Nicholson double-double leads women to weekend sweep with 55-52 win over CMU

WALTHAM, Mass. –  Thanks to career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds from sophomore Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy), the Brandeis University women's basketball team completed a University Athletic Association (UAA) weekend sweep today by holding off Carnegie Mellon in a 55-52 victory. With the win, the Judges improve to 11-6 overall, 3-4 in the UAA, while the Tartans fall to 9-9, 1-6 UAA.

Nicholson nearly had her second career double-double by halftime, when she had 13 points and eight rebounds. Despite her fine performance in the first half, the Judges trailed CMU at halftime, 29-25. The Tartans' Makayla Filiere (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) surpassed Nicholson with 15 first-half points.

Filiere scored the opening bucket of the second half to give the visitors their largest lead of the game at 31-25 with 8:57 to go. Brandeis rallied with the next eight points of the game, going ahead just 90 seconds later at 33-31 on a Nicholson bucket. CMU responded with an 8-0 run of their own, pushing the lead to 39-33 on a Laurel Periera (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) jumper at 5:01. From there, Brandeis held CMU to just one bucket the rest of the way in the third, outscoring the visitors 11-3 to take a 44-42 lead into the fourth. Nicholson finished with eight points in the period and sophomore Katie Goncalo (Fall River, Mass./Tabor Academy) had six.

In the fourth quarter, both teams struggled offensively, but Brandeis never trailed again, outscoring CMU 11-10 in the period. Neither team shot above 20 percent for the stanza, and both hit six free throws.

For the game, the Judges were able to overcome 27 percent shooting (17-62) by outscoring CMU, 16-8, from the free throw line and outrebounding the Tartans, 51-29, including 21-3 on the offensive glass. Nicholson had a terrific shooting game, hitting 9-of-13 overall, 5-of-6 from the line. She also led all players with 11 boards. Goncalo reached double digits in scoring for the second game in a row with 14 points, eight coming in the second half. She hit 4-of-9 from the field and 3-of-7 from downtown, plus all three of her free throws. Seniors Noel Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) and Eva Hart (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) tied for game-high honors with four assists each. Junior Joelle MarkAnthony (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) had nine rebounds – four offensive – to help the Judges' efforts on the glass.

CMU was paced by Filiere, who finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 overall, 4-of-8 from deep and 2-of-2 from the line. Pereira added 16 points off the bench, outscoring the Brandeis reserves by herself. Filiere also led the visitors with four assists, while four different Tartans had four rebounds.

Brandeis returns to action with another UAA contest next Friday night at 6 p.m. at Case Western Reserve. Carnegie Mellon will meet NYU at the same time, with these two teams meeting up against next Sunday afternoon at 2.