WALTHAM, Mass.- Despite their second-best shooting game of the season, the Brandeis women's basketball team fell at home to 13th-ranked Washington University (Mo.) in a University Athletic Association (UAA) matchup on Senior Day, 62-57. In this contest, the Judges could not hold on against the Bears and dropped to 9-15 (3-10 UAA) while Wash. U moves to 19-5 (9-4 UAA).
In the first half, the Judges hung tough and took an early 7-6 lead on a 3-pointer by junior guard Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./ Peabody Veterans). Directly following that basket, the Bears responded with a 10-2 run that gave them their largest lead of the period at 16-9. Still, Brandeis did not go away, retaking the lead at 25-24 with 1:31 remaining in the half on a layup by senior center Angela Miller (Sicklerville, N.J./ Timber Creek). Wash. U scored the last basket of the half on a layup by sophomore forward Melissa Gilkey (Woodinville, Wash./ Woodinville) to take a slight 26-25 edge into the break.
In the second half, Brandeis continued their tough play, refusing to back down against the ranked Bears. This time, Wash. U hit the Judges with an 11-4 run over the course of about six and a half minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 53-44 with 4:55 remaining in the contest. During that run, Brandeis went without a field goal for a little over six minutes. Still, the Judges kept fighting and tied the game at 54 apiece with 2:17 left on the clock on a driving layup from sophomore guard Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./ Gloucester). After a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Maddy Scheppers (Bossier City, La./ Airline), Rodriguez made it a two point game again by hitting one of two shots from the line. Immediately following a pair of free throws by Gilkey, Cain made another shot in the paint to make it a 59-57 contest with 46 ticks remaining. Unfortunately, Bears' senior guard Nishi Tavernier (Bronx, N.Y./ Bronx High School of Science) ran down the shot clock before draining a dagger shot from behind the arc for the final 62-57 margin of victory. That 3-pointer with 14.7 seconds left was her only bucket of the game and rattled in and out before finding its way to the bottom of the basket.
Cain led Brandeis with a career-high 17 points while senior forward Erika Higginbottom (Millbury, Mass./ Worcester Acad.) and junior guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./ Pomperaug) joined her in double-digits with 10 points each. Senior center Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./ Hoosic Valley) added another eight points on four-for-five shooting inside the arc. Rodriguez had a team-high six rebounds as Anderson pulled down five. Dean led the squad with five assists and Cain added four helpers. Finally, Dean and Rodriguez shared team-high honors with three steals apiece. The Judges shot 50% from the field (25-for-50) which was only eclipsed by their first UAA game of the year against NYU when they shot 51.9% (28-for-54) in a 63-60 win at Red Auerbach Arena. Seniors Courtney Ness, Anderson, and Higginbottom were honored before the game for a great four years at Brandeis.
Gilkey was the top scorer for Wash. U with a game-high 20 points while Scheppers and senior forward Kristin Anda (Ridgefield, Conn./ Ridgefield) joined her in double-digits with 14 and 13 points respectively. Scheppers led the team with seven rebounds as Gilkey and Anda pulled down six each. The Bears owned a 39-30 advantage on the glass including 20 offensive boards that resulted in 17 second chance points. Rookie guard Katybeth Biewen (Edina, Minn./ Edina) had three assists while Gilkey came up with a game-high four steals. Wash. U forced 23 turnovers and converted them into 24 points.
Brandeis finishes off their season with a UAA tilt at NYU on Saturday February 23rd at 1:00 p.m. The Bears return home for their last regular season game on Saturday February 23rd against Chicago at 1:00 p.m.