Women rally but fall short in the 4th against #7 Rochester, 68-61

Noel Hodges '18 (photo by Dean Reid / D3Photography.com)
Noel Hodges '18 (photo by Dean Reid / D3Photography.com)

WALTHAM, Mass. – For the second game in a row, the Brandeis University women's basketball team came from behind the middle quarters to take a lead into the fourth against a nationally-ranked opponent, but the Judges came up just a bit short in the final 10 minutes as they dropped a 68-61 decision to No. 7-ranked Rochester in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. The Judges fall to 9-5 overall, 1-3 in the UAA, while the Yellowjackets improve to 14-1, 4-0 UAA.

The Judges struggled out of the gate, as Rochester opened up a 26-13 lead after one quarter. The Yellowjackets outshot Brandeis, 53% to 42%, and hit four of their five 3-pointers. They also forced seven Brandeis turnovers in the stanza. Lauren Deming led the visitors with eight points, including two 3-pointers.

Brandeis turned the tables in the second period, holding the visitors to just 3-for-15 from the field as they outscored UR, 19-7, to go down 33-32 at the break. Senior Noel Hodges (Southampton, N.Y./Southampton) led the Judges' charge, scoring eight points in the second, including a trifecta with 55 seconds left that erased the 13-point deficit and gave Brandeis its first lead. UR's Brynn Lauer hit the half's final bucket to give the visitors the lead at the break.

 The lead changed hands three times in the first two minutes of the second half before Brandeis sophomore Katie Goncalo (Fall River, Mass./Tabor Academy) scored five-straight points to give Brandeis a 39-35 lead with 7:25 left in the period. Brandeis took its largest lead of the game at 48-41 with 2:24 left in the third on a fast-break lay-up by rookie guard Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos). Rochester scored the game's next five points from the line, then tied it at 48 on a Shea McCartney jumper. Two Sarah Jaromin (E. Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) foul shots with five seconds left gave the Judges a 50-48 lead headed into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, Rochester scored the first eight points and never looked back. The Yellowjackets held Brandeis without a field goal for the first 4:38 before Goncalo went coast-to-coast for a lay-up. UR scored the next four points to take their largest lead of the second half, 61-52, on two Deming free throws with 3:26 to go. Brandeis scored the game's next four points, getting within five points with 1:25 to go on a Jaromin bucket, but Rochester hit 7-of-10 from the charity stripe down the stretch to keep the Judges at bay.

For the game, Hodges led Brandeis with 13 points, tying her career-high, set against Rochester last January 29th. She hit 4-of-6 overall with a 3-pointer, and 4-of-4 from the line.  Jaromin added 12 points off the bench, while Goncalo finished with nine. Rookie Jillian Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds, while sophomore Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) had seven. The Judges outrebounded Rochester, 45-38, for the game.

Rochester's Deming led all players in scoring with 15 points, hitting 4-of-9 from the field, 2-of-5 from downtown and 5-of-6 from the line. Lauer was the only other player in double digits with 11 points. Deming also led the 'Jackets with eight rebounds, while Lena Ethington added seven. Rochester's Alexandra Leslie had a fine all-around performance with six points, five rebounds, and game-highs of five assists and four blocked shots. Rochester finished with 17 assists on 21 baskets, while Brandeis had just seven on their 21 buckets. UR also owned a 16-13 advantage in turnovers and were able to convert them into a 16-7 edge in points off their miscues.

Brandeis is back in action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. for a UAA contest against Emory University. Rochester travels to NYU to play a league game at the same time.