February 13, 2009

Women's hoops gets back on track with 71-49 win at Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Brandeis University women's basketball team avoided a three-game losing streak tonight, putting three players in double figures to defeat host Carnegie Mellon, 71-49, in a University Athletic Association contest. The Judges improve to 14-6 on the season, 4-6 in the UAA, while CMU falls to 5-16, 0-10 UAA.

Brandeis got back to their winning formula with hot shooting and tough defense. The Judges shot 55.4 percent from the floor (31-56) - their best performance in nine games - while holding Carnegie Mellon to 25.8% shooting (16-62). Brandeis was paced by 15 points from senior Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass./Peabody), who connected on 7-of-9 from the field. She also blocked a season-high three shots to contribute to the defensive effort and grabbed six rebounds. Junior guard Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) had a terrific all-around effort with 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game- and career-high eight steals. Senior forward Amanda Wells (Loudon, N.H./Merrimack Valley) contributed 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting with two free throws off the bench. The Judges also had an impressive 22 assists on 31 baskets, as four different players had at least three helpers, including four each from rookie Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) and junior Carmela Breslin (McKees Rocks, Pa./Oakland Catholic).

The Tartans had two players in double figures, as rookei Jacki Cortese (Pittsburgh, Pa./Vincentian Academy) finished with 13 points while senior forward Rachelle Roll (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) cashed in with 10. Roll led all rebounds with 10 to record her second double-double of the season. Cortese grabbed nine rebounds in the loss and recorded the Tartans lone block shot.

The first twenty minutes of play was a half of runs. With Carnegie Mellon leading 7-5 four-and-a-half minutes into the game, Brandeis went on a 10-0 run over a three minute stretch to take a 15-7 lead. The Judges run started when Chapin drained a three from the top of the arc.

The home team answered the Judges run with one of their own, as Cortese scored six straight points and eight total to lead the charge in the Tartans 10-2 run. With the score knotted at 17-17 with 7:36 to play in the half, Brandeis went on its second run of the game, this time an 8-0 scamper making the lead 25-17.

The Judges held onto the lead the rest of the half taking a 36-27 advantage into the break. Cortese led the way for the Tartans with 10 first half points as Orlando chipped in with 10 to lead Brandeis. The visitors started the second half on an 18-5 run over the first seven minutes of play and never looked back the rest of the game. Brandeis held its double digit lead and led by as many as 24 as they went on for a 71-49 victory.

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