Women drop UAA road opener, 73-61, at Chicago

Erika Higginbottom '13 (Photo by Sportspix.biz/Jan Volk)

CHICAGO, Ill. – In their first University Athletic Association (UAA) road contest of the season, the Brandeis University women's basketball team suffered a 73-61 loss at the hands of the University of Chicago in UC's Ratner Center. The Judges drop their third-straight game overall, falling to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in the UAA, while the host Maroons pick up their first conference win, improving to 4-10, 1-3 UAA.

After surrendering the first four points of the game, the Judges went on a 14-4 run and were ahead for much of the first half. Brandeis led by as many as seven points at 20-13 on a jumper by sophomore guard Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) . It was still a four-point lead at 32-28 with 1:31 left in the half on a bucket by junior Julia Scanlon (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris). The Maroons scored the final five points of the stanza, however, taking the 33-32 lead into the locker room on a Caitin Moore putback with 10 seconds left. Senior Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./Worcester Acad.) led all players with eight points, hitting all four of her field goal attempts. Four different players had four points for the Judges. Ellie Griener had seven for the Maroons, while Claire Devaney six. Brandeis shot 38.9% (14-36) compared to 46.4% (13-28) for UC, but the Judges forced 11 turnovers and committed only seven in the first half and outscored them by 10-3 in points off turnovers.

In the second half, Brandeis opened the scoring on a bucket by senior Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley), but Devany answered with a trifecta for the hosts and Chicago never trailed again. The Maroons opened on an 18-6 run over the first half of the stanza as the Judges hit just three of their first 18 shots from the field, while the hosts hit 6-of-16, including  4-of-8 on three 3-pointers. Chicago led by as many as 16 points in the second half en route to the 12-point win.

Higginbottom led Brandeis with 14 points, scoring eight points early and then connecting on the Judges' only two 3-pointers late in the game. Junior guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) added 10 points on 5-of-11 from the field. Cain led all players with 11 rebounds, one shy of her career-high, but no other player had more than four caroms, although the final margin was 45-44 in favor of UC. Higginbottom, Scanlon and Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans) each had three assists.

UC had three players score in double figures, with Paige Womack leading all scorers with 16 points, hitting 5-of-10 overall, 3-of-5 from downtown and from the line. Devany finished with 14 points and Moore had 12, they also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds. The Maroons connected on 40 percent for the game, hitting 22-of-55, and 73.3% from the line (22-30). UC outscored Brandeis at the free throw line in the second half, 17-1, and 22-5 for the game. They also hit seven 3-pointers to just two for the Judges, who didn't hit from deep until the last minute of play.

Brandeis returns to action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Eastern/12 Central when they head to seventh-ranked Washington University for another UAA contest.