Despite leading at the half, the Brandeis women's basketball team was unable to knock off the undefeated NYU Violets, falling 67-57 in its first conference game of the season. The Judges fall to 6-6, while the Violets improve to 12-0, NYU's best start since the 2007-08 season.
NYU scored the first six points of the game but the Judges countered with the next seven, taking their first lead of the contest on a layup by senior Kasey Dean (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) at 14:21. A Riley Wurtz (Sandy Hook, Conn./Newton) 3-pointer stretched the Violets lead to 22-15 but the Judges again had the answer, going on a 10-0 spurt. NYU scored one more basket before the half expired, and the Judges entered the break up, 25-24.
Stiffling defense from Brandeis held NYU to a 27.5 field goal percentage in the first half. However, 10 offensive rebounds for the Violets and 13 Brandeis turnovers kept things close, as NYU took 15 more shots than the Judges in the first 20 minutes. Brandeis rookie Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y./Hilton) stuffed the statsheet with six points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Wurtz entered the break with a game-high nine points.
The teams traded baskets to start the second half before the Violets went on a 10-0 run over their own. Wurtz scored five points and rookie Lindsey Oldshue (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, giving NYU a 39-30 lead with 15:41 remaining. The Judges continued to battle back, but could never get closer than five. A Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans) jumper made the score 56-48 with 4:32 left, but NYU immediately went on a 5-0 spurt, and led by double digits the rest of the way.
Rodriguez led Brandeis with 13 points and tied with Dean and Jackson for a team-best three steals, as the Judges tied their season high with 14 takeaways. Jackson joined Rodriguez in double figures with 10, while senior Angela Miller (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) and sophomore Ceara McNamara (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) combined for 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. The Brandeis bench outscored their NYU counterparts, 21-8.
Wurtz paced the Violets with a game-high 21 points, along with five steals. Oldshue had 16 and rookie Kaitlyn Read (University Park, Texas/Highland Park) had 11, while sophomore Megan Dawe (Santa Clarita, Calif./Saugus) had a game-high 11 rebounds. NYU outrebounded Brandeis, 48-35, including 19 offensive boards.
The Judges continue conference play next weekend, travelling to Washington University in St. Louis on Friday and the University of Chicago on Sunday. NYU will play the reverse schedule, playing at the Maroons on Friday before taking on the Bears on Sunday.