Kendrew, Cincotta spark Brandeis women past CMU, 67-56, for first UAA win

Diana Cincotta '11 hit her 100th career 3-pointer in the win over CMU (photo by SportsPix)
Diana Cincotta '11 hit her 100th career 3-pointer in the win over CMU (photo by SportsPix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University senior guard Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) scored a season-high 22 points today to lead the Judges past Carnegie Mellon University, 67-56, in University Athletic Association (UAA) women's basketball action today. With the win, the Judges snap a six-game skid, all within the conference, to improve to 8-10, 1-6 UAA, while the Tartans fall to 7-11, 1-6 UAA.

Kendrew, who scored 11 points in each half, finished the game with 9-of-18 shooting, including 2-of-7 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 from the line. It marked the fourth time in her career that Kendrew scored at least 20 points in a game and was nearly a year to the day after her last - Jan. 29, 2011 vs. Emory. 

Kendrew also finished with four rebounds and four assists as part of a balanced Brandeis lineup. On the glass, seven different players finished with between four and six rebounds. Distributing the ball, four Judges had three or four assists and the team had helpers on 21 of 27 baskets.

Two other Brandeis players scored in double figures. Graduate student Diana Cincotta (W. Boylston, Mass./W. Boylston) finished with 13 points. She hit on 4-of-9 3-pointers for the game, including the 100th of her career at the 13:57 mark of the second half. Cincotta became the sixth player in school history to reach the century mark, joining Kendrew, who got there on Friday evening and has 102 trifectas. Rookie guard Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) finished with 12 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Senior Shannon Hassan (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) led the Judges with six rebounds off the bench, while sophomore guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) added a career-high four steals.

Carnegie Mellon had just one player score in double figures, as senior Jennifer Larsen (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) finished with 13 points on 4-of-9 overall, including 3-of-4 from downtown. Junior Emily Peel (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) led all players with 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, but the Judges held the Tartan's leading scorer nine points below her season average. Peel and sophomore Jacquie Shaw (Portland, Ore./Grant) tied for game-high honors with four assists, while Shaw also had four steals.

Brandeis opened the game on a 13-5 run over the first 4:20, with Cain contributing six of the Judges' points. After a Tartan timeout, the visitors climbed back in the game, tying it at 18 on a West trifecta at the 11:12 mark. West dialed long distance again with 6:47 left in the half to give CMU a brief 21-20 lead, but Cincotta answered from long range and the Judges never trailed again. They closed the stanza on a 16-7 string that featured seven points by Kendrew and four by Dean, including a steal and lay-up at the buzzer that gave Brandeis a 36-28 lead. The late run helped ensure Brandeis would improve to 8-0 when leading at the break.

CMU clawed to within seven points at 52-45 midway through the second half on an Aspen McKeever (Durango, Colo./Durango) 3-pointer. After nearly three minutes of scoreless ball, Kendrew answered from deep, kicking off an 11-0 run, and the Judges never looked back. Brandeis ended up shooting 40.3% (27-67) for the game, their best percentage since Dec. 31, while holding Carnegie Mellon to 31.5% (17-54). The win extended their streak over CMU to 20-straight games, dating back to the 2001-02 season.

These two teams will meet again next Sunday at 2 p.m. in Pittsburgh after the Judges take on Case Western Reserve in Cleveland and Carnegie Mellon hosts NYU next Friday evening at 6 p.m.