To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Basketball teams conclude seasons with two progam records

Since our last basketball recap, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have concluded their 2023-24 season. Each team concluded the season with five games against fellow University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents. 

To start, the Judges hosted the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Tartans on Friday, Feb. 9.  

On the women’s side, the game was a hard fought battle that came down to the wire. The Tartans had a stronger start in the first period as they scored 21 points against the Judges’ 16. As each team scored 14 points in the second period, the Tartans went into halftime with their fivepoint lead preserved. After the half, the Tartans seemed to have thrown in the towel and captured the win, though the Judges did not go down without a fight. Despite the Tartans going 10 for 13 from the field in the third period, the Judges began to close in on them. This effort to claw their way back into the game was kickstarted by a bucket from Abby Kennedy ’26 with two seconds remaining in the third. The fourth was composed of many crucial plays by the Judges which resulted in them scoring 26 points in the fourth period, which was double the points the Tartans scored. Able to string together several successful scoring opportunities, the Judges were able to win the game 72-70 against the CMU Tartans. This was the first in-conference win of the season for the women’s basketball team.

That same evening, the men’s basketball team also took on the Tartans. This game was another tough battle, though the Judges were not successful in the way the women’s team was. Though the Judges had a ten-point lead over the Tartans going into halftime, they were not able to maintain this lead through the second half of the game. After the break, visiting CMU scored the first seven points of the half, which set the tone of what the remainder of the game would look like. With one of the CMU players scoring all 25 of his points scored during the second 20 minutes of the game, he led the Tartans to claim the lead and maintain the same aggression for the rest of the game. The Judges stayed in it, but ultimately lost 77-80 against the CMU Tartans. 

Later the same weekend, the Judges hosted another two games, this time against the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Spartans. Even with Lulu Ohm ’25 scoring a career-high of 18 points during this game, the Judges were still unable to outscore the Spartans. The game started off which allowed the Judges to out-score the Spartans 16-14. However, the middle two periods were when the Spartans opened up their lead and never looked back. Interestingly, the Judges also out-scored the Spartans in the final period of the game, though that effort was not enough for them to capture the win. Though the Judges closed the scoring margin to only seven points, they ultimately lost to the Spartans, 64-71. 

On the men’s side of things, they started off the game strong but ended up fading in the second half. If they were able to have maintained their momentum, they could have won this game, though the Spartans played the grittier game which allowed them to win 78-70 against the Judges. 

The following weekend, the Judges were on the road for the final time this season. Their first game of this trip was in Chicago against the University of Chicago (UChicago) Maroons. 

On the women’s side, the game was evely matched at the start with each team playing defensively. This resulted in the game being low-scoring. However, the Judges were unable to stay in the game during the second half. Despite the Judges out-scoring the Maroons in the final period, this effort was a day late and a dollar too short. As the Judges could not make their way back within touch with the lead, they lost to UChicago in a score of 51-63. 

In the men’s game, they were able to meet with significantly more success as they won 76-71 against the UChicago Maroons. With Jake Bender ’26 leading the Judges with his career-high 27 points in the game, the Judges maintained their momentum throughout the entire game. Though the Maroons out-scored the Judges by two in the first half, along with achieving an eight-point lead, the Judges fought back with several key plays from Bender ’26 and Ryan Power ’24. With this successful game, especially by Bender ’26, this was the highest number of points any Judge has scored this season during one game. This game was crucial in displaying that if the Judges could maintain their momentum in all of their games, they could provide themselves with opportunities to win consistently. 

In the final away games of the season for both the men’s and women’s teams, they were in St. Louis to face the Washington University (WashU) Bears. 

On the women’s side, there was some hope in the beginning of the game that the Judges would stay in it as they only trailed by four points by the end of the first period. However, the Bears began to really extend their lead in the second period and never looked back. The Judges lost in this tough game, 30-77 against the WashU Bears. Though this was not the outcome the Judges were seeking, there was some excitement as Katherine Vaughan ’26 set a new school record for number of blocked shots in a single season. 

In the men’s game against the WashU Bears, the score was significantly closer. The Judges were out-scored in the first half, though they were able to come back in the second and out-score the Bears. Though this was a solid effort by the Judges, they still came up three points shy of the lead in the end. The final score was 56-53 over the Judges. 

In the final weekend of play for the Judges, they hosted the nationally-ranked New York University (NYU) Violets in two home games. 

For the women, the NYU Violets captured a decisive lead early on in the game and ran with it. Though the Judges lost 81-45, there were still some impressive outcomes from this game. On her senior day, Francesca Marchese (GRAD) set a new school record for career 3-pointers, with 171 in her history as a Judge. Selenya Gonzalez ’24 was also honored before the game as she is also a senior this season, though she was unable to play due to injury. 

In the men’s game against the Violets, they played an impressive game against the nationally-ranked opponent; the final score of 74-68 displays this. Though the Judges still lost, they had a gritty second half worth of trying to claw their way back into the game. As it was also senior day for the men’s team, Sam Adusei ’24, Aedan Using ’24, Ryan Power ’24 and David Perez-Miralles ’24 were honored for their careers as Judges prior to the game. 

Reflecting back on the season, each team had impressive games and key plays all around. The UAA Conference is one of the most competitive in all of Division III Athletics. The Judges should be proud of the way they held their ground. The women’s final records for the season were 5-20 overall, and 1-13 in the UAA; the men’s final records for the season were 14-11 overall, and 5-9 in the UAA.

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