Cold start to second half dooms women against RWU

Nicolina Vitale '14 (photo by Mike Lovett)
Nicolina Vitale '14 (photo by Mike Lovett)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Visiting Roger Williams University outscored host Brandeis, 12-2, in the opening 5:03 of the second half as the Hawks came away with a 54-47 victory over the Judges in a non-conference women's basketball game. Brandeis falls to 4-5 on the season, while RWU evens their record at 4-4.

Brandeis struggled out of the game for the second game in a row hitting just one of their first 10 shots as Roger Williams opened on an 11-2 run in the first 7:46. After the teams traded the next two buckets to make it a 13-4 lead, Brandeis responded by holding the visitors to just two field goals over the final 10 minutes. The Judges reclaimed the lead on a steal by junior Nicolina Vitale (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley) that led to a Samantha Mancinelli (Durham, Conn./Coginchaug Regional) lay-up, making it 16-15 with 4:38 to go. Brandeis extended the lead to seven at 22-15 on a pair of Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Acad.) free throws and took a 27-21 margin into the locker room. No player in the game had more than five points or two field goals in the first half.

In the second half, Roger Williams opened with the key 12-2 run, including the first seven points of the stanza, as Brandeis missed its first 10 shots. Half of the Hawks' points in the stretch came on 3-pointers by junior guard Elizabeth Kilzi (Waverly, Pa./Abington Heights). It was a lay-up from sophomore Kaitlyn Bovee (Berlin, Conn./Berlin) gave the visitors the lead for good at 30-29 after two Vitale foul shots had put Brandeis ahead for the final time. Kilzi's second trifecta extended the lead to four points with just under five minutes gone. Brandeis twice got within one point and were within two with the ball and 7:09 on the clock, but the Judges couldn't convert on three straight possessions, and the Hawks finally got to the line. Ari Renwick (Westwood, Mass./Fontbonne Acad.) connected twice at 4:42 to make it 42-38, and the Hawks kept it a two-possession game the rest of the way by hitting 6-for-8 from the line and converting two big offensive rebounds into hoops.

Brandeis was led in scoring by sophomore guard Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester), who scored 11 points, six in the second half. She hit 5-of-12 from the field and 1-of-2 from the line. Vitale added a season-high eight points off the bench. Senior Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) led the Judges with six rebounds, while four different players had two assists.

Roger Williams put three starters in double figures, with Bovee leading all players with 13 points – eight in the second half - and tying for game-high honors with seven rebounds - five offensive. Kilzi and rookie Angela Arioli (Prospect, Conn./Holy Cross) each had 10 points for the Hawks. Rookie Lisa Lutz (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) matched Bovee with seven boards and had a game-high four steals, while Kilzi had two assists. RWU owned a 16-8 edge in scoring from the free throw line and a 36-35 rebounding advantage, including 21-9 in the second half.

Brandeis closes out its first semester action on Tuesday night against Simmons College at 7 p.m.