Women fall to #12 Chicago, 81-56

Katherine Puda '21 (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Tureski)
Katherine Puda '21 (photo by Sportspix.com / Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team never led today as the Judges suffered an 81-56 defeat at the hands of the 12th-ranked University of Chicago Maroons. With the defeat, the Judges fall to 12-9 overall, 4-7 in the University Athletic Association. Chicago's win, their 18th in a row, improves the Maroons to 20-2, 11-0 in the UAA.

Brandeis was unable to overcome torrid first-half shooting from Chicago, who hit 20-32 (62.5%) from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 12-15 (75%) in the second quarter. The Maroons led 24-12 after one period and 54-26 after two and never looked back. The visitors led by as many as 36 points midway through the third quarter before the Judges won the fourth, 17-9, to make for the final 25-point margin of victory.

For Brandeis, rookie Katherine Puda (Whitinsville, Mass. / Worcester Acad.) led all scorers with 11 points off the bench. She hit 2-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from downtown and 5-of-6 from the Iine. This was her fourth double-digit scoring performance of the season. Sophomore Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) had 10 points and tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds, while sophomore Katie Goncalo (Fall River, Mass./Tabor Academy) also had 10 points. Rookie Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) had nine points and a game-high five assists, while senior Eva Hart (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) tied a career-high with six steals.

Chicago showed a balanced attack, with six different players scoring nine or more points. Mia Farrell led the visitors with 15 points, hitting 4-of-10 overall, 3-of-6 from downtown and 4-of-6 from the line. Olariche Obi had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while four other UC players tallied nine points. Three players had three assists to lead the visitors.

UC cooled off in the second half and ended up shooting 48.4% for the game (30-62), while Brandeis finished at 31.5% (17-54). The Maroons outrebounded Brandeis, 39-36, though the turnover battled was even at 20-20. Chicago outscored Brandeis 19-12 in points off those turnovers.

Brandeis hits the road for their next two contests, playing at the University of Rochester next Friday evening at 6 p.m.

With their win, Chicago clinches at least a share of the UAA title, which they can win outright with a victory next weekend against Carnegie Mellon. In addition, the Maroons hold all the tiebreakers over Rochester, the team trailing them in the standings, giving them the UAA's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, the first awarded this season.