February 24, 2008

No. 23 Chicago women trip up No. 24 Brandeis, 62-55

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Four players scored in double figures as the University of Chicago women's basketball team held visiting Brandeis University to just two field goals over the last nine minutes of the game as the Maroons won a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest, 62-55, at the Ratner Center this afternoon. With the win, No. 23 Chicago improves to 19-5, 10-3 in the UAA, while No. 24 Brandeis falls to 17-7, 8-5 UAA. The Maroons will host Washington University next weekend with the two teams tied for the UAA lead. Brandeis will take on rival NYU on senior day next Saturday as head coach Carol Simon will try for the third time for her 300th career win.

After Chicago raced out to an 8-2 lead, Simon called timeout. The Judges responded by scoring the next 13 points, taking a 15-8 lead on a pair of Courtney Tremblay free throws with just under 10 minutes gone in the contest. The Maroons responded with eight unanswered points of their own to reclaim a 16-15 advantage on a Nofi Mojidi jumper. The Judges ended with one final run, outscoring UC, 13-4, over the final 5:27 to take a 28-20 lead into the locker room. Sophomore Carmela Breslin (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and Senior Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.) each had four points in the run to lead the Judges with eight and six points, respectively, in the first half. Mojidi led all players with nine points in the first.

The Brandeis lead was still eight, 32-24, after two minutes of the second half. Chicago went on a 14-5 run over the next nine minutes, retaking a 37-36 lead on back-to-back layups by Dana Kaplan. Brandeis answered with five straight points, as a fast-break lay-up that led to a traditional three-point play by sophomore Lauren Rashford (Whitesboro, N.Y.) gave them a 42-38 lead with 9:28 remaining. Unfortunately, the Judges went cold at that point, connecting on just two of their last 14 shots, while the Maroons went 6-10 from the floor, and grabbed three offensive rebounds on their misses to win the game going away, as the seven-point final score marked their largest lead of the game.

For Chicago, Mojidi led all players with 14 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Alex Leach had 13, Molly Leach added 12 and Kaplan had 10 points off the bench. After shooting just 28% in the first half (7-25), the Maroons connected on 50% in the second (14-28). UC also won the battle of the boards, 44-36.

Brandeis was paced by Capra, who had 12 points ans six boards, while junior Lauren Orlando (peabody, Mass.) had 10. Senior guard Kiersten Holgash (Easton, Pa.) led all players with nine rebounds and topped the Judges with three assists. Brandeis had shooting woes, onnecting on just 28% (16-56) for the game, including 24% in the second half (6-25).