The Brandeis women’s basketball team has persevered and impressively ended a four-game losing streak when they conquered the University of Rochester Yellowjackets. In an impressive matchup with a tight final score, the women have started to head in the right direction against their University Athletic Association rivals. Currently, the Judges are sitting at a 7–10 overall record, 3–4 in the UAA. Next, the team will face the Emory University Eagles at home on Friday to kick off February’s matchups. 

Judges 56, Rochester 52

The Rochester Yellowjackets put up a fight but did not manage to overtake the Judges, who then won their first game in four games. At the beginning of the game when Camila Casanueva ’21 opened with a three-point jump shot, the Judges began their takeover, and it took another two minutes for either team to score. Although the Yellowjackets scored the game’s next seven points, the Judges tied the score at seven, and then again at nine. Brandeis then pulled ahead and pressed on to lead at the end of the quarter by a score of 18–13 when Casanueva made a jump shot with five seconds left on the clock. The second quarter proved interesting as both teams would score several times, including another tied score at 24. With 1:40 left in the quarter, the score remained at a standstill for the rest of the half. At the half, the Yellowjackets were up by two points.

However, the Judges would not go down easily. Although the first points of the second half were not until Maya Burris ’22 made a jump shot with 6:41 to go in the third quarter to tie the score and the score was tied again at 28 points, the Judges pulled ahead as Katherine Puda ’21 made a three-point jump shot to up the score in favor of the Judges at 31–28. The Judges held the lead the rest of the quarter as the final score at the end of the third was 40–37 after Puda made two free throws. In the final quarter, the Judges never trailed. The Yellowjackets were close when Okoniewski made two free throws to make the score 50–49, but the Judges clung to their lead to end with a final score of 56–52 when Casanueva made two free throws.

Emory 70, Judges 57

The Judges lost their fourth game in a row against a UAA rival when they faced the Eagles. In the first quarter the Judges took a 14–8 lead after Kerry Tanke ’22 put the Judges ahead with a score of 10–8 with 3:35 left in the quarter. When the second quarter hit, both teams picked up the pace, yet the Judges still maintained a strong lead — in fact, they extended their lead to 35–28 with eleven seconds left in the half. The second half began with the Eagles making a layup, but the Judges responded as Puda made a three-point jump shot, making the score 38–30. However, Emory tightened the score and managed to tie the game at 40 with 4:47 left in the third quarter. It was at this point that the game became neck-in-neck. However, Puda put the Judges within one point of their rivals after a free throw which only left the Eagles ahead 46–47. Emory pulled ahead and led for the remainder of the game. Although Casanueva made a jump shot with zero seconds to go in the game, bringing the score to 57–70, the Eagles were still victorious. 

The Judges have overcome many obstacles this season, including several injuries on the team. According to Amber Graves ’20, “Despite all that we’ve gone through, our team has remained strong and continued to work hard. I think we’re all really proud of each other for stepping up and continuing to persevere through our non-conference games into our conference play.”

Graves elaborated that the biggest way that the team can improve as they continue to play their UAA rivals is to maintain their best possible performance throughout the entire game. However, the team has risen to the challenge in the UAA. Graves said, “So far, we’ve done a really good job challenging the top teams of our conference, and I think we’ve begun to believe in the fact that we truly have the potential to compete with all of the teams in the UAA.” 

Asteam members continue to support one another, there is no limit to what the Judges can accomplish in the rest of the season and beyond.