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Judges fail to capitalize on momentum as they drop both games

By Alex Bernstein

Section: Sports

February 10, 2012

The Brandeis women’s basketball team suffered two defeats during the weekend, losing 60-47 to Case Western Reserve on Friday and 65-56 to Carnegie Mellon on Sunday. Judge guard Morgan Kendrew ‘12 had a big weekend, scoring 21 points Friday and 18 points Sunday, but her performances were not enough for the Judges to get a W. The Judges are now 8-12 overall, including 1-8 in University Athletic Association play.

Brandeis started off Friday’s game well, taking a 13-9 lead early in the first half. During the next eight minutes, however, the Spartans would go on a 19-2 run. Kendrew’s big first half, which included nine points in the final four and a half minutes, was the reason that the Judges went into the locker room trailing by only seven. Kendrew scored 20 of her 21 points in the first half of Friday’s contest.

Guard Hannah Cain ’15 spoke after the game about what happened in the first half for the Judges. “At halftime, we talked about doing a better job of getting back in transition on defense,” Cain said. “We wanted to do a better job of getting the ball to the post and finishing in the paint.”

Eight minutes into the second half, Brandeis still trailed by seven with the score 39-32. The Judges would then go on an 11-1 run during the next three minutes, taking a 43-40 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the game. The Judges then went cold from the field, while the Spartans heated up. Brandeis shot 2-for-16 from the field for the remainder of the game, while being outscored 21-5. The final score was 60-47.

Kendrew finished the game shooting 9-for-18 from the floor, while adding three rebounds, a steal and a block. Forward Shannon Hassan ’12 came up with a huge game for the Judges, recording her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

Brandeis headed into Pittsburgh looking to improve its win streak against Carnegie Mellon to 21 straight games—but the Tartans would not let that happen, riding the back of forward Emily Peel, who would drop 33 points on the Judges.

Once again, the Judges started the game off well, taking a 9-4 advantage through the first five minutes. Carnegie Mellon fought back to take a 17-14 lead; the Judges trailed for the remainder of the game. The Tartans brought the lead to seven points at halftime, with a score of 28-21.

In the second half, the Tartans expanded their lead to take a 34-22 advantage. After trailing 41-33, Brandeis went on a 9-2 run, cutting the lead to only one point at 43-42 with seven minutes remaining in the game. The Tartans then went on a seven-point run to go up by eight with five and a half minutes remaining in the game, and went on to win 65-56.

Although the Judges outscored Carnegie Mellon 26-11 in second-chance points and 21-8 in points-off-the-bench, Carnegie Mellon held a huge advantage in field goal percentage (47 percent to 25 percent).

Kendrew, who finished with 18 points overall, scored 13 in the second half, while adding seven rebounds. Guard Kelly Ethier ’12 added six points and five rebounds off the bench. For the Tartans, Peel scored 33 points on an extremely efficient 14-of-16 shooting performance.

“[Peel] had a really good game, and there’s nothing we could do about it,” said Cain after the game. “We played hard for the entire weekend, and it’s a shame that we couldn’t come away with a victory. We didn’t lose because of lack of effort and these losses really hurt.”

Cain said that although the team is still having trouble winning games, the Judges’ play is at a much higher level than it was a couple of weeks ago.

“We’ve been playing a lot better as a team,” she said. “We’re doing a much better job of improving our passes and being smart by not forcing the ball.”

With five games left in the season, Cain mentioned the importance of practicing hard. “As a team, we’ve talked about working hard and pushing each other in practice. You don’t want to get down on yourself, so we’ve put our losses behind us and have just focused on learning from our mistakes.”

The Judges, who lost eight of their last nine games, hope to return to their winning ways when they visit the University of Rochester Friday at 6 p.m.

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