Another tough shooting game for Brandeis women in 53-48 loss at Emory

Erika Higginbottom '13 (photo by Alex Margolis courtesy the Justice)
Erika Higginbottom '13 (photo by Alex Margolis courtesy the Justice)

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis women's basketball team couldn't overcome another cold shooting game today, as the Judges hit just 28.6 percent from the floor in suffering a 53-48 defeat at the hands of Emory University in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Judges fall to 8-14 this season, 1-10 in the UAA, while the Eagles move to 16-6, 7-4 UAA.

Despite outrebounding the Eagles, 55-34, and owning a 19-3 edge in bench scoring, Brandeis connected on just 16-of-56 from the floor, including 18.5% from 3-point range (5-of-27). Senior Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) led Brandeis with 11 points, marking  the seventh-straight game and 11th time in the last 12 she was the team's high scorer. Kendrew needed 4-of-20 overall and 3-of-12 from downtown to get her 11 points. Junior Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Acad.) led the Brandeis rebounding attack with a career-high 11, including six on the offensive glass. The Judges owned a 20-12 edge on the offensive end, grabbing nearly as many caroms on their end as Emory did (22), but it only translated into an 18-14 edge in second-chance points. Brandeis grad student Diana Cincotta (W. Boylston, Mass./W. Boylston) added seven points and a career-high four steals, while senior Shannon Hassan (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) led the bench attach with six points.

Emory put four starters in double figures, led by Danielle Landry's 12 points. The  Judges kept the UAA's leading scorer, Hannah Lilly in check with 11 points, the same total as backcourt mate Melissa Koike. Eagle forward Misha Jackson had 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Six of her boards came on the offensive glass, half of her team's total, including a key late grab after the Judges got a stop in a three-point game and the shot clock off. Jackson also led all players with six steals, part of 27 turnovers forced by the hosts. Lilly and Savannah Morgan each tied for game-high honors with four assists.

Brandeis fell behind early, 8-2, and the Judges were still down six, 14-8, with 10:54 left in the first after an Emily Hyncik 3-pointer, the only bench points from EU. Higginbottom responded with a traditional three-point play that kicked off a 12-0 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes, with five different Judges contributing to give Brandeis a 20-14 lead. Emory bounced back with a 9-3 string of their own to tie the game at 23. Brandeis closed out the stanza with five of the last seven points, with a late put-back by Jackson trimming the EU deficit to 28-25 at the intermission.

The Brandeis lead was back to six points at 33-27 less than two minutes into the second half after a pair of Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville,N.Y./Hoosic Valley)  free throws. Emory answered with an 8-2 run that featured a pair of Koike 3-pointers, the second of which tied the game at 35-35 at the 14:12 mark. After more than three scoreless minutes, Higginbottom gave the visitors the lead back with a pair of free throws at 11:04. Lilly dialed long distance less just seven seconds later to put the Eagles back on top, but Kendrew's bomb with 8:53 left put the lead back with Brandeis, 42-40. Unfortunately, the Judges would score only six more points the rest of the way, as the Eagles closed on a 13-6 run.

Brandeis closes their campaign with three straight home games, kicking the stretch off on  Friday Night with a WBCA Play4Kay game – formerly known as the Pink Zone - against 12th-ranked Washington University at 6 p.m.