No. 11 Brandeis women survive scare from Chicago, 65-62

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior forward Caitlin Malcolm (Windsor Locks, Conn.) had 24 points and 14 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season to lead the Brandeis University women's basketball team past the visiting University of Chicago Maroons, 65-62, in University Athletic Association (UAA) play in Auerbach Arena today.

Brandeis (18-4, 9-4 UAA) raced out to a 15-5 lead over the first eight minutes of action and extended the lead to 15 points by halftime, 34-19. Malcolm reached the double-double mark by the intermission with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the first half to lead all players.

Chicago (15-9, 6-7 UAA) rallied in the second half by improving their shooting significantly. After hitting just seven-of-29 in the first half (24.1%), the Maroons hit 12 of their 18 to open the second and went on to hit 51.9 percent after the break (14-27). The improvement included four-of-six from 3-point range after missing all five from beyond the arc in the first half. Trailing 46-36 with 12:39 on the clock, UC scored 10 of the next 11 points in a three-minute span to climb within one on a jumper by senior forward Susie Gutowski (Northampton, Mass.).

The Judges pushed the lead back to four, but a pair of free throws by sophomore Nofi Mojidi (Silver Spring, Md.) tied the game at 54-54 at the 4:20 mark for the first time since it was 4-4. Malcolm answered with the game's next four buckets, while Chicago hit a pair of foul shots, giving Brandeis a 60-56 lead with 2:15 to play. Gutowski answered with a nice leaning jumper and two more free throws, knotting the game again at 60-60 with 1:44 remaining.

Brandeis got the key bucket of the game on the ensuing possession, as junior guard Alison Chase (Farmington, Conn.) found a wide-open Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.) in the corner to bury a 3-pointer. Maroon junior Korry Schwanz (Menominee, Mich.) answered with a pair of free throws after pulling down an offensive rebound with 1:11 on the clock, but a pair of offensive rebounds meant the Judges were able to work nearly a minute off the clock before Chase hit two from the line for the game's final points. UC got off a couple of shots in the final 16 seconds, but Brandeis defenders were able to block both to secure the win.

Malcolm scored more than 20 points in a game for the sixth time this season and moved into fourth on the University's career scoring list with her 11-for-19 performance today. Her 14 rebounds marked the eighth time she grabbed 10 or more caroms in a game this season. Also reaching double figures in scoring for the Judges was Capra with 11 points, including both of her 3-point attempts, and senior Christine Clancy (Yarmouth, Maine) who had 10 points.

Chicago was led by Schwanz, who had 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Mojidi added 15 points and a game-high five steals, while Gutowski had 11 points and three boards.