WALTHAM, Mass.- On Monday January 6th, the Brandeis University women's basketball team closed their non-conference schedule with a 73-35 rout of the UMass-Boston Beacons at Red Auerbach Arena. Led by a career-high 18 points from rookie forward Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y./Hilton), the Judges had the lead the entire way as they improved to 6-5 on the season. The Beacons fall to 8-3.
A smothering Brandeis defense kept UMass in check for nearly the entire first half. The Beacons missed their first 17 shots and turned the ball over 11 times. Their first made field goal came at the 5:38 mark on a lay-up by junior center Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) to cut the deficit to 15-6. Meanwhile, the Judges shot 11-for-30 (36.7%) from the field and built their lead to 28-10 on a jumper by Jackson with 1:29 remaining in the period. UMass closed the half on a quick 4-0 spurt but Brandeis held a 28-14 advantage at the break.
The second half was more of the same as a stifling Judges defense turned into a scorching offensive period. Brandeis forced another 11 turnovers and held the Beacons under 30% from the field in the half. On the offensive end, the Judges shot a fantastic 19-for-28 (67.9%) from the floor as they pulled away. After UMass scored the first two baskets of the period to cut the lead to 28-18, Brandeis reeled off 10 straight points to put the contest to bed. The lead ballooned to 31 at the 7:43 mark when rookie guard Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) stole the ball and scored a break-away lay-up. The Judges did not allow their advantage to fall below 30 from that point on and won 73-35.
Brandeis was led by Jackson with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting including a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. She was joined in double-digits by senior forward Nicolina Vitale (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley) who had 13 points and tied for team-high honors with three steals. Senior guard Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans) and sophomore guard Samantha Mancinelli (Durham, Conn./Coginchaug Regional) each chipped in eight points. Hodges and senior center Angela Miller (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) shared team-high honors with seven rebounds. Senior guard Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) led the squad with four assists.
The Beacons were led by reserves Morrison and rookie guard Chantel Jordan (Brockton, Mass./Brockton) who each had eight points. Junior forward Brittany Moore (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) had team-high seven rebounds while senior guard Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass./Milford) had a game-high five steals.
The Judges return to action for the start of University Athletic Association (UAA) play on Saturday January 11th at NYU with a 2:00 p.m. tip-off. UMass also plays next on Saturday January 11th with a trip to Eastern Connecticut State at 1:00 p.m.