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Women’s Basketball wins six straight

By zaronow

Section: Sports

December 5, 2008

Brandeis’ Lauren Rashford ‘10 (No. 22, right) rushes up-court, past Emmanuel guard Iman Davis ‘10 (No. 32, left) on tuesday.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

Brandeis’ Lauren Rashford ‘10 (No. 22, right) rushes up-court, past Emmanuel guard Iman Davis ‘10 (No. 32, left) on tuesday.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

You may not have noticed but there’s a basketball team here that has been shooting up the d3hoops top 25 rankings, vanquishing their foes left and right as they aim for another NCAA post season appearance.

I am of course talking about the currently 12th ranked Brandeis Judges women’s basketball squad.

Their blazing start to the season continued with their sixth straight win, taming the Wheaton College Lyons 69-54. Lauren Orlando ‘09 and Jessica Chapin ‘10 each had 15 points while Cassidy Dadaos ‘09 had 11 points, eight rebounds. Krystin Hickey led Wheaton’s offense with 17 points. The Judges outrebounded Wheaton 40-27 and outshot them 48 percent to 34 percent.

The road win follows a 94-52 annihilation of Emmanuel College as Coach Carol Simon got to play all of her available players in front of a rousing handful of family members and friends Tuesday night.

A three pointer by the Saints’ Kristen LeBel tied the game at three, ninety seconds into the first half. It also was the only time Emmanuel didn’t trial as Brandeis ran wild, scoring 14 unanswered points and took advantage of 7 turnovers over the next five minutes. After ending the first half up 45-26 the Judges offered Emmanuel no opportunity of salvation, shooting a season high 55 percent in the game (33-60) including an astonishing 65 percent clip in the second half alone.

Brandeis Forward Brighid Courtney ‘12 (No. 30) lines up for a free-throw.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

Brandeis Forward Brighid Courtney ‘12 (No. 30) lines up for a free-throw.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

“Every game is a big game for us” Coach Simon explained. “We have to win all our non-conference games, we understand the importance of that. We understand how good Emmanuel is, they’re a very good team. I just thought we did a very good job defensively on ‘em, we really went according to our game plan, we followed it well, you know we shot very well so that doesn’t hurt either.”

Brandeis had four players reach double digits in points, lead by forward Lauren Orlando ’09 with a game high 22 points. Lauren Rashford ’10 had 10 points to go along with 7 assists, most of any team while Jessica Chapin picked up 13 points thanks to three three-pointers along with 6 rebounds. Amber Strodthoff ’11 celebrated her birthday with a career high 14 points in 15 minutes of action. Kristin LeBel and Iman Davis accounted for over 65 percent of Emmanuel’s 52 points, LeBel leading the team with 21 points thanks to a sharp 5-7 from three point land while Davis converted seven free throws in 12 trips to account for the bulk of her 13 points.

Not only did the Judges outgun the Saints but completely dominated the interior, racking up 43 rebounds to Emmanuel’s 26 including a decisive 32-15 edge on the defensive end. Cassidy Dadaos ’09 lead the interior game with 8 rebounds.

The 94 points was the most Brandeis scored in a game since 2002-03 when they racked up 95 against Gallaudet.

The victory over Emmanuel comes two days after Brandeis pulled off a stunning upset on the road over then 16th ranked Tufts 81-76. Tufts tied the game up at 63 apiece with 5:18 left in the game but Brandeis pulled ahead for good after Amanda Wells ’09 pulled down a critical offensive rebound on the next possession and assisted it to Dadaos who picked up the basket and the foul to put the Judges up by three. Clutch free throw shooting; particularly Lauren Orlando’s 8 straight conversions in the final minutes preserved the lead and the upset.

Orlando led with 20 points and Chapin was close behind with 19. Diana Cincotta ’11 and rookie Morgan Kendrew ’12 each had 10.

With victories over Tufts and then 15th ranked Bowdoin, Brandeis was rewarded with a meteoric rise through the d3hoops Top 25 poll to number 12 overall. Still, Coach Simon isn’t getting caught up with the early success.

“You know, again I don’t get caught up in the rankings this early, you know to me it’s what happens at the end. I mean I think it’s a nice honor, you know we beat some very good teams that were ranked, I figured we were going to get ranked somewhere.”

Co-captain Jessica Chapin raised another point about the new ranking, “Right now, it puts a bulls-eye on our back and right now we got to continue to keep playing.”

The Judges continue their season with a December 6 1 p.m. home match against Babson and wrap up 2008 with Regis coming in Dec. 31 at 1 p.m..

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