Women bounce back against Daniel Webster behind Cincotta's 20

Diana Cincotta '12 (photo by sportspix)
Diana Cincotta '12 (photo by sportspix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team erased an early 12-point deficit in the first half today, rallying past visiting Daniel Webster College, 75-59, with Judge guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) scoring a career-high 20 points to rally her squad to a non-conference victory in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, the Judges even their record at 4-4, while the Eagles fall to 2-2 on the campaign.

      Daniel Webster jumped out to a surprising 29-17 lead more than 11 minutes into the game thanks to torrid 3-point shooting. The Eagles connected on seven of their first 10 trifectas, with back-to-back deep balls from senior forward Ali Chojnacki (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria) establishing the 12-point advantage with 8:17 on the clock. Senior Alycia Gervais (Windham, Conn./Windham) and rookie Alyssa Marson (Augusta, Maine/Cony) also connected twice from deep for the visitors in the early going.

      The Brandeis defense tightened after a timeout by head coach Carol Simon. The Judges outscored DWC 21-6 the rest of the way, holding them to 2-for-13, including 0-for-5 from inside the arc and 2-of-8 from deep. They also owned a 13-7 advantage on the boards in that span. Senior guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) grabbed four rebounds in the stretch right out of the timeout to help the hosts regain momentum.

Offensively, seven different Brandeis players contributed to the surge. Back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Memorial) and Cincotta putting the Judges back on top, 33-32, with 2:37 left. Daniel Webster sophomore Jennifer Fredericks (Beacon Falls, Conn./Woodland) answered with the team's ninth deep ball of the half, but Brandeis rookie Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) closed with a traditional three-point play on an offensive rebound to give the hosts a 38-35 lead into the break. Gervais, Chojnacki and senior guard Sarah Paternostro (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) led DWC with eight points each, while Brandeis junior forward Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) had eight points and eight rebounds.

In the second half, the game was still tied, 41-41, after a Paternostro lay-up less than four minutes in. Brandeis responded with 10 of the next 11 points, including six from Kendrew. Her jumper after a nice outlet from sophomore Kasey Dean (Southbury, Mass./Pomperaug) made it a 51-42 game. DWC fought back with the next four points of the game to get within five, 51-46, with 10:29 to go, but the visitors would hit just two field goals over the next 10 minutes as the Judges pulled away. Cincotta helped bury the Eagles by scoring eight-straight Brandeis points at one stretch. The lead expanded to as large as 21 before two late buckets made for the final 16-point margin.

Cincotta scored 14 of her game- and career-high 20 points in the second half. She hit 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-7 from downtown after the break after hsooting 2-of-9 overall in the first. The 20-point performance was Brandeis's high game of the season.

Anderson also had a terrific performance, finishing with 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. Nine of her 15 rebounds came on the offensive glass, as she paced an impressive team effort on the boards. The Judges doubled up DWC, 53-25, including 22-5 on the offensive end. That gave Brandeis a whopping 21-2 edge in second chance points that helped the Judges to their largest offensive output of the season.

Additionally, Kendrew finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, one shy of a career-high, while senior Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) and Cain each recorded six assists on the day, respectively tying and setting personal-highs in the process. Junior center Courtney Ness (Norwich, Vt./Hanover, N.H.) blocked three shots, part of an eight-block performance by Brandeis.

Daniel Webster put four players in double figures. Paternostro led the way for the Eagles with 18 points, scoring 10 in the second half. She also had a team-high five assists. Gervais finished with 15 points and led the visitors with six rebounds. Both players hit 3-of-6 from 3-point range in the game. Off the bench, Marson had 11 points and Chojnacki added 10 as the two combined for five trifectas between them. After their torrid first half from deep, however, Daniel Webster hit just 3-of-11 (27.3%) from beyond the arc in the second.

Brandeis returns to action on Monday evening with a non-conference game against Eastern Nazarene College at 7 p.m., while Daniel Webster is at St. Joseph (Conn.) at the same time.