Behind Strodthoff double-double, Brandeis women top Rochester, 55-48

WALTHAM, Mass. - Four starters in Brandeis University women's basketball line-up scored in double figures tonight, paced by junior Amber Strodthoff's (DePere, Wisc./DePere) third double-double of the season, as the Judges defeated the University of Rochester Yellowjackets, 55-48, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. With the win, Brandeis improved to 9-5 overall and 2-2 in the UAA. Rochester, which saw its eight-game winning streak come to a halt, fell to 12-3, 2-2 UAA.

Strodthoff had 10 points and a game- and career-high 13 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, to register her third double-double of the season and her career. Two Brandeis backcourt mates, senior Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Fall-Lima) and sophomore Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) had 11 points each to lead the squad. Strodhoff and senior forward Kasey Gieschen (Boonton Township, N.J/Mountain Lakes) were right behind with 10 each. Junior guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) had a game-high five assists for the Judges.

As a team, the Judges outrebounded Rochester, 44-41, just the second time this season the 'Jackets have been on the short end of that statistic. Thanks to Strodhoff and Gieschen, Brandeis outscored UR, 20-10, on points in the pain and 11-5 on second-chance points.

Rochester, which was held under 50 points in a game for the first time this season, was paced by sophomore center Jodie Luther (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton). Luther had a game-high 16 points - 10 in the first half - and also grabbed 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the campaign. Junior guard Melissa Alwardt (Greece, N.Y./Greece Athena) had 11 points and seven boards. No other Rochester player had more than seven points. Senior guard Jessica Mastronardi (Kendall Park, N.J./So. Brunswick) topped he squad with three assists, as the Yellowjackets had 12 helpers on 19 baskets. UR's bench outscored the Brandeis reserves, 14-6.

Brandeis raced out to a 9-2 lead in the contest, as Chapin opened with a 3-pointer and Strodthoff's put-back with just 2:47 elapsed forced Rochester to call an early timeout. With the lead still seven at 11-4 with 14:39 on the clock, UR scored nine straight points, as Alwardt tied the game with a trifecta and gave them their first lead, 13-11, with a jumper. Neither team was able to pull away, however, with a late 3-pointer by senior guard Lauren Rashford (Whitesboro, N.Y./Whitesboro) with 1:50 left giving Brandeis a 25-22 lead at the break.

In the second half, Brandeis never trailed, but they were unable to pull away from the Yellowjackets. The Judges owned a 44-37 lead with 8:21 on the clock following a Cincotta trifecta, her first of the game. Rochester responded with a 9-4 run, with back-to-back hoops by Luther cutting the deficit to 48-46 with 2:39 on the clock.

At that point, Chapin came to life, scoring a jumper on the next possession. After Strodthoff came down with a big rebound on the defensive end, Chapin put the nail in Rochester's coffin a 3-pointer. It was her second of the game and the 145th of her career, extending her school-record. With six rebounds on the evening, Chapin is now within 16 of becoming the first woman in school history to rank in Brandeis's top 10 career lists in scoring (7th, 1092), assists (7th, 221), steals (224, 3rd) and rebounds (11th, 472).

Brandeis is next in action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. when they take on Emory University in another UAA contest, while Rochester is at NYU at the same time for a conference game.

BOX SCORE