November 25, 2007

Tufts women upend No. 14 Brandeis, 57-43

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team was held to its lowest scoring total since 2004-05 today as visiting Tufts University held the Judges to just 21 percent shooting from the floor en route to a 57-43 non-conference victory.

Brandeis (2-2) held the lead just twice in the game, early in the first half. The game was tied, 11-11, with 9:52 left on the clock when Tufts went on a 16-3 run to take a 27-14 advantage on a lay-up by senior Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, Mass.). Brandeis missed 10 of 11 attempts before hitting the last two buckets of the stanza to cut the lead to nine, 27-18, at the break.

Tufts (4-0) opened up a 15-point lead at 37-22 just under six minutes into the second half on a hoop by sophomore guard Casey Sullivan (Berlin, Conn.). The Judges answered with their best run of the contest, forcing several turnovers to embark on a 15-3 streak. The run capped by a steal and lay-up from sophomore Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y.), followed by a steal from junior Amanda Wells (Loudon, N.H.), who found a streaking Kiersten Holgash (Easton, Pa.) that cut the lead to 40-37 with five minutes left in the contest.

Jumbo coach Carla Berube called a timeout after Holgash's bucket to try to stay Brandeis's momentum. The Judges forced a shot-clock violation, but were unable to take advantage, as the Jumbos scored the next seven points to pull away.

Tufts was paced by rookie guard Colleen Hart (Needham, Mass.), who played all 40 minutes and scored 16 points, eight in each half. Hart also had a game-high seven assists. Sophomore forward Julia Baily (Farmington, Conn.) added 10 points. Senior Khalilal Ummah (Litchfield, Maine) just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Ummah also had six blocks and three steals. Junior center Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, N.H.) also reached double figures in rebounds with 11, eight in the second half. Tufts hit 33 percent from the field (19-58), while holding Brandeis to just 21 percent (14-66), including under 20 percent in the second half (7-36).

Brandeis was paced by 14 points from Chapin, who hit five-of-13 from the floor with a trifecta and three free throws. Senior guard Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.) added 10 points and seven rebounds. Rookie Amber Strodhoff (DePere, Wisc.) led the Judges with 11 rebounds, six on the offensive glass.

Brandeis is next in action Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel College in a rematch of a second-round NCAA tournament game from March that the Saints won, 71-66. Tufts hosts Babson College at the same time.