WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team had a stellar defensive effort tonight as the Judges held visiting Carnegie Mellon University to 24.6 percent shooting in a 59-44 victory in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, the Judges improve to 12-9 on the season, 4-6 in the University Athletic Association. The Tartans fall to 11-10, 2-8 UAA.
Brandeis never trailed, as they forced the visitors to just one field goal over the first 12:23 of the contest. Carnegie Mellon missed 17 of their first 18 shots from the floor as the Judges jumped out to a 16-4 lead, capping the run on a Frankie Pinto (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) 3-pointer. CMU would claw back to within five thanks to leading scorer Lisa Murphy, who scored six of the team's points in a 9-1 run. Her free throws with 5:27 left cut the Tartans' deficit to 17-12, but Pinto answered from downtown and the Judges went on another run, taking a 27-18 lead into halftime. Pinto led all scorers with nine points at the break, all from beyond the arc. Brandeis held CMU to just 17.9% (5-28) shooting in the first half.
The teams traded buckets early in the first half, but Carnegie Mellon got within four, 33-29, on a Zoe Zawisa trifecta at the 16:23 mark. The teams went more than three minutes without a bucket before Brandeis sophomore Sydney Sodine (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) made a lay-up at the 13-minute mark. That started an 8-0 Brandeis run that pushed the lead to 11 and was never smaller than nine the rest of the way.
In addition to their staunch defense, which limited Carnegie Mellon to just 16-of-65 from the floor, the Judges also had a balanced offense, with four different starters hitting four field goals. Pinto hit 4-of-10, including 4-of-8 from deep to finish with 12 points, as did senior Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester), who was 4-of-8 overall and 4-of-4 from the line. Sophomore center Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y./Hilton) added 11 points (4-12 FG, 3-4 FT), while Sodine scored nine (4-12 FG, 1-2 FT).
The Judges won the rebounding battle, 50-43, with Jackson, Pinto and Sodine each finishing with eight caroms. For Pinto, it was a career-best performance. Jackson led Brandeis with three steals, while Cain, Sodine and sophomore Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) each had two assists.
Carnegie Mellon was led by a terrific performance from Murphy, who fell one rebound shy of a triple-double. She had a game-high 18 points and blocked a Tartan-record 10 shots to go with her nine rebounds. No other Tartan finished with more than six points, though Lindsay Poss and Liza Otto also grabbed nine rebounds.
Brandeis wraps up its home schedule on Sunday against Case Western Reserve at 2 p.m. Carnegie Mellon is at NYU at the same time.