WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time this season, hitting 32-of-63 (50.8%), to handle visiting Simmons College with ease, 69-37. Twelve different Brandeis players got into the scoring column as the Judges evened their record at 5-5, while the Sharks fell to 1-6 on the campaign.
Brandeis was led by junior guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug), who scored a game-high 12 points on 5-of-10 from the floor. Dean also finished with a game- and season-high six assists, two shy of a career-best. Her six assists were one fewer than the entire Simmons roster.
Sophomore guard Mikaela Garvin (Providence, R.I./Hope) just missed joining Dean in double figures with nine points off the bench on four-of-eight shooting. Five other Brandeis players scored between six and eight points. Rookie Niki Laskaris (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) led Brandeis and tied her career-high with six rebounds. The Judges also had a balanced attack on the glass, with four different players grabbing four boards and two others with three as they owned a 41-35 rebounding edge. Brandeis was also unselfish with the ball, as three players had three assists each. The Judges had 24 assists on 32 baskets.
Simmons did not have a player score in double figures, but senior Liz O'Connor (Milton, Mass./Milton) just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds. O'Connor also led the Sharks with four assists and a blocked shot. Sophomore Olivia LaCroix (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) also had nine points off the bench for Simmons. The Sharks struggled from the field, hitting on just 12-of-56 (21.4%).
Brandeis never trailed in the contest, scoring the first six points of the game, four coming from Dean. Simmons kept the score close in the early stages of the game, as the Sharks were within five at the 9:30 mark after O'Connor converted a traditional three-point play to make it 19-14. The teams traded buckets on the next two possessions, so the score was 21-16 with 8:50 left in the first half. The Judges held Simmons without a field goal the rest of the way, allowing them just four free throws, on a 16-4 closing run. A bucket at the buzzer by rookie Samantha Mancinelli (Durham, Conn./Coginchaug) made it a 37-20 lead at the break for Brandeis, as the Judges outshot Simmons, 50 percent to 25.9 percent. Dean had 10 of her 12 points in the first half. The Judges didn't let up in the second half, when they started on a 16-3 run, and led by as many as 34 points. Brandeis outscored the visitors, 32-17, in the second 20 minutes, outshooting them 51.7 percent to 17.2 percent.
Done for the semester, the Brandeis women will return to action with an inter-session game on December 31 at 1 p.m. against Husson College, one final tune-up before University Athletic Association play begins against New York University on January 5 at 2 p.m.
Simmons is off until Jan. 3 when they travel to Mount Holyoke College at 6 p.m.
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