Women drop UAA opener to NYU, 71-61

Morgan Kendrew '12 (Photo by SportsPix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Visiting New York University shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to pull away from host Brandeis, 71-61, in the University Athletic Association opener for both teams. The Judges fall to 8-4, 0-1 in the UAA with the loss, and see a five-game winning streak snapped, while the Violets improve to 6-5, 1-0 UAA.

The first half saw both teams make runs, with the Judges scoring the final six points of the stanza to go into the locker room down by just one at 27-26. Violet senior guard Bianca Storts (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie) led all players with 11 points at the break, including three 3-pointers, while Brandeis junior guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barstable) kept the Judges in the game with nine of her own.

The second half featured five ties early, with junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) knotting the game at 29-29 with a 3-pointer 1:06 in. She gave the Judges their first lead since early in the first half at 37-35 on a lay-up with 15:45 on the clock. NYU answered 12 seconds later with a Chelsea Blake (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) jumper and a Storts free throw at the 15:18 mark gave the visitors the lead for good. Brandeis was still within one at 40-39 with 13:49 to go after two Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomeraug), but the visitors answered with the game's key run.

Over the next six minutes, NYU outscored Brandeis, 17-4, with 13 of the points coming from the hands of sophomore guard Maggie Ely (Hillsdale, N.J./Pascack Valley). Ely started the run with a traditional three-point play, connected on a pair of 3-pointers and capped the string with two free throws at the 7:50 mark that made it a 57-43 game. Brandeis senior guard Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) answered with a steal and lay-up and a 3-pointer to get the Judges' deficit back to single digits at 57-48 with 6:39 left, but the Judges came up empty on three attempts to get any closer. NYU pushed the lead back to 13, and time ran out on the Judges despite getting back within eight points with 51 seconds left.

Ely led all scorers with 19 points – 17 in the second half - hitting 6-of-12 from the floor, 3-of-7 from deep and 4-of-5 from the line. Storts had a similar line, going 6-of-13 overall, 3-of-7 from 3-point range and 3-of-4 from the line. Blake also reached double figures with 16 points. Senior Chrissy Kilmurray (Wall, N.J./Wall) led all players with 10 points and added three blocked shots, while Blake had a game-high five assists and Ely had five steals.

Kendrew paced the Judges with 16 points, hitting 6-of-12 overall, 3-of-6 from downtown and 1-of-2 from the line. Either added 11 points, and senior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wis./DePere) had 12 points. DePalo finished with a team-high nine rebounds, while three players tied for team-high honors with three assists each. The Judges struggled from the free-throw line, hitting just 7-of-21 for the day, by far a season low.