WALTHAM, Mass. - Brandeis University junior Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y.) scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the first half to lead the Judges to victory in their season opener, 67-54, over visiting WPI.
Brandeis (1-0) never trailed in the contest. The Judges raced out to a 12-5 lead after five minutes and were ahead 20-10 with 8:30 gone. The lead was still 10, 25-15, at the 9:50 mark, when the Judges embarked on a 19-2 run that put the game out of reach. They held WPI (0-1) to just 1-for-9 from the field over a seven-minute span while forcing four turnovers in that span. The Engineers scored the final six points of the stanza to cut the lead to 44-23 at intermission. Chapin hit 4-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and a free throw to lead all players with 12 points. Senior forward Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass.) went 4-for-4 with a trifecta for nine points and a game-high four rebounds. WPI sophomore guard Elle Fontaine (Franklin, Mass.) led the visitors with 10 points on 4-of-8 and 2-of-4 from downtown.
The Engineers clawed their way back into the game in the second half, opening the stanza on a 10-2 run over the first 6:24 by forcing six Brandeis turnovers, their total for the entire first half. A steal and lay-up by junior Kaileen Selen (Worcester, Mass.) got the visitors to within 46-13, but Brandeis scored the next five points to go back up by 18. A pair of Charlotte McDonald (Swansea, Mass.) free throws at the 7:21 mark got WPI within 12 at 53-41, but six more unanswered points by the Judges pushed the lead back to 20 and sealed the victory.
Chapin ended the game shooting 7-for-14 for her 18 points, including 3-of-6 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the line. She also led all players with six steals, tying a career high. Orlando was the only other player in double figures for the Judges, finishing with 11 points and a game-high six rebounds. Junior guard Lauren Rashford (Whitesboro, N.Y.) had four assists to lead the Judges, who scored 19 points off 21 WPI turnovers.
WPI was paced by Fontaine, who finished with 15 points, one shy of a career-best. After her hot first half, Fontaine was just 1-of-6 from the field in the second, finishing 5-for-14 with three 3-pointers. Also reaching double figures for the Engineers were junior forward Serena Dubois (Bangor, Maine), who scored eight of her 10 in the second half. She also tied for the team lead with five rebounds and had a team-high four steals. Senior guard Caitlin Macko (Cromwell, Conn.) had five points in each half to finish with 10 points. Senior guard Natasha Deschene (Presque Isle, Maine) led all players with five assists. The Engineers outscored Brandeis, 13-5, in second chance points thanks to a 13-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
The Judges are next in action on Saturday evening when they host Widener University at 6:00 p.m. in the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament. WPI takes on Nichols in the Worcester City Tournament on Friday evening at 5:30.