournament.

The next day, the lady Judges took on Bowdoin. With seconds left, Jamie Capra '08 threw up a three to tie the game, but missed and the Brandeis Judges season came to an end as Bowdoin escaped with a 59-56 victory.

It was a rough game for Brandeis, as nothing seemed to go right for the Judges who never had a lead. The game opened up with a three point attempt by forward Eileen Flaherty 07 that hit the front of the rim and bounced in.

The Judges first possession ended with an air-ball from Caitlin Malcolm 07. Trailing 12-2 and Malcolm already in foul trouble, the Judges managed to put together a 15-7 run, largely thanks to the efforts of Alison Chase 07 and Amanda DeMartino 06. However Bowdoins offense, combined with a bad call that robbed Brandeis of two foul shots, closed out the first half with Brandeis trailing 30-22.

The second half began with an Alison Chase three-pointer to cut the lead to five. During the rest of the half Brandeis pulled within a basket a few times, only to watch Bowdoin take the lead again.

With 90 seconds left to go in the game, Chase hit a three to tie the game at 56-56. Bowdoin responded with a quick basket from Justine Pouravelis 07 to go up for good. One Bowdoin free throw and three Jaime Capra misses sent Bowdoin onto the next round.

Alison Chase and Caitlin Malcolm paced the Brandeis offense with 14 points each. Jaime Capra and Amanda DeMartino each had 8 points, with DeMartino collecting 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Bowdoin however had a more balanced attack with Justine Pouravelis 07 (13 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks), Eileen Flaherty 06 (game highs of 18 points and 9 rebounds) and Marisa Berne 08 (10 points).

In a somber post game press conference with Coach Simon and graduating captain, Christine Clancy, Coach Simon was asked about Brandeis being unable to get over the hump. Coach Simon attributed it to unlucky bounces and offensive rebounds that werent grabbed. She was very effusive in her praise of Alison Chase.

We call Ali [Chase] our stealth bomber. Shes quiet, and shes probably not on anybodys scouting report. She just hovers and then bam! Shes been playing big for us all year so its not a surprise.

A big problem for Brandeis was their ability to come up with rebounds. The Polar Bears dominated the boards 40-27 with a 17-4 difference in offensive rebounds.
Brandeis now has two big holes to fill with the departure of their seniors. It will be interesting to see who Coach Simon is going to recruit. Another factor is going to be whether any of the rookies, namely Lauren Orlando 09 and Amanda Wells 09, progress and develop into vital players for the Judges.

Even though the Judges lost, the team can hold their heads high over what was accomplished this year.