No. 22 Rochester women pull away from Judges, 77-61

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The 22nd-ranked University of Rochester women's basketball team blew open a one-point game by outscoring the visiting Brandeis University Judges, 24-9, over the final 6:44 of the contest to take a 77-61 victory in University Athletic Association (UAA) action today.

Brandeis (10-4, 1-2 UAA) opened the game strong, jumping out to a 22-14 lead with 7:28 left in the first half following a fast-break lay-up by junior Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass.) on a feed from sophomore Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y.). After the teams traded buckets, Rochester (13-1, 3-0 UAA) scored eight unanswered points, tying the contest at 24-24 on a traditional three-point play by rookie Courtney Donovan (Grand Island, N.Y.). The Judges reclaimed a 30-26 lead on back-to-back hoops by Chapin an senior Kiersten Holgash (Easton, Pa.), but UR scored the final four points of the stanza to send the game to the locker room tied, 30-30. Chapin and Brandeis senior Jaime Capra (Old Bridge, N.J.) led all players with eight points each in the first half, while three Rochester players had seven points in the first.

Rochester opened up an early five-point lead in the second half on a 3-pointer by junior Helen Baroody (Cazenovia, N.Y.), but the Judges stayed close, keeping the deficit no less than six points in the early going. Junior Cassidy Dadaos (Healdsburg, Calif.) converted a three-point play with 13:35 on the clock to cut the lead to 43-42. Twice more, the Yellowjackets extended the lead to five points, but big trifectas from sophomores Carmela Breslin (McKees Rocks, Pa.) and Lauren Rashford (Whitesboro, N.Y.) cut the margin back to one. Unfortunately, the last long-distance bomb by Rashford was as close as the Judges got the rest of the way. Rochester was paced down the stretch by rookie guard Melissa Alwardt (Greece, N.Y.), who scored 11 of her game-high 20 points consecutively in the final 6:44 stretch.

Brandeis was paced by Chapin, who scored 16 points on six-of-14 shooting with three 3-pointers. She also had team-highs with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Capra finished with 12 points and seven boards, while Dadaos also reached double figures with 10 points.

Rochester was paced by Alwardt's 20 off the bench. Her career-high came on seven-of-14 from the field, including four-of-nine from beyond the arc, and two free throws. Juniors Alex Porter (Rockville, Md.) and Julie Marriott (Fairport, N.Y.) each tallied 14 points. Porter led all players with nine rebounds and six steals, while Porter had a game-high six assists. The Yellowjackets' 77 points were the most allowed by the Judges this season, who had only given up more than 60 points twice. After 31 percent shooting in the first half (11-35), UR nearly doubled the performance in the second, connecting on 60 percent (15-25) to finish at 43 percent (26-60).

Brandeis is next in action on Friday evening when they host the University of Chicago at 6:00 p.m. in another UAA clash.