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Women’s basketball narrowly defeated by Beavers

By Ariel Wittenberg

Section: Sports

November 19, 2010

Fast break: Mia Depalo ’11 dribbles down the court past Babson.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

The women’s basketball team was beat by 13th-ranked Babson College Beavers Wednesday after defeating WPI in their season opener over the weekend. The Beavers overcame an eight-point deficit with 4:30 left on the clock and to win the game in overtime, 62-59.

Brandeis (1-1) trailed in the first 39-and-a-half minutes of the game, including a 27-20 lead at the break due to nine first-half points by forward Amber Strodthoff ’11. Center Sarah Collins ’13 kept Babson (1-0) in the game with 10 points, accounting for half of her team’s offense. Collins scored the first five points of the second half off Brandeis turnovers, with a three-pointer, a steal and lay-up, but the Judges answered with six straight points to match their biggest lead at eight points, 33-25, with 17:39 remaining in regulation.

The Beavers got within one point at 37-36 on a Collins put-back with 11:13 on the clock, but after three empty possessions for both sides, a pair of junior Morgan Kendrew’s free throws put momentum back in Brandeis’ court.

After Strodthoff found Kendrew for a back-door lay-up, Mia DePalo ’11 had a traditional three-point play with 5:38 remaining to push the lead back to eight at 52-44 with 5:38 on the clock. A Collins lay-up on a post-to-post pass from Nicole Wurdeman ’12 was answered by two freebies by Julia Scanlon ’14 for a 54-46 lead with 4:30 on the clock.

At that point, Babson started their comeback. The next possession was key, as guard Becky Bowman ’11 hit a three-pointer from the corner.

Then, DePalo was called for a foul on an aggressive box-out and Bowman converted the four-point play to cut the lead in half one possession. Neither team scored during the next two-and-a-half minutes. The Beavers chipped away at the lead, as Collins and Wurdeman each hit one of two free throws at the 1:34 and 49-second marks to get the visitors within two.

The Beavers took their first lead with just 29 seconds left on the clock when Collins stole the ball and found Bowman on the fast break. Bowman converted the lay-up and was fouled in the process, converting the traditional three-point play to give the visitors a 55-54 edge. After two timeouts, Brandeis was unable to convert, as Kendrew’s drive to the hole was denied. Bowman tied up the ensuing rebound with the possession arrow favoring Babson. The Judges sent Wurdeman to the line, and she hit both free throws with 9.8 seconds left, pushing the lead to three points, 57-54.

Brandeis then called a timeout, and Kendrew pushed the ball up the floor as Strodthoff set a terrific screen at the top of the key, freeing her teammate to hit from the elbow with 2.8 seconds left in regulation and force the extra session.

In overtime, the game went more than three minutes with no one scoring. Babson junior Kathleen King finally broke the ice from the line, drawing a foul after rebounding her own miss with 1:57 left.

After King hit both free throws, Brandeis junior Kelly Ethier it an open jumper on a nice feed from Brighid Courtney ’12. The Beavers pushed the ball on the ensuing possession and King scored what proved to be the game-winning hoop with 1:15 left on feed from Allanah Wynn ’13.

After Babson got a stop on their next possession, Strodthoff grabbed a rebound with 28 seconds left on a Collins miss. The Judges moved the ball the other way and worked it into Kendrew’s hands. She drove the lane and appeared to hit another game-tying shot with 13 seconds on the clock, but two Babson defenders converged on the spot and drew a charge call, negating Kendrew’s bucket.

Wynn hit one of two after getting fouled with three seconds left, and Brandeis called timeout. The Judges executed a play to get Ethier free for a long three-pointer, but from 23-feet away Ethier was unable to make it.

Prior to their loss at the hands of the Beavers, the Judges won their season opener 25-10 against WPI, with Kendrew scoring 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, including a pair of key three-pointers that were part of a game-ending 25-10 run.

Brandeis opened the game on an 11-3 run during the first 12:40 by holding WPI (0-1) to just one-for-six shooting with seven turnovers. Kendrew had five points in the run, while guard Scanlon ’14 had four.

The Engineers fought back, answering with an 11-2 streak of their own, taking a 14-13 edge on a pair of free throws at the 7:34 mark. The lead changed hands five more times the rest of the way before two late Amber Strodthoff ’11 free throws gave the Judges a 26-25 lead. WPI senior guard Elle Fontaine led all players with 10 points in the first half, while Brandeis guard Mia DePalo ’11 led her team with seven.

WPI opened the second half with a Fontaine jumper to reclaim the lead and spark an 11-4 run over the first 4:30. A jumper by WPI forward Theresa Logan gave the visitors their largest lead of the night at six points, 36-30.

The Judges responded with seven unanswered points of their own over the next 2:17, starting the run with two Scanlon foul shots and capping it with a Kendrew jumper and a three-pointer that put Brandeis ahead, 37-36, with 12:13 remaining.

After the teams traded turnovers, Fontaine found WPI rookie Siena Mamayek on the next shot to give the visitors their final lead, but the Judges scored another eight in a row, capped by back-to-back lay-ups by forward Shannon Hassan ’12, which put them ahead, 45-38, with 7:43 on the clock.

The Engineers looked to get back into the game on a Mamayek jumper, followed by Logan hitting two-of-three from the line after getting fouled behind the arc. Kendrew answered with her third three-pointer of the game to ice the contest with 4:36 left to push the lead back to six points, 46-40, and the Judges pulled away from there for the nine-point victory.

Brandeis is next in action on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. against Connecticut College in the Judges Classic tournament, while Babson takes on Regis College Saturday at 1 p.m.

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