February 5, 2010

Hot early shooting leads Brandeis women past Case, 65-56

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Brandeis senior guard Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) had 18 points, five assists and five rebounds tonight to lead the Judges past Case Western Reserve University, 65-56, in a University Athletic Association contest tonight. With their third-straight win, Brandeis improves to 12-6, 5-3 in the UAA. Case falls to 11-8, 2-6 in the Association.

The Judges used hot first-half shooting to build an early lead. Starting with a quick bomb by junior guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) on the opening possession, Brandeis connected on seven of their first nine 3-point attempts to build an early lead. Spartan sophomore Erin Hollinger (Chardon, Ohio) answered with the game's next two hoops to give Case its only lead, 4-3, but Judge sophomore Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) answered from long range and the visitors never trailed again.

The Brandeis lead was just four, 20-16, with 8:52 on the clock after another Hollinger jumper, but the Judges went on the game's key run at that point. They scored 13 unanswered points, including one trifecta from Cincotta and two more from Chapin to stretch the lead to 33-16 with 4:30 before the break. Brandeis took a 16-point edge into the locker room, 38-22, as three different players were in double figures - Cincotta with a game-high 11 first-half points, and Chapin and Kendrew with 10 each. Senior Ashleigh Tondo (McDonald, Ohio/McDonald) paced the Spartans with eight points.

Brandeis led by as many as 19 points in the second half and were ahead by a 58-41 margin with just over five minutes to play on a nice lay-up by sophomore forward Shannon Hassan (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack). At that point, Case scored eight straight points, with rookie Evy Iacono (Cincinatti, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) and Tondo connecting from deep before a pair of Caitlin Henry (Fairfax, Va./Robinson) free throws got the Spartan deficit under 10 at 60-51 with 2:31 left. Case was able to crawl within seven at a couple of points, but the Judges were able to hit enough free throws to keep the hosts at bay and emerge with the win.

Chapin's team-high 18 points came on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor, 2-of-4 from deep and 6-of-9 from the line. Backcourt mates Cincotta and Kendrew finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Chapin also had five assists for the second straight game, moving into sixth place on the school's career list 245, passing Jen Curran '02. Junior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wisc./DePere) led Brandeis with seven rebounds. The Judges hit 43.1 percent from the floor (22-51) improving to 8-0 this season when connecting on better than 40 percent and 11-0 when holding opponents under 60 points. They also picked up their first win in only three contests when losing the battle of the boards, as Case had a commanding 42-27 lead on the class, including 18-10 on the offensive end.

Two Case players turned in double-double performances, as Henry finished with a game-high 19 points - 15 coming in the second half -  and 10 boards, while Tondo finished with 13 points and 10 caroms. Iacono matched Chapin for game-high honors with five assists.

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