WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team scored 18-straight points in the first quarter and never looked back tonight as the Judges defeated the Salem State University Vikings, 89-49, in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges improve to 4-1 on the campaign, while Salem State falls to 2-3.
After Salem State hit one-of-two free throws to start the game, the Judges hit eight of their next 10 shots to jump out the early 17-point lead at 18-1. They ended up outscoring SSU 28-12 in the stanza and 21-12 in the second to take a 49-24 lead at halftime. The Vikings played tight in the third, outscoring the Judges, 13-12, but Brandeis had another 28-12 advantage in the fourth to claim the 40-point win. It represented the largest victory by the Judges since Nov. 13, 2015, in an 81-38 win over Mount Holyoke.
Brandeis saw 12 of their 13 active players score points, with seven of them contributing at least seven to the cause. Leading the way was senior Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy), who finished just shy of a double-double with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with nine rebounds. She also had four steals on the evening. Rookie Emma Reavis (Miami, Okla./Deerfield Academy) had 13 points, tying her career-high, while also setting a career-best with seven assists, tied for game-high. Junior Katherine Puda (Whitinsville, Mass./Worcester Academy) rounded the double-digit scorers with 11 points. The Judges also got nine points, seven points and seven assists from junior guard Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) and nine points off the bench from rookie Francesca Marchese (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Academy), who hit 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
The Brandeis win spoiled a fine performance from Salem State senior guard Courtney Paschal, who scored 23 of her team's 49 points. She hit 7-of-17 from the field, 2-of-6 from downtown, and 7-of-7 from the line. Paschal also led the Vikings with six rebounds. Classmate Mia Crawley added eight points and four boards, while rookie Alyssa Genness had seven off the bench. Junior Katie Wallace led the visitors with three assists.
The Judges shot a season-best 50 percent from the field (36-72) en route their highest scoring total of the season, while holding SSU to just 28.3 percent (17-60). Brandeis also controlled the boards to the tune of 54-28, including 15-7 on the offensive glass. The Judges finished with 25 assists on their 36 baskets, while SSU had just seven on their 17. While turnovers were even at 17-all, Brandeis was able to convert them into 29 points, compared to just 13 by the Vikings.
With the win, the Judges improve to 4-1 for the first time since the 2014-15 season. They will look to match their best start since that campaign when they take on Babson next Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Salem State is off until they host Colby-Sawyer next Wednesday evening, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m.