November 23, 2010

Balanced attack leads Brandeis women past Wellesley, 48-37

WALTHAM, Mass. – Ten different players broke into the scoring column tonight as the Brandeis University women's basketball team defeated visiting Wellesley College, 48-37, in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges improve to 3-2 on the season with their ninth-straight win over the Blue, while Wellesley suffers their first loss of the season to fall to 2-1.

Brandeis was led by senior guard Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Red Bank Catholic), who finished one point shy of her career-best with 10, six of which came in the second half. DePalo also led all players with a career-high five steals. Junior forward Brighid Courtney (Southampton, Mass./Northampton) was one rebound and one basket shy of her first collegiate double-double with eight points and a team-high nine boards, including four on the offensive glass. Sophomore Shakara Scott (Philadelphia, Pa./Central) notched a career-best with seven points off the bench, leading the Brandeis reserves to a 16-0 scoring edge over the Blue. The Judges also used an 11-5 advantage on the offensive glass to a 14-2 margin in second-chance points.

Wellesley was paced by sophomore forward Becca Kimball (Weston, Mass./Weston), who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, both game-highs. Kimball hit 4-of-8 with a free throw for nine points in the first half, but was just 2-for-7 in the second. Sophomore Malia Maier (Torrance, Calif./Palos Verdes Estates) added 12 points, thank in part to 7-of-11 on free throws, and four steals. Classmate Ashleigh Sargent (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) also had a nice game on the boards with eight.

After Brandeis junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) opened the game with a 3-pointer, Wellesley responded with a 9-2 run that gave them a four-point lead after Maier's trifecta at the 13:21 mark. The Judges responded with 17 of the next 19 points, holding the visitors to just one field goal over the next 9:45. Seven different Judges had field goals in the key run, with only Scott contributing more than one bucket.

After Kendrew's jumper at 4:18 made it an 11-point game, 22-11, the Blue snapped out of their funk, closing on a 10-4 that culminated with rookie Leslie Leong's (Sacramento, Calif./JFK) trifecta with 13 seconds remaining. That bucket closed the visitors within 26-21 at the break. Wellesley stayed close to the Judges in the second half, getting within two points at 30-28 on two Maier free throws with 13:40 left in regulation, but Scott answered with a jumper and the Judges were able to keep it a two-possession game the rest of the way.

Brandeis is back in action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. when they take on Tufts University in Medford, while Wellesley takes on Connecticut College in their home opener at the same time.