Hodges paces balanced attack as women down Carnegie Mellon, 67-60, in UAA action

Paris Hodges '17 (photo by Sportspix)
Paris Hodges '17 (photo by Sportspix)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Brandeis University women's basketball team used a deep and balanced attack with five players - including two off the bench - scoring in double figures tonight, to defeat host Carnegie Mellon, 67-60, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Skibo Gymnasium. With the win, the Judges improve to 9-4 overall, 1-1 in the UAA. The Tartans fall to 9-3, 1-1 UAA.

The Judges were led by sophomore guard Paris Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton), who came off the bench with season-highs of 12 points and eight rebounds. Hodges, who missed the first eight games of the season due to injury for Brandeis, hit 5-of-11 from the field and 2-of-4 from the line. Classmate Frankie Pinto (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) matched Hodges for team-high honors with 12 points, nine of which came in the first half. Pinto hit an unconventional four-point play to help the Judges erase a large deficit. 

Junior guard Heather Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) added 11 points off the bench, as the Judges reserves outscored their CMU counterparts, 25-5. Two other starters, junior Niki Laskaris (Swampscott, Mass./Swampscott) and Sydney Sodine (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) each pitched in 10 points. Sodine and Hannah Cain (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) each had two assists, while rookie Olivia Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Acad.) made a career-high four steals and blocked two shots. 

Brandeis outshot the Tartans, 39% (24-61) to 32% (22-68) and won the turnover battle, 19-14, including 15-11 in points off those miscues. The Judges also outscored Carnegie Mellon from the line, 15-8, hitting 75% (15-20) to 53% (8-15). 

CMU lost despite putting four starters in double digit scoring, three of whom recorded double-doubles as the Tartans controlled the boards, 49-39. Lisa Murphy led all scorers with 19 points, while grabbing 12 rebounds. Lindsay Poss added 12 points and a game-high 13 caroms, while Liza Otto rounded out the double-double crew with 10 points and 10 boards. Chandler Caulfield added 13 points for the hosts, but the Tartan reserves had just five points on 2-of-12 shooting. 

Brandeis trailed by as many as 11 points at 15-4 early in the first half, but they rallied to tie it at 28-28 on a Hodges jumper with just under three minutes to go before intermission. A late Murphy lay-up gave the home team a 30-28 lead at the break. The Tartans pushed the lead back to seven on a Caulfield trifecta and a Murphy put-back early in the second half, causing the Judges to call timeout. 

The Tartans held onto the lead until the 12:04 mark of the second half, when Hodges scored a bucket after a Murphy offensive foul. The game was scoreless for nearly two minutes when rookie Noel Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) - Paris's younger sister - scored to make in a three-point game, 47-44, with 10:15 on the clock.

The lead would change hands two more times with three ties over the next seven-and-a-half minutes. The game was tied at 57-57 when Murphy connected from the charity stripe at the 2:47 mark after getting fouled while grabbing a rebound. On the ensuing possession, Hannah Cain found Paris Hodges open on the right wing, and she buried a jumper that would put the Judges ahead for good, 59-57, with 2:27 to go. The Tartans hit one-of-two from the line on their next possession, and Hannah Cain drove to the hoop and converrted to make it a three-point game, 61-58.

The Judges got a big stop despite allowing two offensive rebounds on CMU's next possession, and put it away next time down the floor, when Sodine was fouled on a lay-up. She completed the three-point play, giving Brandeis a six-point lead with 1:05 to go, enough to salt the game away.

The Judges return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Case Western Reserve. CMU hosts NYU at the same time.