Women rally but come up just shy at Babson, 63-59

Heather Cain '16 (photo by Sportspix/Jan Volk)
Heather Cain '16 (photo by Sportspix/Jan Volk)

BABSON PARK, Mass. (courtesy Babson sports information) — Sisters Heather Cain and Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) rallied the Brandeis women's basketball team from an eight-point halftime deficit at Babson, but the Judges were unable to hang on for the road win tonight, falling to the Beavers, 63-59.

Babson sophomore Marissa Cicchetti (Mansfield, Mass.) tied for team-high honors with 11 points and drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:36 for the home team.

Brandeis drops to 6-2 headed into the semester break, while Babson improves to 5-2.

The Cain sisters combined for 24 points and 13 rebounds. Heather, a junior, had 12 points, a career-high seven rebounds, and three steals. Hannah, a senior, had 12 points, six caroms and team-high three assists. First-year center Olivia Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Acad.) chipped in with 11 points and five boards, while sophomore Frankie Pinto (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) added eight points.

Junior Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) had 11 points and led all players with nine rebounds and five assists for Babson. First-year Hannah Metcalf (Middlebury, Conn.) finished with a career-high 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting off the bench, while sophomore Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) added nine points and four boards in the win.

Babson knocked down six of its first nine field goal attempts and got contributions from all five starters to build a 15-7 lead just 4:14 into the contest. Brandeis cut its deficit to 18-15 on a three-pointer by Heather Cain, but the Beavers responded with a 7-0 run to take its biggest lead of the night at 25-15 on a triple by Cicchetti with 9:15 remaining in the opening stanza.

Despite starting 5-of-22 from the floor, the Judges pulled within two at 25-23 following two free throws from junior Niki Laskaris (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) with 4:41 to play in the period. The Green and White closed the half with an 11-5 spurt though, getting eight points from Metcalf as well as a three-pointer from Graber to build a 36-28 halftime edge.

The Beavers matched their biggest lead of the game at 44-34 on two free throws by Pickering with 13:24 to play, but Brandeis responded with a 18-7 run to take its first lead of the night on a Heather Cain free throw with 5:18 to go in the contest. Cain had five points during the run and sophomore Maria Jackson (Rochester, N.Y./Hilton) added four to put the Judges in front 52-51.

Sophomore Ashley Snyder (Foxboro, Mass.) gave Babson the lead back with a three-point play on the following possession, but Shaw answered with a three-pointer to put the Judges back in front 55-54 at the 4:46 mark. Pickering and Brandeis first-year Noel Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) traded hoops after three straight empty trips for each squad before Cicchetti buried a deep three-pointer to put the Green and White back in front for good at 59-57 with 1:36 remaining.

Graber extended the lead to four on a layup with 53 seconds to go, but Pinto cut the margin to two with a pair of free throws with 45 ticks left. Pinto had a chance to tie the game after the Beavers missed the front end of a one-and-one but her layup with eight seconds to go wouldn't fall. Cicchetti then sealed the win with two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining.

Both teams struggled from the field on the night as the Green and White shot 36.5 percent (23-of-63), while Brandeis finished at 30.2 percent (19-of-63). The Judges held a slim 46-43 edge on the glass.

Both teams will return to action following final exams in late December as Babson will take on Scranton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on December 29, while Brandeis hosts Gordon at 1 p.m. on December 31.