NEW YORK, N.Y. – The No. 25-ranked Brandeis women’s
basketball team saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt
today as No. 20 NYU scored 20 unanswered points to end the first
half and start the second, outscoring the Judges, 39-24, in the
second half to take a 62-49 University Athletic Association (UAA)
victory. Both teams will await their fates from the NCAA Division
III tournament committee on Monday morning, hoping for at-large
berths to the field of 63. The Judges end their regular season with
a record of 17-7, 7-7 in the UAA. NYU ends at 21-4, 10-4 UAA,
thanks to a 27-point, 17 rebound performance from senior Jessica
Brandeis, which was held to a season-low 49 points by NYU for the second time, got a double-double performance from junior guard Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima). Chapin had 12 points, but needed 4-or-13 shooting from the floor to get there. She also grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, the team’s best performance of the season, and had three steals and two assists. The only other Brandeis player to reach double figures was sophomore guard Diana Cincotta (W. Boylston, Mass./W. Boylston), who had 10 points on 3-of-8 from the field with a trifecta and 3-of-4 from the line. The Judges owned a 44-39 rebounding advantage, but were unable to overcome an 18-12 deficit in turnovers and 34.5 percent shooting (20-58).
McEntee, the two-time UAA Player of the Year, guided the hosts by reaching double-double status in the first half with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She then added 14 points and seven boards in the second stanza. For the game, McEntee shot 7-for-14 from the field, 3-for-5 from 3-point range and 10-of-12 from the line. Five of McEntee’s 17 boards came on the offensive end and she also had three assists and two blocked shots, also game-highs. No other Violet hit double figures in scoring or rebounding, but NYU shot 44.8 percent from the field (19-57) to offset a 21.4 percent performance (6-28) in the first.
Brandeis got the game off to a hot start, scoring 10 of the first 12 points to take a 10-2 lead just over five minutes into the contest. Seniors Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass./Peabody) and Cassidy Dadaos (Healdsburg, Calif./Healdsburg) each had two buckets in the early run. The Judges held momentum through the game’s first 14-plus, taking a 25-12 lead on a Chapin 3-pointer with 5:48 remaining. Unfortunately, the Judges missed their last nine shots of the half, allowing the Violets to creep back into the game by scoring the last 11 points, including a buzzer-beater by senior Grace Carmen that made it 25-23 at the break.
NYU extended their run across the intermission, scoring the first nine points. The streak was sparked by a McEntee trifecta to open the half, and was capped by back-to-back lay-up by Carmen that gave the Violets a 32-25 lead with 17:04 left, a lead they would not relinquish. Brandeis got within four on a couple of occasions and made it a one-possession game at 42-39 on a Chapin steal and lay-up with 9:02 left, but NYU answered with consecutive hoops from beyond the arc to push the lead back to nine. Down 50-41 with 5:37 remaining, Brandeis answered again with six-straight points, but it could have been closer than 50-47 after Amber Strodhoff’s (DePere, Wisc./DePere) hoop two minutes later left, as the Judges missed a couple of key free throws in the stretch. The Violets pulled away from there, scoring 12 of the game’s last 14 points for the final tally.