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Basketball starts in-conference portion of 2023-24 season

Kicking off the new year, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have already played four games in 2024. Three of the four opponents each team faced were fellow University Athletic Association (UAA) Conference teams. These were the first in-conference games of the 2023-2024 basketball season. The men’s team started with a game against Regis College while the women faced Clark University. After these first games, both teams traveled to New York City to face the New York University (NYU) Violets. Following that, the teams were on the road again in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to face the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Tartans. For their final game of this away game stretch, the Judges traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to play the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Spartans.

Beginning with the men’s game recaps, they collected two wins and two losses. Having won a game against an in-conference team was an encouraging outcome for the Judges. 

In their first game of 2024, against Regis College, the Judges came out strong with a 12-2 run within the first five minutes and maintained that dominance throughout the game. Though the Judges’ lead narrowed to just four points during the first half, key plays from Jake Bender ’26 and David Perez-Miralles ’24 helped to re-establish the double-digit lead. The Judges then came out aggressively once more to get the second half started as they earned a 7-2 run. The Regis Pride rallied a bit as the game came to a close. The score differential was a mere four points once again, though the Judges were able to capture the win off of six field-goals from four different players to conclude the game with a 76-69 win over the Pride. This was the final non-conference game of the season for the men’s basketball team. 

To start off their UAA-conference portion of their season, the men’s team lost in a hard-fought battle against the sixth-ranked NYU Violets. The game started off with a tied score on three different occasions, resulting in four lead changes. Though the score was 18-16 with nine minutes to go, the Judges failed to maintain this lead and subsequently trailed for the remainder of the game. A foul called on the Judges allowed the Violets a timeout and ample time to regain their footing before finishing the first half with a 25-10 run. Despite the 70-52 loss, Bender had another great game, scoring a career-high 17 points. 

In their second of three away games in a row, the Judges collected their first in-conference win against Carnegie Mellon University. Though the game started off relatively slowly, including five lead changes, the Judges had a 20-5 run against the Tartans to establish their dominance. The half concluded with CMU halving the lead from 16 to eight. The second half started with a jumper from Aedan Using ’24 that re-established the Judges’ double-digit lead, which never fell below 10 points for the remainder of the game. The final score was 78-61. Making major plays to help the Judges win this game was Gilbert Otoo ’25, who had his first 20-point game and first double-double with 10 rebounds as well. 

In their final game of this recap, the men’s basketball team lost against the fifth-ranked Case Western Reserve University Spartans. Despite losing the game, the Judges had an impressive performance against such a talented opposing team. They had a successful first half, out-scoring the Spartans 42-3, shooting 69% from the field and 71% beyond the arc. This dominance would not have been possible without Ethan Edwards ’26 and Ryan Power ’24 scoring 12 and eight points respectively. The second half had another promising start after a three-pointer from Power extended the Judges’ lead to 14, though this lead soon came to an end. The Spartans fought their way back into contention through a few strong runs against the Judges. With only 2:29 remaining in the game, the score was 73-72 with Brandeis trailing. With 5.4 seconds left in the game, the Judges had a chance with a buzzer-beater shot by Otoo; however, he was just off the mark, giving CWRU the 77-76 win. 

Moving on to the women, they were not as successful as the men, though they did have some impressive battles during their first four games of 2024. 

Coming back from winter break, the women’s basketball team played their first game of the season on Jan. 2 against Clark University. The game was evenly matched throughout the first three periods with 11 ties and seven lead changes, though the Clark Cougars were able to pull away in the fourth quarter. The Judges ultimately gave up their lead as they missed eight of their first nine attempts at shooting. With 2:02 remaining, Lulu Ohm ’25 and Brooke Reed ’25 made shots to narrow Clark’s lead to three, though the opponents hit 11 of their last 12 free throws to put the game away. The game concluded with a score of 84-72 over the Judges. 

In their first UAA game of the season, the women’s team lost in their game against top-ranked NYU. The game started off with a successful three-pointer by Lulu Ohm ’25, though the Violets scored 18 of the next 20 points and ultimately never looked back. Their dominance and proof as to why they are ranked first in Division III women’s basketball was clear when they won 103-52 over the Judges. Though this was a disappointing loss for the Judges, they were able to out-shoot the Violets in the final quarter, 19-17. The only Judge who scored in the double-digits during this game was Caitlin Gresko ’25 with 11 points in her first game back from an ankle injury. Leading in rebounds for the Judges was Brooke Reed ’25 with 10 in her third career game. 

In their second UAA game of this recap, the Judges faced the CMU Tartans. Though the Judges led after the first quarter, the Tartans’ 19 points that went unanswered by the Judges allowed them to capture the lead and refrain from looking back again. After that impressive run by the Tartans, the Judges closed the lead to 11 going into the half trailing 34-23. Though the Judges tried to claw their way back into contention for the win, they were unsuccessful as the Tartans out-shot them in the second half and won 73-54. 

Rounding out this recap, the women’s basketball team played their most recent game against the CWRU Spartans on Jan. 14. The first quarter started off with an early 12-5 lead for the Spartans, but the Judges were able to close the gap after a 13-4 run. The quarter ended with an 18-18 tie. Though the Judges had promising momentum in the first, the following two quarters consisted of single-digit scores against the Spartans. The Judges were able to have a successful fourth quarter, though, as they outshot the opponents 18-11. However, this was not enough for the Judges to win and they subsequently lost 64-53 against CWRU. 

Looking ahead, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be hosting the University of Chicago Maroons on Jan. 19 in their UAA home-opener games.

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