WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University and Bates College women's basketball teams will meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. for the 2009 Brandeis Basketball Classic championship after posting semifinal wins tonight. The host Judges, ranked No. 9 in the nation, defeated the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards, 56-49, in the opener, while the Bates College Bobcats rolled past the Mount Holyoke College Lyons, 74-51, in the second game. Wentworth and MHC will meet tomorrow at noon in the consolation game.
In the opener, Brandeis (3-0) used a 9-0 run early in the first half to turn a 7-7 contest into a 16-7 advantage on a fast-break lay-up by sophomore Bridghid Courtney (Southampton, Mass./Northampton) with just over 10 minutes gone in the contest. Wentworth (2-1) was able to whittle the lead down to two at 21-19 with 2:24 left in the half on two Morgan Furman (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) free throws, but the teams traded 3-pointers late in the stanza with a Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) trifecta with six seconds on the clock giving the hosts a 29-23 lead at the break. Brandeis pushed the lead to as many as 11 in the second half, and while the Judges weren't able to pull away, the Leopards never got any closer than a two-possession game.
Chapin led the Judges with 14 points, seven coming in each half. Senior forward Kasey Gieschen (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes) and junior guard Diana Cincotta (Plymouth, Mass./W. Boylston) both head eight points each, while sophomore guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) had a team-high eight rebounds off the bench. Cincotta led all players with four assists. Overall, the Judges were able to overcome a 27 percent shooting night by outrebounding Wentworth, 42-35, including 18-11 on the offensive glass. The latter advantage turned into an 18-point margin in second-chance points (20-2).
Wentworth (2-1) had game-high performances in scoring and rebounding. Senior Michelle Fauci (Boxford, Mass./Masconomet Regional) led all players with 19 points, connecting on six-of-11 from the field with a 3-pointer and all six of her free throws. She also had eight rebounds, a game-high four steals and team-best three assists. Furman added 15 points of her own. Junior forward Kirsten Vallone (Avon, N.Y./Avon Central) had a game-high 10 rebounds.
In the second game, Bates trailed for most of the first four minutes of the contest, but a 14-2 run over a span of just under five minutes gave the Bobcats a 21-10 lead at the 11:04 mark. An 8-3 run over the final six-plus minutes of the stanza gave them a 31-19 lead at the break and the Bobcats cruised, leading by as many as 27 in the second half.
Senior forward Lauren Yanofsky (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) led the way for Bates, scoring 18 points, 14 coming in the first half. She connected on eight-of-12 overall, including two-of-three from downtown. Classmate Kellie Goodridge (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) added a double-double performance with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. She had eight points and seven boards before halftime. Junior center Christine McCall (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) also pitched in with 11 points off the bench. Sophomore Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) had a fine performance with game-highs of five assists and three steals. The Bobcats won the battle of the turnovers, turning 22 MHC miscues into 26 points, while committing just 13 of their own and giving up 10 points on them.
The Lyons also had three players in double figures. Senior guard Erin Cain (Quincy, Mass./Fontbonne Acad.) led the way with 13 points, hitting five-of-10 from the floor with a trifecta and both of her free throws. Rookie guard Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, Mass./Proctor Acad.) added 11 points and a team-high four assists, while sophomore forward Tricia Chase (Feeding Hills, Mass./Cathedral) tossed in 10 points off the bench. Sophomore guard Christine Chancy (Bay Harbor Island, Fla./Miami Country) and senior forward Jess Olson (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland) led Mount Holyoke with six rebounds each.