BRISTOL, R.I. (taken from an RWU press release) – Brandeis women's basketball senior Niki Laskaris (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime tonight as the Judges rallied from a nine-point deficit with just over six minutes remaining in regulation to defeat host Roger Williams University, 78-71, in a non-conference matchup.
RWU's Angelica Ariola (Prospect, Conn.) started the game strong for the Hawks with a three pointer to get the first points on the board. They continued to stay on top throughout the first quarter with relentless offensive drives.
The Judges weren't far behind, trailing the Hawks 5-11 with five minutes left in the first quarter. Laskaris hit a 3-pointer to keep the Judges in pace - one of her only two buckets until the fourth quarter - followed by another three-pointer by senior Heather Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester). However, Rachel Battista (Johnston, R.I.) scored the last two points of the quarter with two smooth free throws, putting the Hawks on top 18-10.
The Hawks scored nine points early on in the first portion of the second period, including a three-pointer by Anna Walther (Northhampton, Mass.), her first of the game.
Junior Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) put up two points with a breakaway layup, making the score 24-15. Teammate Laskaris closed the gap with to go with a quick shot, the Judges now trailing by 8.
Junior Ceara McNamara (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) put up the last point in the second for Brandeis with a free throw making the score 37-29 at the end of the second, the Hawks on top. Roger Williams' Katie Lowerre (Sharon, Mass.) stayed aggressive under the hoop with a total of 7 rebounds in the first half.
Ariola started off the third with a jumper, which was immediately followed by a basket by opponent Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y/Hilton). Brandeis continued with several more baskets, bringing the score to 40-33.
The Judges continued to stay close, trailing by five with five minutes to go. Yet the Hawks continued to hold the lead going into the last quarter, 48-40.
Possession remained back and forth throughout the period. The game came to a head at the five-minute mark. Brandeis refused to give up, bringing the score to a close 54-50 with 5 minutes left in the game. Laskaris hit a jumper, bringing the Judges within a basket. Laskaris came in clutch a minute later, hitting a three-pointer which put Brandeis in the lead for the first time in the game, the score now 55-54 in favor of the Judges
Teammate Hodges pushed forward to increase the Judges score to 57-54. Battista retaliated with a three pointer, tying the game. Each team clinched another basket; the score tied 59-59 with a minute to go.
Hodges scored the go-ahead free throws with 30 seconds left in the game. Yet Battista came in with the rebuttal, perfectly hitting a three pointer from the right hand side, putting the Hawks up by one point with 20 seconds to go.
On the other end, a Hawk foul put Jackson on the line with six seconds to go. She made one out of the two baskets, tying the game yet again 62-62. The Hawks were unable to make the final shot in time, resulting in overtime.
Laskaris hit the first shot of overtime, a 3-pointer, and the Judges never trailed in the extra session. They followed with two more free throws for the Judges. Walther scored two for the Hawks, but the Judges came back with another two.
Brandeis would pull away after Laskaris hit a three-pointer with one minute left to further their lead to four, then adding two more on the following possession on a pair of free throws by Hodges. The Hawks were unable overcome the six-point deficit, falling ultimately by seven.
Five players scored in double figures for Brandeis, including double-doubles for Jackson (12 pts, career-high 18 reb) and Sydney Sodine (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) (17 pts, 13 reb). Laskaris led Brandeis with 19 points.
Battista set a new career high with 21 points. Lowerre finished with a double-double, going for 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Quity set a new single-game school record with 11 blocks in the game to go along with 12 points.
Brandeis (3-0) will attempt to continue its streak at home afternoon against the Jumbos from Tufts University.