Women’s basketball looks to finish UAA play strong

February 28, 2020

Seeking to avenge the Judges’ loss against Case Western Research University (CWRU) one week prior, Courtney Thrun ’21 had a career night and Camila Casanueva ’21 made eight straight foul shots to close the fourth quarter as the Judges clinched a winning regular season for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. 

The Judges defeated the Spartans 80-71 on Feb. 7. Thrun set career highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, while Casanueva added 16 points, 10 of which came in the final period. Casanueva grabbed nine rebounds and dished out a game-high 10 assists.

Leading 36-30 at the half, the Judges opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run. The Judges would extend their lead to the largest of the game at 56-38 following a Thrun three-pointer with 3:11 remaining in the third. The Spartans never got within seven points the rest of the game.

The Judges shot 53 percent in the third quarter, as they outscored Case Western 24-17. Senior Hannah Nicholson ’20 scored nine of her 13 points in the period, while Jillian Petrie ’21 added six points. 

After allowing the Spartans to shoot 44 percent in their first matchup on Jan. 31, the Judges’ defense stifled the Spartans, who shot just 33 percent on 23-of-69 shooting. The Judges also dominated the glass, out rebounding the Spartans 52-38. 

First-year sharpshooter Francesca Marchese ’23 had a game-high with three three-pointers. Thrun tied a game-high with two steals as well.

Carnegie Mellon 70–Judges 56

Carnegie Mellon went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter and raced out to a 22-13 lead. The Tartans did not trail at any point in the game as the Judges never got closer than nine points following the first quarter.

Casanueva paced the Judges with a team-high 17 points, which included three three-pointers, to go along with five rebounds. Petrie added 12 and first-year Emma Reavis ’23 scored 10 points. 

The Tartans scored the game’s first eight points on the way to opening the game on a 16-4 run. The Tartans went 8-of-15 from the floor in the first period. Of the eight field goals made in the quarter the Tartans assisted on six of them.

The Tartans controlled inside, out rebounding the Judges 46-33 and outscoring the Judges in the paint 36-18. The Judges’ bench, which has been a valuable asset for Coach Carol Simon all season, managed just 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting.

Rochester 85–Judges 71

Rochester shot 12-of-13 from the foul line and knocked down three critical three-pointers as they outscored the Judges 27-16 in the fourth quarter, preventing the Judges from completing the season sweep. 

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Judges trailed the Yellowjackets 58-55. Rochester opened the quarter with consecutive threes. The Judges battled back, cutting the deficit to four after veteran guard Lauren Rubinstein ’20 drilled a three with 7:02 remaining in the quarter. The Yellowjackets responded by scoring 12 of the game’s next 16 points to put the contest out of reach, capped off by a jumper to push their lead to 76-64 with 2:46 left in the game. 

Nicholson led the Judges with 16 points and corralled seven rebounds. Casanueva had a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while also recording a game-high seven assists. Rubinstein scored 10 points to go along with five assists, which tied a season high. 

The Yellowjackets knocked down 12 three-pointers in the game and shot 44 percent from the floor. The Judges, who average 18 free throw attempts per game and lead the University Athletic Association (UAA) in free throw percentage managed just nine free throws. 

Emory 58–Judges 57

Marchese’s three-point attempt to win the game was no good, as the Eagles staved off the Judges’ double-digit fourth quarter comeback.

Down 50-40 to begin the fourth quarter, the Judges trailed 56-48 with 4:15 to go. The Judges went on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 56-55. Emory knocked down a pair of free throws with 57 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Thrun made a lay-up off an assist from Casanueva, cutting the deficit to 58-57 and presenting Coach Simon with an interesting dilemma: Should the Judges foul the Eagles or risk trying to get a stop and have one last chance?

Coach Simon elected to trust her defense, which paid off, as the Judges rebounded the Eagles’ missed shot and called timeout with one second remaining. Marchese, who hit two three-pointers in the fourth quarter, had a look from the corner, but the Eagles defended her shot well.

Rubinstein had a team-high 12 points, while Reavis and Nicholson scored 11 and nine points, respectively. Nicholson, who is the leading rebounder in the UAA, tied a game-high with 12 rebounds. Thrun scored 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the final period. 

WashU 72–Judges 60

Trailing by 18 points twice in the first quarter, Washington University at St. Louis (WashU) used two huge scoring runs in the second and third quarters to pull ahead of the Judges, as the defending UAA champions avenged their home loss to the Judges in January.

The Judges opened the game on a 20-2 scoring run, as they shot 11-of-16 from the field and 5-of-8 on threes in the first quarter and sprinted out to a 27-11 advantage after the first. Nicholson’s layup to begin the second quarter put the Judges up by 18 again. The Bears went on an 18-2 scoring over the next eight minutes, cutting the Judges’ lead to 31-29 before the Judges scored the final four points in the quarter. 

The Bears opened the third quarter on a 19-4 scoring run and outscored Brandeis 21-8 in the quarter. The lead never got lower than six the rest of the game. 

Nicholson recorded her ninth double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Casanueva had a game-high three steals and Marchese knocked down a trio of three-pointers.

The Bears outrebounded the Judges 45-32, including 14 on the offensive end, which they converted into 15 second-chance points. Following the first quarter, the Judges shot just 12-for-48 from the field and 1-for-21 from beyond the arc. 

UChicago 73–Judges 45

The Maroons clinched the UAA title and an NCAA postseason berth in a game that featured few highlights for the Judges. The Maroons led 44-20 at halftime and didn’t ease their guard, extending the lead to as much as 36 at one point in the second half.

The Judges, who pushed the Maroons into overtime in their 68-60 loss in Chicago on Jan. 26, could not find any rhythm offensively. The Judges shot 25 percent from the floor, their lowest of the season. The Maroons’ defense suffocated the Judges, totaling 15 steals. 

Julia St. Amand ’20 was the lone bright spot for the Judges as she set a career-high with nine points, knocking down three three-pointers. 

The Judges are now 13-11 and 3-10 in the UAA. They will look to end their regular season on a high note as they host New York University on Senior Day at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Editor’s note: Courtney Thrun, Camila Casanueva and Francesca Marchese are staff members of The Hoot. Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg is also a member of the women’s basketball team.

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