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Judges End Tough Season with a win on senior day

By Alex Bernstein

Section: Sports

March 2, 2012

After losing to the University of Chicago last Sunday, the Brandeis women’s basketball team defeated NYU on Saturday in their season finale, snapping a six-game losing streak. It was just the second game that the Judges had won since Dec. 31, a span that saw the team lose 12 of its final 14 games. The Judges ended the year with a record of 9-16 overall, and 2-12 in UAA play.
Last Sunday, Brandeis faced the second-ranked team in the nation—undefeated University of Chicago (25-0). The Maroons got off to a quick start in the game, in which they never trailed, taking a 14-0 lead early on. The game’s final score was 77-50.

The key statistic in this game was undoubtedly field goal percentage. The Judges shot only 31 percent on 19-of-60 shooting, while the Maroons shot a whopping 58 percent from the floor, going 29-for-50, including 11-for-17 from downtown. In addition to having less assists then the Maroons (24-10), the Judges were outscored in the paint by a total of 28-10.
Forward Shannon Hassan ’12 led the Judges with 12 points off the bench, going 5-for-10 from the field. Guard Diana Cincotta M.A. ’12 scored nine points, all on three-pointers, and guard Hannah Cain ’15 added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Cain explained some of the Judges’ problems with handling the undefeated Maroons.
“I think our biggest struggle was our execution on the offensive end,” Cain said. “We did a particularly good job on defense … but our shots weren’t falling on the other end. We weren’t aggressive enough on offense.”

Looking to end the season on a positive note, the Judges faced NYU Saturday night, in what was the last career game for several Brandeis players. The Judges were able to come out victorious, winning 62-55, despite turning the ball over nine more times than the Violets (16-7).
A big reason that the Judges won can be attributed to them out-shooting the Violets, especially from three-point range. While Brandeis went 5-for-13 shooting the three, NYU went just 5-of-28 from beyond the arc. The Judges also got to the line 12 more times than NYU, going 17-of-19 from the charity stripe, an excellent percentage.

“Before the game we talked about setting the tone and being the ones to hit first,” Cain said. “We set the tempo from the beginning and held our composure throughout the game, even when NYU went on a run. We were able to execute on offense and attack the paint. It was a total team effort and it was awesome to see everything finally fall into place.”

For the game, guard Morgan Kendew ’12 led the Judges with 21 points, including 13 points in the second half, in what was the final game of her Brandeis career. She went 6-for-9 from the field, including 3-of-5 from downtown, while making all six of her free-throws. Kendrew leaves Brandeis with 974 career points, putting her at number 10 on the Judges’ all-time scoring list. In addition, her .813 free-throw percentage is good for second all-time, and her 113 career three-pointers put her tied at third all-time. Forward Erika Higginbottom ’13 added 18 points, going 8-for-12 from the floor and coming down with nine boards.

When asked about the importance of ending the season on a high note, Cain emphasized the improvements that the Judges had made throughout the year, regardless of finishing the season with a losing record. “We worked hard all season and, despite our struggles, never made excuses or gave up. This win, especially on Senior Night, felt so good and I’m happy that we were able to come out on top for the seniors.”

Cain said the Judges hope to use the win as momentum heading into the off-season.
“Ending the season on a positive note gives us confidence heading into the off-season because now … we know that we’ve gotten better over the season. We’ve worked hard for the past six months and were able to beat a very respected team. But it can’t stop here—we’ll build off that win and continue to work in the off season.”

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