WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University junior guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) had 13 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, including a pair of key 3-pointers that were part of a game-ending 25-10 run, as the Judges defeated WPI, 55-46, in the season opener for both squads.
Brandeis (1-0) opened the game on an 11-3 run over the first 12:40 by holding WPI (0-1) to just 1-for-6 shooting with seven turnovers. Kendrew had five points in the run, while rookie guard Julia Scanlon (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) had four.
The Engineers fought back, answering with an 11-2 streak of their own, taking a 14-13 edge on a pair of Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) free throws at the 7:34 mark. The lead changed hands five more times the rest of the way before two late Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wisc./DePere) free throws gave the Judges a 26-25 lead at the break. WPI senior guard Elle Fontaine (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) led all players with 10 points in the first half, while Brandeis senior guard Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) had seven.
WPI opened the second half with a Fontaine jumper to reclaim the lead and spark an 11-4 run over the first 4:30. A jumper by sophomore forward Theresa Logan (Southboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) gave the visitors their largest lead of the night at six points, 36-30.
The Judges responded with seven unanswered points of their own over the next 2:17, starting the run with two Scanlon foul shots and capping it with a Kendrew jumper and a 3-pointer that put Brandeis ahead, 37-36, with 12:13 remaining. After the teams traded turnovers, Fontaine found rookie Siena Mamayek (Melrose, Mass./Melrose) on the next WPI shot to give the visitors their final lead, but the Judges scored another eight in a row, capped by back-to-back lay-ups by junior forward Shannon Hassan (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) that put them ahead, 45-38, with 7:43 on the clock.
The Engineers looked to get back into the game on a Mamayek jumper, followed by Logan hitting 2-of-3 from the line after getting fouled behind the arc. Kendrew answered with her third 3-pointer of the game to ice the contest with 4:36 left to push the lead back to six points, 46-40, and the Judges pulled away from there for the nine-point victory.
Kendrew tied for game-high honors with her 18 points, one shy of a career-best. She hit 6-of-11 overall, 3-of-6 from downtown and 3-of-4 from the line. In her first collegiate game, Scanlon scored 12 points, including six in each half. Brandeis owned a 14-7 edge in points off the bench thanks to Scanlon.
Junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) and sophomore forward Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) tied for team-high honors with six rebounds each, doubling the career-highs for both. Four other Brandeis players had four boards each. Ethier also had game- and career-highs with four assists and two blocked shots. The Judges forced 23 WPI turnovers and turned them into a 22-15 edge in points off of miscues.
WPI was guided by Logan, who finished with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting overall, 2-of-6 from deep and 4-of-5 from the line. Fontain had 12 points, a team-high three assists and three steals. Hannmann led all players with seven rebounds, while Mamayek grabbed six caroms.
Brandeis returns to action on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. when they host Babson, the 13th-ranked team in Division III. WPI is at Nichols on Friday evening for the Worcester City Tournament.