Women's Basketball: Pair of losses may be insurmountable
The women’s basketball team struggled mightily this past week with a pair of losses to University Athletic Association conference opponents. The squad lost by 36 points on Friday at home against Washington University in St. Louis and by 25 on Sunday at home against the University of Chicago.
Judges 56, Chicago 81
Brandeis lost its second game of the week against the University of Chicago by a score of 81-56. This was the second time the two teams have matched up this season, and the Maroons topped the Judges in both games.
Guard Katherine Puda ’21 led the way for the Judges offensively with 11 points off the bench. She shot an impressive 2-3 from behind the arc as well as a solid 5-6 from the line. Guards Katie Goncalo ’20 and Camila Casanueva ’21 and forward Hannah Nicholson ’20 all made key contributions on offense; the three also combined for a total of 29 points. Nicholson was a monster down low with eight boards for the game, while Goncalo and Casanueva brought down four and two rebounds, respectively. Casanueva also recorded five assists on the day, contributing to the unselfish play of the team.
Guard Eva Hart ’18 filled up the stat sheet on defense for the Judges. The versatile guard easily led the game with an astonishing six steals, consistently helping to get the ball back in the Judges’ possession. Hart also hauled down five rebounds and had a pair of assists.
This game really came down to shooting and capitalizing on turnovers. The Maroons outshot the Judges 48.4 percent to 31.5 percent from the field and made twice as many three-pointers (eight versus four). Furthermore, while both teams committed 20 turnovers, the Maroons scored seven more points off turnovers than the Judges (19 versus 12 points). Brandeis has the talent and capabilities to beat Chicago, but the Maroons were too dominant on offense to be defeated in this one. The Maroons improved their record to a remarkable 20-2 mark, including a perfect 11-0 in conference play. The Judges dropped to 12-9 on the season overall and 4-7 in the conference.
Judges 54, WashU 90
The Judges opened their week with a blowout defeat at the hands of Washington University in St. Louis. The loss came as a surprise after the Judges came out on top in their first matchup of the season against the Bears.
Casanueva, Hart and Nicholson were outstanding once again for the Judges despite the loss. Casanueva had 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a steal. Hart had nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Nicholson also had nine points and brought down four boards for the game.
The Bears were simply unstoppable on offense in this one. WashU shot 53.7 percent from the floor, compared to Brandeis’ 23.7 percent clip. Furthermore, while the Judges shot 4-27 from behind the arc, the Bears shot an incredible 16-30 from three-point range. In addition, the Bears’ bench dominated with 42 points, compared to the Judges’ 18 bench points. The Bears’ shooters found their shots and did not lose sight of them the entire length of the game. In another contest the Judges can definitely match up with the Bears, but they’ll have that opportunity next season.
However, with just three games left in the season and a 12-9 record, the Judges officially cannot finish with a sub-.500 record for the year. This is a huge accomplishment and all of Brandeis women’s basketball and their fans should be incredibly proud of this hardworking squad. The team will play on Friday at the University of Rochester and on Sunday at Emory University. The squad will then conclude its season at home for Senior Day against New York University on Saturday, Feb. 24.