Women struggle on offense in 56-38 loss at Case

Kelly Ethier '12 (Photo by SportsPix)
Kelly Ethier '12 (Photo by SportsPix)

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Brandeis University women's basketball team had its lowest offensive output of the season today as the Judges fell to Case Western Reserve University, 56-38, in a University Athletic Association contest. With the loss, Brandeis fall to 9-5 (1-2 UAA), while the Spartans own a share of the conference lead at 9-5 (3-0 UAA).

Junior guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) led Brandeis in scoring with eight points, the first time this season Brandeis did not put anyone in double figures. Ethier also led the team with three assists. Classmate and back-court mate Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) was held to just seven points, struggling from the floor, where she made just two of her 16 attempts. Senior forward Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wis./DePere) led the Judges with 10 rebounds, her four game of the season in double figures. The Judges, who were held to a season-low 27.3% shooting from the field (15-55), had their lowest scoring output since last February in the loss.

Case put four starters in double figures. Erin Hollinger led all scorers with 13 points, while Caitlin Henry, Evy Iacono and Erica Iafelice all contributed 11. Henry also posted a double-double with a game-high 14 rebounds and led all players with four assists. The Spartans won the battle of the turnovers, forcing 16 while committing just 14, and they turned that edge into an 18-4 advantage in points off those miscues. With the win, the Spartans snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Judges that dated to the 2002-03 season.

After Strodthoff gave the Judges an early 5-4 lead by putting back a rebound of her own miss, Case answered with a 7-0 run, with five coming from Iafelice, to take an 11-5 lead. Case was ahead, 22-14, with just 1:34 left in the first when Ethier connected beyond the arc and Kendrew added a jumper with 44 seconds on the clock as the Judges closed to within three points at the break at 22-19.

Ethier hit the first hoop of the second half to get Brandeis with one, sparking a 6-2 run to open the stanza and give the Judges a 25-24 lead just over three minutes in after a pair of Kendrew free throws. Case's Marissa Miles responded with a 3-pointer, sparking a 13-0 run over the next 3:23. The run was capped by an Iafelice trifecta that put the hosts up, 37-25, with 13:35 left, and the Spartans' lead never dipped any lower than six points the rest of the way.

Brandeis returns to UAA action next Friday at 6 p.m. when they host the University of Chicago, the other co-leaders of the conference.