The Brandeis women’s basketball team trounced its regional rivals, Salem State University, 68-48 this past Tuesday evening. The victory brought the squad to the impressive record of 4-2, while Salem State remained winless at 0-5.

Judges 68, Salem State 48

In the first quarter, both teams battled admirably as the game went back and forth. While the squad would eventually finish the quarter on top, 16-14, it had difficulty stopping forward Kia Fernandes  of Salem State. Fernandes went on a tear during the period, scoring 11 points off of an unblemished 5-5 from the field. She dominated all aspects of the game, even recording two rebounds, as well as a block.

The Judges began to put their foot on the gas in the second quarter, outscoring Salem State by seven in the quarter. Forward Joelle MarkAnthony ’19 was dominant, scoring six points, which gave the team a nine-point lead as it went into the halftime break.

While Salem State competed for a tough 19 points in the third quarter, the Judges as a team shot the ball better, en route to putting up 21 for the quarter. The energy showed by Salem State disappeared in the fourth, as Brandeis put on some stifling defense that limited its opponents to just six points in the quarter. The game ended as a 20-point blowout.  

Efficient shooting and intense defense were the keys to the team’s victory on Tuesday. The Judges outshot Salem State 40.7 percent to 28.1 percent for the game as a whole. However, this strong statistic did not translate to the charity stripe, where the Judges shot just 61.5 percent. Salem State, however, was perfect from the line, going 9-9.

In addition to shooting and defense, the Judges were significantly bolstered by both their rebounding and strong bench play. On the glass, the team outrebounded Salem State by the large margin of 53-31. MarkAnthony was key in that statistic, gaining four offensive and five total rebounds in action. However, forward Jillian Petrie ’21 was the leader for the Judges on the boards, collecting 10 total boards in the contest. The double-digit mark was the first for Petrie in her young collegiate career, and was the highest by a player on either team in the game.

The squad’s bench scored a total of 30 points, 14 more than their opponents had. Guard Sarah Jaromin ’19 was a big reason for this, scoring 13 points, a new career-high for the junior. MarkAnthony also had 11 points for the team off of the bench.

The scoring leader for the young team on the night was guard Katie Goncalo ’20, who put up 18 points in one of the best games of her career. In addition to tying her career-high in points, Goncalo also hit two three-pointers, and had an impressive eight rebounds from a guard. She was also second on the team in minutes, playing 28 total, behind only Petrie’s 30.

For Salem State, Fernandes actually scored more points than Goncalo, with 19 points as the game’s leader. She shot an impressive 70 percent from the field on her way to a dominant offensive performance. Fernandes also had the most rebounds and blocks for her squad, with six and two, respectively.

Through six games, the Judges have gotten off to a fast start, posting a record of 4-2. Of the two losses, one was just by a mere point, and the other was to a Tufts University team that has long been a dominant force in the region.

Looking ahead, the team still has some important non-conference matchups as they look to gear up for the University Athletic Association conference schedule. 

The team’s next battle will be with Gordon College this Saturday at home, followed by a long three-week break at the end of the semester. When the squad returns, it will have two final New England games before the UAA season begins at New York University on Jan. 6. 

The team has been playing at a whole new level this year. Propelled by young talent, the Judges show no signs of stopping any time soon.