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Women’s basketball continues early success

With three seconds remaining in the third quarter on Friday, Camila Casanueva ‘22 created an offense. The senior guard scooped up a deflected pass, took three dribbles to her left and drilled a step-back three as the buzzer sounded, igniting the Brandeis bench and the crowd.

 

Casanueva and the Judges defeated Wheaton College 52-48 on Friday, Nov. 12 and Husson University 63-55 the following day to win the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament. Casanueva won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and junior guard Francesca Marchese ’23 was selected to the All-Tournament Team. 

The Judges defeated Emerson College 75-53 in their first road game on Tuesday. The Judges are now 4-0, the program’s best start since 2009-2010.

 

Friday, November 12: Brandeis 52 – Wheaton 48

Marchese scored 11 points, and the Judges held Wheaton to 28 percent shooting from the field en route to defeating the Lyons 52-48.

 

With 1:53 left in the fourth, Wheaton’s Greta Minos made a lay-up to cut the Judges’ lead to 49-48. Junior guard Tathiana Pierre ’23 was fouled and sank both free throws to give the Judges a 51-48 advantage with 1:33 remaining. The Lyons had one last chance with under 30 seconds to go but missed two potential game-tying 3-pointers. Junior Emma Reavis ’23 went one-of-two from the foul line to give the Judges a four-point lead with five seconds left, putting the game out of reach.

 

The Lyons led after the first quarter 20-18 and 25-20 with 7:14 remaining in the second quarter. The Judges responded by closing out the period on a 9-2 to head into the break with a 29-27 lead. With the score tied at 29-29 early in the third, the Judges went on a 9-0 run spanning over seven minutes. The run gave the Judges a 42-33 cushion entering the fourth. The Judges extended their lead to 11 early in the final period before Wheaton stormed back.

 

Casanueva scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds, while first-year Caitlin Gresko ’25 added nine points. The Judges’ bench was a key factor in the win. Sophomore Selenya Gonzalez ’24 scored nine points and first-year Mollie Obar ’25 had 10 boards and played outstanding on the defensive end, forcing several difficult shots.

 

Saturday, November 13: Brandeis 63 – Husson 55

Emma Reavis scored 10 points and added eight assists while Kerry Tanke ’22 had 10 points along with two blocks as the Judges defeated Husson, 63-55, to win the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament.

 

After Husson’s Maci Beals knocked down a 3-pointer to begin the second quarter; the Judges led 17-13. The Judges went on a 10-0 scoring run for the next six minutes, which included threes from Marchese and Casanueva. The Judges led at the half 28-16, a lead they never relinquished. Husson cut the lead to six points several times in the second half but never got any closer.

 

The Judges used a balanced attack as six players scored at least eight points. The trio of Tanke, Reavis and Gresko led the way with 10 points apiece. Marchese and Obar each hit two 3-pointers and had eight points. Casanueva scored eight points to go along with four assists and six rebounds.

 

The Judges were disruptive on the defensive end in the first half, limiting the Eagles to just 6-of-34 (17.6 percent) from the floor. The Judges tallied six steals for the half, resulting in several easy buckets in transition. The Judges limited Husson center Bailey Donovan to just ten points for the game after Donovan scored 25 points against Connecticut College the night before.

 

Husson’s offense came alive in the second half, due in large part to their 3-point shooting. Husson guards Sydney Allen and Vanessa Duarte combined for seven 3-pointers in the second and totaled 25 points. The duo led the game, each scoring 17 points. As a team, the Eagles shot 9-of-23 from beyond the arc in the second half.

 

The Judges controlled the interior, outscoring the Eagles on points in the paint 17-11. For the game, the Judges outrebounded the Eagles 47-45. Reavis’ eight assists tied a career-high she set against Carnegie Mellon in 2020. Reavis and Casanueva each had a game-high three steals. 

 

Tuesday, November 16: Brandeis 75 – Emerson 53

Tanke tied her career-best with 15 points and Christina Bacon ’24 added up to 12 points off the bench as the Judges rolled past Emerson 75-53.

 

Trailing 3-2 in with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter, the Judges went on a quick 9-2 run, which included two lay-ups from Bacon. The Judges led the rest of the way, with the Lions getting no closer than seven points.

 

The Judges put the nail in the coffin in the second quarter. Leading 25-18 with 9:50 left in the second quarter, the Judges scored the game’s following 15 points and held the Lions scoreless for over seven minutes. Bacon and Reavis combined for 14 of the Judges’ 22 points in the period. The Judges went into the half on top 44-27.

 

The Judges set season-highs in field goal percentage at 43 percent, 3-point percentage at 40 percent and free-throw percentage at 75 percent. Gresko scored 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting, including 2-of-2 on threes. Reavis scored 11 points and added a team-high six rebounds. 

 

Casanueva led the game with four assists, which moves her into sixth all-time in team history. Casanueva also moved into sole possession of third place on the Judges’ all-time 3-pointers made after knocking down two more.

 

The Judges’ defense was effective again, forcing 18 Lion turnovers. The Judges converted those turnovers in 23 points and outscored the Lions in the paint 30-14. 

 

The Judges will face their toughest test of the season when they visit number seven Tufts this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Editor’s note: Francesca Marchese ’23 is a staff writer for The Hoot and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

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