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Women’s basketball is 1-2 after tough losses

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Featured, Sports

November 22, 2013

The women’s basketball team had a rough start to the season, going 1-2. They defeated Mount Ida College on Friday but lost to Colby College on Saturday and Roger Williams University on Tuesday.

The team’s first two games of the season were part of the Brandeis Invitational Tip-Off Tourney. Mount Ida, Colby and Eastern Nazarene College also participated. The Judges easily defeated the Mount Ida Mustangs 74-39. Despite trailing 13-12 after eight minutes, the home team went on a 41-5 run and then a 27-3 streak to end the first half. The Mustangs were scoreless for nine consecutive minutes. The first half ended at 39-16.

Brandeis took the momentum into the second with a 14-2 run before leading 53-18. Forward Nicolina Vitale ’14 led the team with 19 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9-11 from the field. Guard Heather Cain ’16, a transfer student from Trinity College, also had eight rebounds. Guard Paris Hodges ’17 added 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Center Angela Miller ’14 had seven points, six rebounds–five of which came on offense–and four blocks. Mount Ida’s Jenn Rafuse had 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Angelique Martinez and Abbey Fedigan each added six rebounds.

The Judges played well overall but were particularly impressive on the court, out-rebounding the Mustangs 64-42. Five Judges had at least five boards. The Judges’ bench outscored the opponents’ reserves 28-4. Mount Ida Assistant Coach Morgan Kendrew is a 2012 Brandeis graduate who is one of the top 10 scorers for the program. Mount Ida is currently 0-3.

Brandeis followed this impressive performance up with a close 70-67 loss to Colby in the Tournament Championship Game. Brandeis had a 13-6 run in the first half to take an eight-point lead, but the Mules responded with a 20-4 roll that included four three-pointers to leave the half on top 33-25. Guard Niki Laskaris ’16 had nine points during the Judges’ streak. Early in the second half, Brandeis was down by nine but forced four turnovers on a full-court press to soon lead 41-40. The game was back and forth throughout the remainder. The home team led 55-51 with only six minutes left but was not able to maintain control as Colby scored eight straight. The Judges’ final lead of the night came with 2:57 left in the game. Colby made back-to-back threes to take the lead. Desi Smith and Jen Nale put the game away, making four free throws in the final minute. Guard Kasey Dean ’14 missed a last-second three-pointer.

Coming off of the bench, Laskaris had a career-high 21 points. Vitale had 15 points and 10 rebounds, eight of which came on offense. Hodges had 11 rebounds. Colby’s Smith, Nale, Mia Diplock and Caitlyn Nolan each scored double-digit points in the winning effort. Diplock led all with four assists. Gabe Donahue had 10 rebounds.

The Judges attempted many more shots but weren’t as efficient as the Mules. The teams were equal in rebounds, but Brandeis had better control of the ball, having 13 turnovers to Colby’s 20. Brandeis was the lone team of the tournament to have two members of the All-Tournament team, having Hodges and Vitale be recognized for their play. Colby’s Nale was voted MVP, average 18.5 points per game.

Brandeis Head Coach Carol Simon is a graduate of Colby College, having won the ECAC Division III Championship with them twice.

The Judges lost 65-53 to the Roger Williams Hawks. The Judges came back from a 10-point halftime deficit but could not fight Kaitlyn Bovee’s 32 points, shooting 9-14 from the field, making four three-points, 10 of 11 from the free throw line, and leading with 13 rebounds. The Judges were within two points, but the Hawks ended the half on a 15-7 to go ahead 33-23.

Brandeis reacted well to the deficit, beginning the second half on a 13-1 run to lead by two with 13:51 remaining. The Judges’ final lead came with 7:54 left in the game. Dean, the Judges’ captain, had 12 points on 60 percent shooting. Vitale added 10 points with three blocks. Mancinelli had eight rebounds, and Miller had seven.

Roger Williams is 2-0 before their Thursday game against Connecticut College. The 1-2 Judges have two remaining games this month. They face Tufts University at home on Saturday and head to Emmanuel College on Tuesday.

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