With under two minutes remaining in the second quarter, senior guard Camila Casanueva ’22 had the ball in the right corner. She took a jab step, sending her defender back several feet and proceeded to hit a three, sending the packed house at Red Auerbach Arena into a frenzy.
Casanueva, the team’s leading scorer from 2019-2020, picked up right where she left off two years ago, tying a single-game school record with seven threes as the Judges went to a 77-55 win against UMass Boston in the team’s season opener on Monday.
Leading 33-24 with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter, the Judges used a 13-0 scoring run to close out the half. Casanueva was at the center of it, knocking down three consecutive three-pointers. The Judges went into the half leading 46-24. UMass Boston would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Casanueva continued to pour it on in the third quarter. Leading 54-36 with 2:54 remaining in the quarter, Casanueva scored the Judges’ following eight points. Casanueva capped off the quarter by assisting freshman Mollie Obar on a three as the buzzer sounded, giving the Judges a 67-40 lead heading into the final period. For the quarter, Casanueva had 11 points, going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Casanueva finished the game with 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Her performance was her fourth career game with at least 25 points. Her seven made threes ties Jessica Chapin ’10, who accomplished the feat against Carnegie Mellon in 2010.
The Judges’ played stifling defense, forcing 20 turnovers, which led to 22 points. The Judges shot 35 percent on threes and held the Beacons to just 16 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Selenya Gonzalez ’24 had a game-high with two steals.
With several injuries, a key question heading into the season for the Judges revolved around their depth in the frontcourt. Freshman Caitlin Gresko ’25 and senior Kerry Tanke ’22 proved the Judges are just fine. Gresko, making her first collegiate appearance, scored ten points which included two threes. Tanke scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-13 from the field to go along with eight rebounds.
The Judges controlled the glass, out rebounding the Beacons 46-35 and 16-6 on offensive rebounds. The Judges’ success on the offensive glass paid off, as the team outscored the Beacons 16-2 on second-chance points.
On offense, the Judges looked fluid, moving the ball and getting quality shots. The Judges tallied 16 assists, six of which came from junior Emma Reavis ’23. Reavis also scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds.
The Brandeis bench provided a much-needed boost, outscoring the Beacons’ bench 17-8. The Judges’ deep rotation enabled them to play at a fast pace. The Beacons, who came into the game with just nine active players, couldn’t keep up with the Judges’ speed.
The Judges will look to build off their strong showing on Friday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. when they face Wheaton College in the first round of the Brandeis Invitational Tip-Off Tournament.