February 24, 2007

No. 15 women's hoops drops season finale at No. 4 NYU, 79-73

NEW YORK – The Brandeis University women’s basketball team, ranked No. 15 in the nation, dropped a 79-73 University Athletic Association decision to No. 4-rated New York University Violets in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Brandeis (19-5, 9-5 UAA) got off to another sluggish start, falling behind 7-0 to start the game before senior Alison Chase (Farmington, Conn.) converted a traditional three-point player 4:20 into the contest. The Judges got back within 12-9 at the 12:25 mark, but the Violets answered with a 16-3 run over the next three minutes, with sophomore Jessica McEntee contributing eight points and senior Karen Bachman adding six to give the hosts a 28-16 lead. The lead was still 16 at 34-16 with 5:46 remaining, but the Judges closed on a 14-5 streak, with a key sequence coming at the 3:39 mark. With the Judges down by 13, Chase got fouled on a fast-break lay-up and NYU was called for a technical foul. Chase hit all three free throws and got the Judges within eight points, while two Lauren Rashford () foul shots with nine seconds left cut the halftime lead to single digits at 39-30. The Judges were paced by 10 points from Chase in the first half, matching her season high, while rookie Kasey Gieschen (Boonton Township, N.J.) had six, her career best. NYU was got 15 points from McEntee and 10 from Bachman. The Violets outshot Brandeis, 50%-39% in the first.

The Judges opened the second half on a 7-0 run to get to within two points at 39-37 on a hoop by Amanda Wells (Loudon, N.H.), but NYU weathered the storm, going on a 14-2 run over the next 3:20, with a trifecta from McEntee spurring the hosts to a 53-39 advantage. Brandeis responded with a 12-4 run of their own that cut the margin to 57-51 on a Chase jumper with 11:05 left. The lead fluctuated between six and 10 points for the next six minutes, with Brandeis getting within four points twice, including twice in the last minute. After a lay-in by sophomore Cassidy Dadaos (Healdsburg, Calif.) with 1:09 left cut the margin to74-40, Chase made a key steal on the other end. Rashford’s spin move on the offensive end got her a lay-up, but her shot off the glass didn’t fall. The Violets corralled the rebound and were able to hit their free throws down the stretch to maintain the lead, going 11-for-14 from the stripe in the final 3:10 to fend off a Brandeis rally.

Brandeis put three players in double figures. Chase and senior caitlin Malcolm (Windsor Locks, Conn.) both finished with 12 points, with Chase getting 10 in the first half and Malcolm 10 in the second. Malcolm also corralled a team-high five rebounds. Capra finished with 10 points, nine coming after intermission. The Judges improved their shooting in the second half to 54 percent (14-26) to finish at 46 percent (25-54) for the game. The 79 points by NYU were the most allowed by the Judges this season, who had been allowing just 50 point per game, 10th in the NCAA.

NYU was paced by 31 points form McEntee, who converted an impressive 17-for-20 from the free throw line to go with six-of-10 from the floor and two-of-three from beyond the arc. Bachman had 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The Violets won the battle of the board, 34-31, and finished shooting 49 percent for the game (25-51) from the floor and 78 percent from the line (25-32). NYU earned the UAA co-championship with Washington University, who earned the conference’s automatic bid with an overtime win over Chicago.