Since our last publication, the men’s and women’s basketball teams have played the Emory University Eagles and the University of Rochester (URochester) Yellowjackets twice each. The first set of games were hosted in Waltham at the Auerbach Arena, and the second set were on the road, first in Atlanta, Georgia and then Rochester, New York. The women’s team lost all four of their games, while the men’s team won both of their away games.
Starting with the women, their game against the Emory Eagles was dominated by their opponents for all but one of the game’s quarters. The Eagles extended their lead to 17 points before going into halftime. After the break, the Eagles extended their lead to a maximum of 33 points as they headed into the final period. This was when the Judges stepped up their aggression and ended up out-scoring the Eagles 23-18 in the final quarter due to eight points by Caitlin Gresko ’25 in the frame, and a team-high of 11 points on the game. The final score of the game resulted in the Emory Eagles winning 81-57 over our Brandeis Judges.
Later the same evening, the men’s basketball team hosted Emory in their own game and also fell to the dominant play the Eagles brought North with them. The Judges were out-scored 34-23 in the first half, but put up a strong fight in the second half only scoring two points shy of the Eagle’s 44. The Judges were playing this game without Jake Bender ’26 nor Ryan Power ’24 who faced an injury late in the first half. Around the time Power went down, the Judges had a 10-0 run which was encouraging. Despite their efforts to close the Eagles’ lead, the Judges could not catch them and ultimately lost 78-65.
Two days later, the men’s game was played first, followed by the women.
This time, hosting the URochester Yellowjackets, the men’s basketball team played in an evenly played game. The Judges did not take their first lead until late into the second half, though there were many lead changes to follow. The following run took the Judges into the locker room only trailing by four points, the Yellowjackets leading 33-29. Though the Judges closed the URochester lead to just two points with 3:10 on the clock, they were not successful in putting together a winning performance in this game. Though they lost 61-51, Ethan Edwards ’26 had a successful day scoring a season-high 23 points for his team.
In the final home game of this recap, the women’s basketball team hosted the URochester Yellowjackets in another close game. The game was relatively close in score for the majority of the game, though 12 unanswered points to close out the first half were what set the Yellowjackets ahead of the Judges. Then, with an aggressive start to the third quarter, the Yellowjackets extended their lead to 44-31 over the Judges and never looked back. The game ended with the Yellowjackets on top, 78-60 against the Judges. Despite the loss, Francesca Marchese (GRAD) had a successful game with three 3-pointers and Gresko was the team-high scorer with 10 points.
Starting off their weekend of travel, the women’s team kicked off the weekend with their game against the Emory Eagles on February 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. Similar to their home game against the Eagles, the Judges fell to the #12 ranked Emory Eagles. This time, the Judges never led, and let the Eagles’ lead extend to nearly 30 points during the final stanza.
With a more exciting outcome, the men’s game followed the women’s. The Judges came out strong, winning the first half 35-29 over the #24-ranked Eagles. After their strong first half, the Judges opened the second half with a successful 19-8 run. Though, the Judges could only keep the Eagles at arms-length as they closed the score differential to a mere one point. Following this, the teams went eight-straight possessions without seeing any points scored. The Eagles had a chance to come away with a tie in the final 3.5 seconds of the contest, yet came out unsuccessful, leaving the Judges on top with a 71-69 upset.
In their second-straight win on the road, the men’s basketball team produced another nail-biter win against the URochester Yellowjackets. Having five games left to play this season, the Judges have already surpassed their win total from last season. Even more impressive was how the Judges overcame a 20-point second-half deficit. Having lost the second half 31-45 to the Yellowjackets, the Judges bounced back to win the second half 44-27, and came away with a 75-72 win over URochester. Team-high point scorers were Sam Adusei ’24 and Jake Bender ’24, each with 15 points for the day.
For the final game of this recap, the women’s team played against the Yellowjackets, following the men’s exciting win. The Judges came out to a strong start in the first quarter as they concluded play with a 20-20 tie. Gresko helped the Judges establish this aggressive play, having scored seven points in the first period. Despite their strong first quarter, the Judges were not able to stay in touch with the score as the Yellowjackets pulled away with their lead. The game concluded with the Judges losing another University Athletic Association game, 83-51 to the URochester Yellowjackets.
Looking ahead, the Judges will be hosting the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans on Friday, Feb. 9th, and the Case Western Reserve University on Sunday, Feb. 11th.