Poor shooting drops women’s basketball to 3-4

December 2, 2011

In a non-conference matchup, Emmanuel College defeated visiting Brandeis University 55-43. Junior forward Fiona O’Dwyer led the Saints to victory with a game-high 26 points and 13 rebounds. With the loss the Judges drop to 3-4 on the young season.

The Saints played spectacular defense early in the game, holding the Judges scoreless for the first five minutes of play while building a 7-0 lead behind back-to-back jumpers from O’Dwyer. The early lead forced the Judges to take a 30-second timeout with 14:39 remaining in the first half. After the timeout Emmanuel College pushed their lead to 10-0 on a free throw from senior guard Meghan Kirwan and a jumper from rookie guard Britni Mikulanecz. While the Saints couldn’t miss a shot, the Judges couldn’t buy a basket. The Judges finally got on the scoreboard seven and a half minutes into the game with a single free throw from guard Kelly Ethier ’12.

The Saints continued to shut down the Judges’ offense completely, limiting them to an embarrassing 0-of-17 shooting, causing Brandeis to call a full timeout, trailing 14-1, with 10 minutes left in the first half. Immediately out of the time out, guard Hannah Cain ’15 drove to the basket to give the Judges their first field goal of the game.

Following Cain’s basket, Emmanuel stretched their lead to 22-3 with a three-pointer from the top of the key by junior guard Laura Benvenuto with five minutes remaining in the first half; however, the Judges responded with consecutive three-balls from guard Diana Cincotta ’12 to cut the deficit to 23-9 with 4:08 left to play in the half.

The Judges ended the half on a 6-2 run to go into the locker room trailing 25-15. While the Saints committed 17 first-half turnovers, usually a recipe for disaster, they held Brandeis to just 15.2 percent (5-33), shooting in the first half and out-rebounded the Judges 31-18. O’Dwyer paced the Saints with eight points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Cincotta and forward Samantha Anderson ’13 each scored six points for Brandeis.

The Judges opened the second half on a 9-4 run behind two baskets from forward Shannon Hassan ’12 and a three-pointer and two free throws from Ethier to pull the Judges within five points at 29-24 less than five minutes into the second half; however, the Saints quickly responded with an 8-0 run of their own to push their lead back to 13, 37-24, with 12:44 left in the contest. The Judges’ backcourt had trouble dealing with the Saints’ full-court pressure as Emmanuel College forced the Judges into five turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half.

O’Dwyer grabbed her 10th rebound just 10 minutes into the second half, recording a double-double with 10 minutes left to play in the game. With a little less than six minutes remaining in the match, a jumper by Ethier pulled the Judges within eight, 45-37. Unfortunately, Brandeis could not muster any further offensive success as the Saints used their pressure defense to hold the Judges to just three points over the next four minutes of play. Trailing 50-40 with 1:30 left in the game, Brandeis was unable to rally for the victory as O’Dwyer and rookie forward Lena Negri made clutch free throws down the stretch as the Saints defeated the Judges 55-43.

O’Dwyer’s game-high 26 points came on 11-of-21 shooting and 4-of-4 shooting from the free throw line. Negri finished one point shy of a double-double with nine points and a season-high 13 boards. Sophomore center Victoria Johnson chipped in with seven rebounds to help the Saints overpower the Judges on the glass, 59-44.

Both teams struggled from the charity stripe with Emmanuel shooting 50 percent (11-of-22) and the Judges shooting 45 percent (9-of-20). Brandeis finished the game shooting 23.1 percent (15-of-65). Hassan helped boost the Judges’ field goal percentage behind her 5-of-6 performance. Hassan led the Judges with 14 points and eight rebounds while Ethier added 10 points and Anderson chipped in 12 rebounds.

Earlier in the week, the Judges fell to visiting Tufts University 59-44. Senior forward Kate Barnosky led the Jumbos with a game-high 17 points while Anderson led the Judges with a career-high 13 points to go along with five rebounds and a block.

The first half was an extremely competitive contest, with both teams going on scoring runs. The Judges opened the game on a 6-0 run but the Jumbos then quickly responded with a 9-2 run of their own giving the Jumbos a 9-8 lead with 12:43 remaining in the half. The rest of the first half continued to go back and forth with two ties and seven lead changes. Guard Morgan Kendrew ’12 pulled Brandeis within two, 22-20, with 2:14 left in the first half; however, the Jumbos finished the half on a 5-0 run to take a 27-20 lead into the break.

The Jumbos further padded their lead with a 5-0 run to open the second half. The Judges cut the deficit to four points with 9:02 remaining in the game when Anderson finished off a 6-0 run with a spectacular drive to the basket down the middle of the lane; however, Tufts did not ease up and clutch three-pointers and free throws from sophomore guard Caitlin McClure, junior guard Collier Clegg and rookie guard Kelsey Morehead allowed the Jumbos to pull away from the Judges and secure the victory.

Cain was the second-leading scorer, behind Anderson, with a career-tying 10 points along with two assists, a block and six rebounds, while Ethier also chipped in six rebounds, four points, two assists, a block and a steal.

McClure was the second-leading scorer for the Jumbos, behind Barnosky, with 12 points including 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc to go along with two steals and two rebounds. Senior guard Tiffany Kornegay chipped in three assists in addition to a team-high six rebounds, while Morehead chipped in with five rebounds and three steals.

Brandeis returns home on Saturday to take on Daniel Webster College at 1 p.m.

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