ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- After overcoming a big early deficit to get within shouting distance at halftime, the Brandeis women's basketball team couldn't overcome the No. 2 team in the nation, falling to host Washington University, 73-49, in a University Athletic Association contest tonight. With the loss, the Judges fall to 6-7 overall, 0-2 in the UAA. The Bears improve to 12-1, 2-0 UAA.
Washington Univ. opened the game by scoring the first 10 points including their first two 3-pointers of the game - and 15 of the first 17. The Judges missed five of their first six shots and committed six turnovers before coach Carol Simon called a timeout 4:41 into the contest. After both teams came up empty over the next two-and-a-half minutes, Brandeis senior Angela Miller (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) scored on an offensive rebound with 12:43 remaining. That was one of five in a row by the visitors, and senior Kasey Dean (Southington, Conn./Pomperaug) connected from downtown at the 9:38 mark to cap an 11-0 run that got Brandeis with 15-13. The Bears' Maddie Scheppers answered from long distance to stop the momentum, and Melissa Gilkey dialed long distance after a pair of Judge foul shots to put WashU ahead, 21-15.
Brandeis rookies accounted for the game's next seven points, however, with guard Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) converting first a steal and an then offensive rebound. Center Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y./Hilton) followed with a free throw and a lay-up at the 5:22 mark that gave Brandeis its first lead of the game, 22-21. The Bears wasted little time reclaiming the lead, as Jordan Thompson connected on the team's sixth trifecta of the half. After Miller tied the game at 24 on a feed from Jackson out of a timeout, Thompson connected from beyond the arc for the second possession in a row, and WashU had the lead for good. That hoop sparked a 7-0 run, but Dean's second 3-pointer of the half with 31 seconds left cut the Brandeis deficit to 31-27 at the intermisson.
Brandeis stayed in the game by outshooting WashU, 36.7% to 35.5% and owning a 22-19 edge on the glass. The Bears' 7-2 advantage from 3-point range was the difference in the first half. Washington showed why they are the second-ranked team in the nation in the second, however, by reversing two of those trends. The Bears outscored the Judges, 42-22, in the second 20 minutes by shooting 42.1% to 32.3% for the Judges. They also dominated the glass, 33-14, including 15-6 on the offensive boards. WashU also had five 3-pointers to none for Brandeis in the second half.
For the game, Dean led Brandeis with 12 points, scoring six in each half. Hodges added eight points, six rebounds and three assists, all coming in the first half. Miller matched Hodges for team-high honors with six boards, while Dean and Janelle Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans) also had three assists.
Washington had three players in double figures, as Thompson and Scheppers each hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Gilkey had 14 points, while Lucy Montgomery had nine points on three trifectas off the bench. Gilkey and Kristen Anda tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds, while Thompson added six assists and Scheppers had five helpers. The Bears ended up with 12 trifectas, just shy of a school record and owned a 52-36 advantage on the glass.
Brandeis is next in action Sunday afternoon at 2 Central/3 Eastern at the University of Chicago. Washington University hosts NYU at the same time.