To start off 2019, the Brandeis Women’s Basketball team took on their University Athletic Association rivals. After their first five games, the team now resides at a record of 2–3 in the UAA and 6–9 overall, according to the Brandeis Athletics website. Looking ahead, the Judges will continue to battle their UAA rivals, starting at Emory University on Friday at 6 p.m., where they will have a chance to overcome their three-game losing streak. After defeating New York University and Carnegie Mellon University, the Judges now have what it takes to take on their fierce UAA competitors. After Emory, Brandeis will play the University of Rochester — a chance to further their UAA winnings.

Judges 67, WashU 101

In the midst of the snowy winter day, the Judges played the Bears at home. The Bears would be ahead at the end of every quarter, and in the end came out victorious. The game started off in the Judges’ favor as Maya Burris ’22 made the first shot of the game, but in less than 30 seconds the Bears’ Becca Clark-Callender tied the score with a layup. The first quarter remained close for the teams and the Judges led briefly after a jump shot by Sarah Jaromin ’19. With 6:36 left in the quarter and a score of 7–9, the Bears took over the lead after a three-point shot that would put them ahead for the duration of the game. The first quarter ended with a score of 22–15. In the second quarter, the Bears continued and expanded their lead. Ultimately, the quarter would end with the Bears ahead 45–29. In the third quarter the Bears extended their lead to 24 points with a score of 74–50 and maintained their lead to take the game with a final score of 67–101. The Judges suffered a 34-point loss in this game, bringing them to a three-game losing streak.

UChicago 71, Judges 62

The Judges lost their second game in a row at home against the University of Chicago. The Judges played an impressive game; they were ahead for the first three quarters, but the Maroons played a strong fourth quarter that clenched their victory. In the first quarter, the Judges took a 19–12 lead, and in the second, they were up 40–32. During the third quarter, the Maroons outscored the Judges 19–12, but the Judges still held a close 52–51 lead. However, in the final quarter, the Maroons scored double the points the Judges scored, resulting in a final game score of 71–62 for the University of Chicago. Nevertheless, this game was a very well-played one for the Judges, as Jaromin led the team in points, scoring 19 over the course of the game. Camila Casanueva ’21 contributed 18 points. Casanueva was ultimately the one who kept the Judges in the game in the second half, as she scored ten points. Samira Abdelrehim ’21 led the team in rebounds with seven.

Case Western 67, Judges 64

The Judges’ first loss to a UAA rival came against Case Western Reserve University in a tight match that ended with a score of 64–67. The Judges had their best quarter in the second. After being behind by 20–10 after the first, the Judges outscored the Spartans by ten points with a second quarter score of 24–14. At the half, the score was tied at 34 points. Entering the second half, the Spartans outscored the Judges in the third by one point. In the fourth, the score remained tight as well, but the Judges were unable to outscore Case Western. After the Spartans outscored the Judges in the quarter 14–16, they took the game by only three points. Lauren Rubinstein ’20 was an asset to the team in the game, earning the team 17 points. Hannah Nicholson ’20 led with nine rebounds and Casanueva led with five assists.

Carnegie Mellon 78, Judges 61

In their second win against a UAA rival, the Judges conquered Carnegie Mellon, in large part due to Casanueva, who led in points, rebounds and assists with 27, ten and four, respectively.  From the beginning, the Judges trained for only 15 seconds. After being down 5–4 around two minutes into the game, the team would go on an 8–0 run and would end up leading 19–10 at the end of the first quarter. The Judges led for the rest of the game, though, outscoring Carnegie Mellon in the second quarter 11–10, resulting in a score of 30–20 at the half. In the second half, the Judges maintained their lead, due to the efforts of Casanueva, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, making the victory decisive and by 17 points.

Judges 69, NYU 61

The Judges defeated New York University in their first UAA game of the season by eight points with a score of 69–61. The Judges led for a large part of the first half of the game. At the end of the first quarter, they were ahead by a score of 17–11, and after outscoring the Violets 16–14 in the second as well, led at the half by a score of 33–25. In the third quarter, the Judges led in points scored again by 16–14, ending the quarter by a score of 49–39. In the final quarter, the Violets actually outscored the Judges 22–20, but were unable to take over the lead that the Judges had created, resulting in the Judges’ victory. Casanueva led the team in points scored by 15 in this game; however, three other players also scored in the double digits this game. Rubinstein scored a career-best 14 points, Burris scored a career-high of ten points in a game and Nicholson scored ten points. Burris spent a career-high of 27 minutes in the game playing as well, a strong contribution to the team’s success.

Although the Judges have lost their last three games, the team has seen great progress. Casanueva told the Justice, “I would say the team has progressed this season in having a lot of people step up due to many injuries to begin the season. It made us a deeper and better team, and now that we are getting people back, it is starting to come together for us.” She also said that the team can definitely improve from a defense perspective and that there is a lot of talent on the team, but it is about playing with intensity and grit.

“I hope to see some fire out of this team with the UAA coming up. I hope we continue to grow every day in practice and push ourselves constantly to be better. Like I said before, there really is no ceiling to what we can do, so I hope to see a lot of growth with the rest of the year.”