WALTHAM, Mass. – Host Brandeis and nationally-ranked Colby will meet tomorrow in the championship game of the 2011 Judges Women's Basketball Classic. Brandeis never trailed in a 68-47 win over Endicott in the opener today, while the 16th-ranked Mules dominated the boards in a 79-57 triumph over Clark.
In the opener today, Brandeis (2-1) jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back in their 68-47 win over the Gulls (0-1). The Judges featured balanced scoring with eight different players scoring between six and 10 points. Leading the way were a pair of guards, senior Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) and rookie Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester), who each had 10 points. Among the rest of the Brandeis starters, senior forward Shannon Hassan (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) had nine points, grad student guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) had eight and junior forward Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) had seven. Sophomores Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Memorial) and Julia Scanlon (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) and junior Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Acad.) all had six points off the bench.
Brandeis dominated the inside game, thanks to Anderson, who led all players with 12 rebounds, six offensive, both matching career-highs. As a team, Brandeis outrebounded Endicott, 44-33, including 21-8 on the offensive glass. That gave the Judges a 22-12 edge in points in the paint and 19-6 advantage in second-chance points. Brandeis also forced 24 turnovers while committing 15, leading to 20-12 margin in points off those miscues.
Endicott had a game-high performance from senior guard Nicole Heffernan (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry), who had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting with a pair of free throws. Rookie forward Kayleen Whall (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro) scored nine points off the bench in her collegiate debut. Sophomore center Julie Manning (Hull, Mass./Hull) led the Gulls with eight rebounds, while sophomore forward Jordan Ferland (Charlestown, N.H./Fall Mountain Regional) topped all players with three assists and four steals.
In the nightcap, post play was equally key, as Colby won, 79-57, in head coach Julie Veilleux's first game on the sidelines. The Mules put four starters in double figures and doubled up Clark on the boards, 59-28. Colby pulled down nearly as many offensive rebounds (26) as their opponent had on either end of the floor (28).
Leading the way for Colby was the senior tandem of Rachael Mack (Augusta, Maine/Cony) and Jill Vaughan (Wareham, Mass./Tabor Acad.). Mack finished with a game-high 20 points, hitting 8-of-18 from the floor, with nine rebounds (six offensive), while Vaughan recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 caroms (five offensive). Also reaching double figures were senior guard Aarika Ritchie (Lee, Maine/Lee Acad.) with 12 points and junior guard Jacky McLaughlin (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) with 10. Ritchie and junior guard Diana Manduca (Portland, Maine/Deering) tied for game-high honors with six assists each.
Clark also put three players in double figures, with senior forward Kate Minister (Manchester, England/Proctor Acad.) pouring in 19 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Minister hit 8-of-16 overall, 3-of-5 from deep, and also led the Cougars with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Sophomore forward Megan Grondin (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) notched 15 points and classmate and guard Emily Reilly (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) had 12 points and led Clark with two assists. The Cougars outshot Colby (38%-37%), but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit on the glass.
Brandeis head coach Carol Simon will meet her alma mater, Colby, for the first time since the 1996-97 in the championship match tomorrow at 3 p.m. Endicott and Clark will face off at 1 p.m. in the consolation match.