Hot 3-point shooting, tough rebounding lead women's hoops past Endicott, 63-41

Katherine Puda '21 (photo by / Mike Tureski)
Katherine Puda '21 (photo by / Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team was in control from long distance and on the glass today as the Judges defeated Endicott College, 63-41, in a non-conference contest. Brandeis hit a season-high 11 3-pointers – their most in a game since 2009 –  and doubled up the Gulls on the glass, 54-27, as they improved to 7-2 for the first time since 2014-15. Endicott falls to 4-5 with the loss.

After EC scored the first basket of the game, a Sam Charette (Wenham, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham) 3-pointer, the Judges scored 17 points in a row, including first five of their trifectas. Rookie Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) buried one as the clock expired in the first to give Brandeis a 20-5 lead after one period. The Judges cooled off in the second period, as Endicott was able to cut into the lead and make it 30-20 at halftime.

Brandeis came out strong out of the locker room, opening the second half with a 17-2 run and the Judges never looked back. Rookie Katherine Puda (Whitinsville, Mass./Worcester Academy) dialed long distance with 1:39 to go in the third to establish Brandeis's biggest lead at 50-26. The Judges doubled up EC, 22-11, in the third, and kept the Gulls at arm's length in the fourth.

Brandeis's 11 3-pointers marked their season high and the Judges' best single-game total since March 7, 2009, an NCAA tournament game against Mount St. Mary. Brandeis shot 50 percent from downtown, their best performance when making 10 or more 3-pointers since going 10-14 in a game against Case Western Reserve on Jan. 29, 2010. Puda and junior Sarah Jaromin (Branford, Conn./Branford) each had four 3-pointers on the afternoon, while Casanueva had two and senior Eva Hart (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) had one.

Puda led the team in scoring with a career-high 15 points, her first time in double digits since the season opener, while Jaromin added 14 for the second game in a row to match her career-best. Rookie Jillian Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) added 10 points in just 15 minutes of action. Puda also led all players with a career-high five assists.

In addition to their long-range prowess, the Judges also controlled the glass, 54-27, with a 17-10 edge on the offensive glass and 37-17 on the defensive end. Sophomore Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) reached double digits for the fourth time this season with a game-high 10 caroms, while juniors Gillian O'Malley (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) and Joelle MarkAnthony (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) each had six. The Judges held EC to their lowest scoring total of the season and lowest shooting percentage (16-61, 26.2%)

For Endicott, rookie Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H./Hollis Brookline) came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting overall, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers. The rest of the EC roster struggled from long range, hitting just 2-of-19 to finish at 23 percent (6-26). Sophomore Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass./Bradford Christian Acad.) led the Gulls with seven rebounds, while Charette and junior Emma Tierney (Wolfeboro, N.H./Kingswood Regional) each had five blocked shots as the visitors finished with 12 rejections. Senior Gabriella Coppola (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) also had a fine defensive showing with seven steals.

The Judges will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule on Tuesday evening, January 2, at Regis College at 6 p.m. A win against the Pride would improve the Judges to 8-2, their best non-league winning percentage since going 11-0 in 2008-09, while their eight wins outside the UAA would be the most since an 8-3 start to 2014-15. Endicott returns to action on Jan. 4 against Eastern Nazarene at 5:30.