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Women’s basketball breaks three-game losing streak

By Dani Chasin

Section: Sports

December 7, 2012

Bringing their overall record to 3-4, the women’s basketball team split their past two games against Daniel Webster College and UMass Dartmouth. The win against Daniel Webster last Saturday relieved the Judges of a three-game losing streak and the match-up against UMass Dartmouth on Monday was so closely contested that it ended in a 50-49 defeat.

Coach Carol Simon described the team’s performance so far this season as inconsistent, explaining the shift in play after the Thanksgiving break.

“After Thanksgiving, we have hit a little bump in the road and are trying to get back to where we were before the holiday,” Simon said. “The things we need to improve on are valuing the basketball, taking care of the ball and not turning the ball over as much as we have. Our expectations are that we work hard each day and get better every day.”

Against Daniel Webster on Saturday, the Judges proved to be back on track as they came out with a huge win, with their overall field-goal percentage at 42.4 percent, compared to the Eagles’ 37.7 percent.

Early baskets made by the Judges enabled them to dominate the first half with 40 points, allowing only 16 points from the Eagles. By the 12th minute, the Judges already held the lead 11-2 and continued their offensive rally for the rest of the period.

While nearly doubling the number of points scored in the first half, the second half of the game saw a more aggressive Daniel Webster team try to catch up to Brandeis. The Judges, who added 31 more points in the second period, finished the game with a score of 71-53, which is a significant scoring improvement from their past games this season where they couldn’t break 52 points.

The Judges’ starters, alone, contributed 49 of the 71 points. Junior guard Kasey Dean, the leading scorer for the team, recorded a career-high 13 points. Both senior forward Erika Higginbottom and sophomore guard Hannah Cain tallied 12 points each. Rookie guard Samantha Mancinelli ’15 added nine points and Samantha Anderson ’13 tallied three points after scoring a layup and nailing a free throw.

Dean, team captain and top scorer in both games, credits the consistency in her offensive game to her team’s improvement in making plays and moving the ball.

“During the past games I have been able to score more because it has been easier to get in rhythm with the game and the team,” the Connecticut native said. “They are more confident in me and my abilities—and so am I—so it works out nicely.”

She also added that the nail-biting score in the UMass Dartmouth game barely reflected the Judges’ actual performance.

“In the past two games I have been very proud of my team [and] the last game could have gone either way. There was a point where we were down and could have given up but that did not happen. Everyone has done a great job battling every game regardless of the score,” Dean said.

In the game against the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs, the Judges shot 36.8 percent overall, while holding their opponents at 31.7 percent. Finishing the first half in the lead at 20-18, the Judges added 29 points in the second half as UMass Dartmouth gained 32. Until the very last minute, the Judges managed to take the lead at 49-48 and then fell to the Corsairs with five seconds left as one of their players made a jump shot to end the game 49-50.

Dean led the way in scoring for the Judges with 12 points, while Cain tallied seven and guard Janelle Rodriguez ’14 gained six. Both Cain and Anderson dominated in rebounds, contributing seven each.

Although the season has seen a rocky start, the Judges hope to have found their footing as they go back to basics and make sure every player is on the same page.

“A key to our future success is in small simple things that we need to continue to work on,” Dean said.

In order to keep the momentum rolling, the captain says the team needs to unify toward a common goal.

“My role on this team has changed as the team has changed and as I have learned and gotten older. Everyone on the team has a role and our success depends on how well everyone completes their role,” she said.

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