To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Women’s basketball honors three seniors, names two to All-UAA teams

In the waning moments of the fourth quarter on Senior Day, senior Hannah Nicholson ’20 grabbed an offensive rebound and nailed a turnaround jumper before checking out for the final time, her last act in her impressive collegiate career.

Nicholson scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Judges dropped their final game of the season 91-73 to New York University (NYU) on Saturday, Feb. 29. 

The Judges led 16-15 after the first quarter, and after first-year Emma Reavis’ ’23 lay-up with 5:18 remaining in the second quarter, trailed 25-24. The Violets responded by scoring the game’s next 10 points, and ended the quarter on a 16-4 run. The Judges opened the second half on a lay-up from Lauren Rubinstein ’20 to cut the deficit to 41-30, but it was the closest the Judges would get the rest of the way.

Rubinstein had a season-high 15 points, all of which came in the second half. She also hit a season-high three three-pointers. Junior Jillian Petrie ’21 added 12 points while Reavis scored 10 and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Violets, who earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament earlier this week, set a school record with 17 made three-pointers, six of which came in the second quarter. Janean Cuffee, the team’s and UAA leading scorer, tied a season-high as she knocked down six three-pointers en route to score a game-high 31 points.

In addition to honoring Nicholson before the game, the Judges honored Rubinstein and Julia St. Amand ’20. The three seniors were individually subbed out in the final minute of the game, each receiving a standing ovation from the fans and the Violets bench. 

St. Amand, who had a career-high nine points against the University of Chicago on Feb. 23, was first. “She’s tough. She makes the team accountable,” Judges’ Head Coach Carol Simon said. “She had a tremendous four years here,” she continued.

Nicholson was next, subbing out for Samira Abdelrehim ’21. Starting all 25 games, Nicholson had a career year, leading the UAA in rebounding, averaging over nine rebounds per game and finishing second in field goal percentage, shooting 53 percent. Nicholson ranks fifth all-time in Judges history in rebounds and seventh all-time in free throw percentage. 

Rubinstein followed, checking out for Sophie Trachtenberg ’21. “She’s the engine of the car that we run,” Simon said. Rubinstein, who sustained multiple knee injuries in her college career, played every game this season, starting the final 16. “Most kids would quit,” Simon said discussing Rubinstein’s injuries. “That proves what kind of kid she is. She was not going to let that stop her,” Simon added.

“They’re true team players. They’re all family-oriented,” Simon said regarding her three seniors. “When you get people like that, you’ve done a good job as a coach recruiting,” she continued. 

The Judges almost doubled their win total from last season with a record of 13-12, their first winning season since 2014-2015. The Judges nearly defeated top-ranked and undefeated Tufts University in November, falling 81-77. The Judges had several notable performances in conference play, knocking off 2018-2019 league champion Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) on the road and pushing 2019-2020 league champion University of Chicago into overtime.

The team also had two players receive all association honors from the UAA after their performances this season. Camila Casanueva ’21 was named to the All-UAA Second Team after leading the Judges in scoring 12.8 points per game, making her seventh in the UAA. She was also second on the team rebounds per game (6.1), coming in at eleventh in the conference, as well as leading the team in assists per game at 4.3, second in the UAA. From the free-throw line, Casanueva held an impressive 90 percent total, coming second in the conference and fifth out of all of Division III. This is Casanueva’s third season in a row to receive honors, after being named the conference’s Rookie of the Year as a first-year and being named to the Second Team as a sophomore. Nicholson was given honorable mention for her efforts, being the Judges’ second leading scorer with 11.4 points per game and totaling 9.1 rebounds per game to lead the whole conference. She also recorded 10 double-doubles this season to come in first in that category for the UAA. Nicholson graduates shooting 50 percent from the field and being Brandeis’ fifth highest rebounder of all time with 642 total.

As a team, Brandeis led all NCAA Division III teams in free-throw shooting percentage, coming in at 78.2 percent overall. The Judges will look to build off the progress they made this season, as they will return 12 players, including three starters. 

Editor’s note: Sophie Trachtenberg is The Hoot’s Sports Editor. Camila Casanueva is a staff member of The Hoot.

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