Women's hoops fends off Roger Williams, 62-53

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University junior Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) had 17 points and senior guard Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J/Red Bank Catholic) added a career-high 12 to lead the Judges past visiting Roger Williams University, 62-53, in Red Auerbach Arena today. The Judges, who posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season, improve to 5-3, while the Hawks fall to 4-2 and see a two-game winning streak of their own snapped.

Kendrew, who has led the Judges in scoring in seven of their eight contests this season, scored eight points in the first half and nine in the second. Her totals included three 3-pointers, giving her 66 for her career and moving her into eighth on the Judges' career list past Carmela Breslin '10 and senior teammate Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston).

DePalo's career-best came on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-4 from downtown. She scored seven of her points in the second half. The Judges also got a stat-sheet-stuffing performance from senior forward Amber Strodthoff (Depere, Wis./DePere), who grabbed a game- and season-high 13 rebounds – including six on the offensive glass - and fell one bucket shy of her fifth collegiate double-double with eight points. Strodthoff tied for game-high honors with a career-best four assists and also led all players with three steals. Junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) matched Strodthoff with four helpers, also matching a career-high.

The Judges' depth also proved to be a key, as their reserves outscored RWU's by a 20-9 margin. Sophomores Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) and Courtney Ness (Norwich, Vt./Hanover (N.H.) ) and rookie Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veteran's Memorial) each scored six points to lead the charge.

Roger Williams got a game-high 18 points from sophomore forward Alexandria Lanieri (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson), who had eight in the first half and 10 in the second. She connected on 9-of-14 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds. Senior guard Carly Spagnola (Millbrook, N.Y./Millbrook) added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while junior guard Ryan Weekes (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) just missed a double-double with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. The Hawks had a fine performance in the paint, outscoring Brandeis, 26-16, but could not overcome a 24-14 turnover deficit.

The first 10 minutes of the game were tight, featuring six lead changes. The Judges trailed, 14-13, on a Lanieri lay-in at the 10:26 mark, before embarking on the game-changing run. The hosts scored 17 of the next 21 points, including three 3-pointers by Ethier, Kendrew and DePalo. Back-to-back buckets by Strodthoff, the last a mid-range jumper with 36 seconds left on an assist by Anderson, put the Judges ahead 30-18. RWU senior Kate Malenczak (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) connected from deep to close the scoring in the opening stanza with Brandeis leading, 30-21.

After Spagnola opened the second half with a trifecta for the Hawks, the teams traded buckets to make the score 32-26 with 18:16. The Judges responded with a 20-6 run over the next 5:52, capped by a steal and lay-up by Rodriguez at the 12:24 mark that made the score 52-32. Brandeis held Roger Williams to 2-for-6 from the field with four turnovers in that span while hitting eight of their 11 shots.

RWU did not go away, scoring the next 10 points in a row to get back within 10 at 52-42 when the Judges shooting went cold. Brandeis missed eight-straight shots before an Anderson put-back of an offensive rebounds stopped the bleeding. The Hawks eventually closed within seven points at 58-51 on a Weekes jumper with 1:13 left, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Brandeis is back in action on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Eastern Nazarene College, while RWU heads to Connecticut College the same night at 8 p.m.