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Judges drop two more games as skid grows to six games

By Dani Chasin

Section: Sports, Top Stories

January 31, 2013

On their second UAA road trip this past weekend, the Brandeis women’s basketball team fell to two top teams, Emory and Rochester. Scoring the season’s lowest output, 28 points, for a second game in a row against Emory, the Judges managed final scores of 28-59 in the first game and 72-58 against Rochester. The team now holds a season record of 7-11 and a conference record of 1-6.

Head Coach Carol Simon, member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and Brandeis coach for 26 seasons, states that the two teams the Judges played this weekend were not only top teams in the conference, but also top teams in the entire nation. When asked what was missing from her team’s performances when they faced the tough competition, she answered, “Consistency on both ends of the court. Against Emory we needed to shoot better. Against Rochester we needed to defend better.”

It was even speculated that perhaps the back-to-back travel weekends could have affected the team’s performance and mindset in both games. Starter guard Kasey Dean ’14 assures that her team is always ready to rise to a challenge even if the outcome does not go in their favor.

“This past weekend was going to be hard regardless of who we played. It is a lot to do back-to-back travel trips, but I was surprised by the positive team attitude. We are as good as any team and we proved that this Sunday against Rochester, we just have to play a full 40 minutes and we can beat anyone,” Dean said.

In the game against Emory, the number one team in the UAA with a record of 16-2, the Judges shot just 17 percent while the Eagles shot 40 percent. By halftime, the Eagles had already more than double the Judges’ score at 12-32, though the Judges improved their shooting in the second half by adding 16 points and the Eagles decreased their output with 27 points to add to the final score of 28-59.

The game against the Eagles started with the Emory team sinking the first layup and the Judges responding on offense with an exciting 3-point field goal by guard Janelle Rodriguez ’14 off an assist by point guard Hannah Cain ’15. After that play, however, the Judges struggled to regroup on offense and the Eagles flew into scoring mode and quickly nailed three more baskets to bring the score to 3-10 in the 14th minute.

At the end of the first half, Rodriguez scored all of the Judges’ points except for a free throw by Cain and a layup by forward Samantha Anderson ’13. Although the Judges didn’t have some key players in the game due to illness, Rodriguez, the 5’9” guard from Peabody, M.A., stepped up for the Judges and scored a career-high 14 points for the Judges and managed a team-high four steals. Altogether, the Judges forced 21 turnovers on the Eagles’ end.

Against the Rochester Yellowjackets, the second ranked team in the UAA with a record of 14-4, the Judges were able to nail more shots on offense and match their score of 28 points in the past two games at the end of the first half alone. Gaining 30 points in the second half, the Judges managed to stay in close range of the Yellowjackets who scored 36 points in the first and second halves. The final score of the game was 58-72.

The game started for the Judges with another exhilarating 3-point jump shot that was nailed this time by Anderson a minute into the game. After trading shots for the first seven minutes with a score of 7-7, the Judges went into offensive mode after a 3-point jumper by Rodriguez. Maintaining the lead with six minutes left in the half, the Judges lost their grip as the Yellowjackets got a few extra shots, which left them in the lead until the buzzer sounded and the score steadied at 28-36.

At the start of the second half, Cain nailed the first seven points for the Judges, sinking one layup, one 3-point jumper and one jump shot. The Yellowjackets continued to press hard on offense and the Judges were unable to hold a solid defense. Although the Judges continued to score as well until the end, they gave up 17 turnovers and were only able to force 15 on the Yellowjackets, leaving them with a final score of 58-72.

Three players broke double digits for the Judges: both Cain and Rodriguez recorded 12 points and Dean scored a team-high 14 points. Both Anderson and forward Erica Higginbottom ’13 nailed six points, while Cain recorded the team’s highest rebounds with six and steals with five. Compared to the previous game against the Eagles, the Judges shot 39 percent from the field and the Yellowjackets recorded 46 percent.

Much to their delight, the Judges are getting their opportunity for revenge against Emory and Rochester as they prepare to face them again this upcoming weekend. Dean admits that she and her team are ready for whatever comes their way. She even stated, “We’re looking forward to this weekend because it is not often you lost to a team and then have the opportunity to play them the following week. It just makes the loss and the game more fresh in our minds.”

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