CHICAGO, Ill - Despite a career-high 16 points from junior guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) the Brandeis University women's basketball team suffered its second-straight University Athletic Association (UAA) road loss, 74-61, at the hands of the University of Chicago Maroons. With the loss, the Judges fall to 8-5, 1-2 in the UAA, while Chicago improves to 10-4, 2-1 UAA.
The Judges opened quickly, taking a 10-6 lead with just over three minutes elapsed as Cincotta scored eight of the team's first 10 points. Chicago responded with a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes, going ahead19-14 on a Dana Kaplan 3-pointer. Brandeis sophomore Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) answered with a trifecta of her own, followed by a lay-up that knotted the game, 19-19, with 9:25 on the clock. The game was still close with the Judges trailing by one, 29-28, after a pair of Kasey Gieschen (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes) free throws at the 4:19 mark. Unfortunately, Brandeis missed its last six shots of the first half. Combined with a 4-of-6 performance by the Maroons, capped by a Molly Hackney long ball with 36 seconds left, the visitors trailed, 38-28, at the half. Cincotta had 11 points and Kendrew nine for the Judges at the break, but Taylor Simpson had 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench for UC, while Hackney had nine points. Chicago shot 48 percent (15-31) in the first half while holding the Judges to 26 percent (8-31).
The Judges rallied in the early stages of the second half thanks to some pressure defense. After Kendrew opened the stanza with a bucket and Jamie Stinson answered from downtown to give the Maroons an 11-point lead at 41-30, Brandeis embarked on a 16-4 run over a span of just over six minutes. Scoring was distributed among six different players. Cincotta sparked the run with a trifecta, while junior Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) connected from beyond the arc at the 12:48 mark to give the Judges a 46-45 lead. Brandeis forced five turnovers in the stretch and held Chicago to 2-for-7 shooting.
Brandeis had two opportunities to extend the lead, but came up short. Hackney responded with her second 3-ball of the game at the 11:30 mark to spark the Maroons to nine unanswered points over the next 2:15. With a 54-46 edge, UC was able to keep Brandeis at bay the rest of the way, leading by double figures for the game's final 7:35.
Cincotta led the Judges with her career-best 16 points, while Kendrew finished with 15. DePalo also had a pair of career-highs off the bench, scoring nine points and grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. Senior Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), despite a tough day shooting the ball, finished with a game-high six assists.
Hackney led all scorers with 20 points, 11 coming after the break. Stinson finished with 13 and a team-best four assists, while Herrick had 12 points. Taylor Simpson grabbed one second-half rebound to finish with a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards. The Maroons outrebounded Brandeis, 47-32, including a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass that translated into a 12-0 margin in second-chance points.
Brandeis returns to action on Friday night at 6 p.m. with their UAA home opener against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets.