WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball shot 20 percentage points better in the second half tonight, improving to 46.7% from 26.7%, while holding visiting Endicott College to 29.3% for the game as the Judges defeated the Gulls, 59-48, in a nonconference contest in Red Auerbach Arena.
Brandeis evens its record at 4-4 with the win, while Endicott suffers its first loss of the campaign, falling to 5-1.
After a first half in which both teams shot below 30 percent – 8-30, 26.7% for Brandeis, 7-29, 24.1% for Endicott – the Judges took a 20-19 lead into the locker room. Brandeis junior guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) opened the second half on a tear. Dean had two baskets, two steals and an assist in the first five possessions of the stanza as the Judges opened up a 26-19 lead.
Endicott sophomore Kayleen Whall (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro) responded with seven of the game's next 11 points. Whall's trifecta at the 16:07 mark tied the contest at 28-28, but the Judges responded with six-straight points of their own. A driving lay-up by sophomore Mikaela Garvin (Providence, R.I./Hope) established a two-possession game at 34-28. EC's Jennifer White (Lisbon, N.H./Lisbon Regional) connected from deep to cut the lead back to three, but Brandeis rookie Niki Laskaris (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) answered from 3-point range and the Judges never let it get closer than four points the rest of the way, outscoring Endicott 39-29 in the second half.
Brandeis sophomore guard Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) led Brandeis with 11 points, six coming in the second half. Dean finished with 10 points, six of which came in the first stanza. Contributing to the second half surge were senior forward Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Acad.) and rookie guard Samantha Mancinelli (Durham, Conn./Conginchaug Regional), who scored nine and seven points, respectively, all in the final 20 minutes. Higginbottom and senior Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) tied for team-high honors with seven rebounds each, while Dean led Brandeis with four assists and tied her career-high with four steals. The Judges forced 18 Endicott turnovers, while committing only 11 of their own, and turned that into a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers. Brandeis also outscored the Gulls, 24-10, in points in the paint.
Endicott got a game-high 16 points from White, 11 of which came in the first half. White also led all players with 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the campaign. Whall's eight points made her the only other EC player with more than two field goals. Senior Jen McBrien (Medfield, Mass./Medfield) and junior Julie Manning (Hull, Mass./Hull) each had eight caroms for the Gulls, while McBrien led all players with six assists.
Brandeis is back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Roger Williams University, while Endicott heads to Suffolk at the same time.