BABSON PARK, Mass. (courtesy Babson sports information) — The Brandeis University women's basketball team got 17 points off the bench from junior transfer Eva Hart (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquad) and a near double-double from senior Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) but it wasn't enough to overcome a slow start as the Judges dropped a non-conference contest at Babson College, 75-68.
With its fourth straight win, Babson is now 5-1, while Brandeis slips to 5-3 on the year.
Hart 5-of-10 overall from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range to surpass her previous Brandeis best by 12 points. Hodges contributed team-highs with 19 points and nine rebounds, tying a season-high.
Senior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) scored 11 of her game-high 23 points in the first quarter to lead the Beavers. Pickering was 10-of-15 from the floor and led all players with three assists for the Beavers. First-year Vanessa Onwe (Tarrytown, N.Y.) added a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while senior Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) contributed nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with three steals and two blocks.
Brandeis made its first four shots and led 8-5 before the Green and White ripped off a 16-0 run to take control of the game. Pickering had seven points during the spurt and followed a bucket by Onwe with a jumper to give the Beavers' their biggest lead of the game at 25-11 late in the first quarter.
Despite connecting on just two field goals in the second period, the Judges pulled as close as seven on a free throw by Hodges late in the frame and trailed just 36-27 at the break. A layup by Metcalf and two straight baskets by Onwe helped Babson extend its advantage back to 42-29 less than two minutes into the third quarter, but Brandeis responded with a 14-5 run that cut its deficit to 47-43 on a layup by senior Sydney Sodine (New York, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West) with 3:00 to play in the stanza.
The Beavers countered with a 7-0 burst that pushed their lead back to 11 on a three-pointer by sophomore Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) with 1:09 to go in the stanza, and later matched their biggest lead of the night at 65-51 on a jumper by Onwe with 5:50 left in the fourth. Brandeis knocked down five triples over the final 10 minutes and pulled within 71-65 on a trifecta by first-year Lauren Rubinstein (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) with 1:48 to go, but Pickering and senior Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) both sank a pair of free throws in the closing minute to put the game away.
Babson shot a season-high 48.4 percent (31-of-64) and outscored Brandeis 44-26 in the paint. The Beavers also finished with a 43-37 edge on the glass.
Brandeis travels to Gordon on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off to close out the first semester.