Ethier rallies Brandeis women past Emmanuel, 72-67

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) scoring nine points in the second half and made several key plays down the stretch, tonight to lead the Brandeis University women's basketball defeated Emmanuel College, 72-67, in Red Auerbach Arena.

For the Judges (4-3), it was a collective effort.  Senior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wis./DePere) led the team with 15 points, six rebounds, a career high four blocks and one assist.  Ethier had 14 points, four assists, and three rebounds.  Rounding outthe double-figure scoring for the Judges was rookie guard Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./ Peabody Veterans Memorial) who posted a career high 10 points, eight of which came in the second half. Rookie guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomeraug) recorded a career high of five rebounds and tied her career mark with six points. 

For the Saints (2-3), senior guard Kristen LeBel (Tolland, Conn./Tolland) recorded the game-high with 27 points, also posting five steals and making 10-of-10 from the line.  Also scoring in double digits was junior guard Meghan Kirwan (Melrose, Mass./Melrose) with 17 points.  Rookie forward Jasmine Burwell (Brentwood, N.Y./Brentwood) and sophomore forward Fiona O'Dwyer (Stamford, Conn./Stamford) each had six rebounds, while senior guard Casey Shelvin (Medford, N.Y./ Mary Louis Academy) led her squad with six assists.  For the game, the Saints shot 21-54 from  the floor (38.9%) and 17-18 from the line (94.4%)

The first half started out close, with score tied 7-7 at 16:26.  After three scoreless minutes, Rodriguez hit a jumper, with an assist from rookie guard Julia Scanlon (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) to put the Judges up by two.  The Saints answered back with a long ball from Kirwan to put the visitors up 10-9, but a breakaway layup from sophomore Courtney Ness (Norwich, Vt./ Hanover) put Judges up by one, their last lead of the half at 11-10. 

Starting at 12:29, a flurry of Brandeis turnovers helped the Saints outscore the hosts, 7-0. Lebel hit a three to regain the lead, 13-11.  She followed up with a steal, sending the ball to Kirwan for the layup.  A Brandeis foul sent Kirwan to the line for the three-point play, putting the Saints up 16-11.  At 11:32, Lebel made two free throw shots to put her team up by 7.  The Judges were able to whittled the deficit down to three points at 32-29 by halftime. Kirwan led all players with 11 points in the first, while Lebel added nine. Sophomore Samantha Anderson (Johnsonville, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) helped keep the Judges in the game by eclipsing her career-high with eight points in just 13 minutes.

The Judges opened the second half with a 3-pointer from senior forward Mia DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) to tie the score, 32-32.  The Saints answered back with a long ball of their own to begin an eight-point run at 19:22.  In the first four minutes, Emmanuel outscored the Judges, 14-6, but the Judges were able to bounce back. At 8:36, Ethier delivered a shot from deep to give the Brandeis their first lead since the first half, 55-52

At 2:59, with the visitors up 63-61, O'Dwyer committed an offensive foul, turning over possession to the Judges.  Ethier made a sure pass to Strodthoff , who hit the layup and drew the foul to put Brandeis up by one, 64-63.  At 2:15, with the Saints in control of the ball, Rodriguez made a steal but missed the layup.  Kendrew sent LeBel to the line for two shots with an over-the-back foul, putting the visitors up 65-64. Ethier rebounded her own missed layup to regain the lead for the Judges with 1:44 left on the clock. After Ethier stole the ball, she fired a pass to Rodriguez, who nailed a shot from beyond the arc at the left elbow to put the score at 69-65, icing the game.