Chapin totals 27 points as women's hoops fends off Carnegie Mellon, 70-58

WALTHAM, Mass. - Brandeis senior guard Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) led all scorers with 27 points today - including 17 in the second half - moving past Chris Corsac '88 into sixth place on the Judges' all-time scoring list with 1,160, as the Judges defeated visiting Carnegie Mellon University, 70-58, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena. The win moves the Judges to 11-6, 4-3 in the UAA, while the Tartans fall to 8-10, 1-6 UAA.

Chapin reached at least 25 points in a game for the second-straight game and fifth time this season. She finished going 9-of-19 from the field, including 8-of-11 from inside the arc, and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Chapin also led all players with five assists.

Also reaching double figures for the Judges was junior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wisc./DePere), who had 14 points. She connected on five of her six field-goal attempts and all four free throws. Strodthoff also led the Judges with seven rebounds and made a career-high four steals.

Carnegie Mellon enjoyed a balanced attack, as sophomore Ali Aunkst (Mount Holly Springs, Pa./Boiling Springs) had 11 points, while three other players had 10 each. Senior Rachelle Roll (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds - including five on the offensive glass. She also tied for team-high honors with four assists. Sophomore Nicole Vaccarella (Colts Neck, N.J./Colts Neck) had 10 points off the bench, leading the Tartan reserves to a 19-13 edge over Brandeis's. Rookie guard Brit Phillips (Parma, Ohio/Normandy) also had a fine game with eight points, four assists and six steals to lead all players.

Brandeis trailed only once in the contest, after an early Aunkst trifecta gave the visitors a 7-6 lead. The Judges answered with nine straight points. They regained the lead on a Strodthoff put-back, while a Chapin assist, traditional three-point play and jumper pushed the lead to 15-7 with 12:48 left in the first.

The Judges kept the lead bouncing between four and six points for much of the opening 20 minutes, but CMU wouldn't let the hosts pull away. Vaccarella had an offensive rebound and a put-back with 18 seconds left that got the Tartans within 31-30 18 seconds before the break, but Brandeis senior forward Kasey Gieschen (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes) found Chapin in the corner for a jumper as the clock expired to expand the lead to 33-30. Chapin had 10 points to lead all players, while CMU rookie Emily Peel (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) had eight, matching Strodthoff.

The second half was similar, with Brandeis opening an early eight-point lead, 40-32, on Morgan Kendrew's (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) only trifecta of the game. CMU answered, pulling within two, 40-38, on an Aunkst jumper, but couldn't capitalize after getting their next stop.

The Judges were unable to pull away until late. Ahead, 52-49, with 7:33 on the clock, the hosts embarked on a 9-0 run over the next 3:34. Chapin notched six points in the run, including her only 3-pointer with 3:57 left that gave Brandeis a 61-49 advantage. That was too much for the Tartans to overcome, as the Judges earned their 16th-straight win over Carnegie Mellon, 70-58.

The team will meet again next Sunday afternoon after Brandeis takes on Case Western Reserve to open the second half of UAA play next Friday night at 6 p.m. CMU hosts NYU at the same time.

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