Nicholson records third-straight double-double as Judges sweep CMU, 60-52

Hannah Nicholson '20 (photo by Dean Reid /
Hannah Nicholson '20 (photo by Dean Reid /

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Sophomore forward Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) and the Brandeis University women's basketball team earned a come-from-behind 60-52 win over Carnegie Mellon in University Athletic Association (UAA) play today as the Judges outscored the Tartans, 33-19, in the second half. Brandeis improves to 12-7 with the win, 4-5 in the UAA, while CMU falls to 9-11, 1-8 UAA.

The Judges completed their first season sweep of the Tartans since 2014-15 by holding the hosts to just 18.9% from the field (7-37), including just 1-of-11 from 3-point range, in the second half. This allowed Brandeis to overcome its sluggish first half when they hit 27.8% from the field (10-36) and made just one of 13 from beyond the arc. The Judges improved to 32.4% overall (11-34) in the second, while connecting on five of 10 from deep.

Down 33-27 at the break, Brandeis surrendered a trifecta to CMU's Laurel Pereira to open the third and make it a nine-point game. Judge sophomore Katie Goncalo (Fall River, Mass./Tabor Academy) answered from long range, sparking a 10-2 run that got the visitors within a point at 38-37 less than four minutes into the second half.

CMU answered with a brief 4-0 spurt to halt Brandeis's momentum, but Nicholson scored four in a row herself to get the Judges back within one. She missed a chance at a traditional three-point play to tie the game at 42-all, but junior Sarah Jaromin (E. Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a bucket and a foul to put the Judges ahead for good with 2:16 left in the third. Nicholson scored eight of her 16 points in the stanza.

The Judges took a 46-44 lead into the final 10 minutes, then outscored CMU 14-4 over the first six-and-a-half minutes to pull away for the win. Brandeis hit half of their six 3-pointers for the game in the fourth quarter, with one each from Goncalo, rookie Kat Puda (Whitinsville, Mass. / Worcester Acad.), and rookie Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos), the last of which gave Brandeis its largest lead at 60-48.

For the game, Nicholson scored a game-high 16 point on 6-of-14 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. Her 15 rebounds were one shy of a career-best. Eight of her caroms came on the offensive glass, where Brandeis owned a 23-16 edge. The Judges had a 57-43 overall rebounding advantage. Goncalo was the only other player on the squad in double digits in scoring with 10 points, while also matching her career-high with seven rebounds. Jaromin had nine off the bench and Casanueva finished with eight, as they led the Brandeis reserves to a 24-10 scoring advantage over the Tartans. Senior Noel Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) led Brandeis with five assists to go with six points and six boards. Two days after struggling from the free-throw line, the Judges hit 12-of-14 from the stripe. Brandeis had lost its previous three games on Super Bowl Sunday when the Patriots were also in the Big Game.

CMU was paced by Makayla Filiere, who had 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Pereira finished with 13, eight in the first. Jen Mayberger led the hosts with 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Katherine Higgins added five blocked shots.

Brandeis returns to action next Friday night at 6 p.m. against Washington University as the Judges seek their first-ever season sweep of the Bears.