Women outlast Babson, 99-88, in overtime

Hannah Nicholson '20 (Photo by Sportspix.com)
Hannah Nicholson '20 (Photo by Sportspix.com)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team went to overtime for the first time this season, and the Judges opened the extra session with an 8-2 run to defeat the visiting Babson College Beavers, 99-88, in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. With the win, the Judges improve to 5-1 on the season, while the Beavers fall to 2-3.

The Judges trailed after each of the first two quarters, as the Beavers owned a 19-18 lead after one and 24-22 at the half. Babson senior Emily Bonifacic led all players with 13 points in the first half, while Brandeis junior Courtney Thrun (Regina, Sask./Wilbraham and Monson Academy) had eight off the bench to pace Brandeis.

The Beavers scored the first four points of the second half establish a 38-32 advantage with just 1:20 gone on a steal and a lay-up by senior Katherine Tamulionis. Brandeis kept within striking distance, but a trifecta from Megan Bauman gave the visitors their largest lead of the game, 45-38, with 6:17 left in the third period. Thrun and junior Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) answered with a put-back and a coast-to-coast lay-up to get Brandeis back within three points just a minute later, forcing Babson to call a timeout. The Beavers came out and scored the next four points to reestablish their seven point advantage, but Judge junior Samira Abdelrehim (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills) got open for a lay-up underneath with 3:30 to go.

That bucket sparked a 10-0 run for the Judges, with senior Lauren Rubinstein (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) connecting on a traditional three-point play to cut the deficit to two points. She had a steal on the next Babson possession, and rookie Francescha Marchese (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Academy) dialed long distance with 2:44 remaining in the third to give Brandeis their first lead since the start of the second period. Abdelrehim followed with two free throws to make it 52-49 with 2:06 left in the third. Babson twice tied the game in the final 1:36 before Rubinstein hit a 3-pointer from straight away to give the Judges a 57-54 lead headed into the fourth quarter. Rubinstein netted eight points in the period, helping the hosts regain the lead.

The early part of the fourth featured five lead changes and one tie. Babson went ahead on a Bonifacic lay-up with 5:17 to go in regulation, making it 65-64. The Beavers would go on a 6-1 run, establishing an 70-65 lead with 2:49 on the clock after Tamulionis hit a jumper as the shot clock wound down. Brandeis answered with a 3-pointer from Casanueva, her first of the game. Bonifacic answered with a lay-up with 2:05 to go, and after both teams got defensive stops, Rubinstein hit another trifecta making it 72-71 in favor of Babson with under a minute to go. The Judges got another stop, and after calling a timeout, Rubinstein found junior Jillian Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) on the right elbow, and Petrie buried the 3-pointer with 12.4 seconds to go, giving the Judges a 74-72 lead.

Babson followed with a timeout, advancing the ball to the front court in front of their bench. Tamalionis found classmate Jacqueline Jozefick breaking for the basket and she got the easy lay-in for the tying bucket. Brandeis got tied up on the ensuing possession, and the game went to overtime knotted at 74-all.

In the extra session, Brandeis won the opening tip, and Rubinstein found senior Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) open on the right side. Nicholson knocked down the jumper and Brandeis never trailed again. After both teams came up empty on the next possession, Casanueva pushed the pace after a rebound, and Marchese hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make it a two possession game. Bonafacic tried to stem the Brandeis tide, but Petrie dialed long distance on the next possession to make it 82-76 with 3:24 and the Judges would go on to hit 17-of-18 free throws the rest of the way en route to 25 points in the overtime session.

For the game, Brandeis's 99 points represent the second-highest scoring total in program history, surpassed only by a 112-point effort in 1987. The Judges put six different players in double digits in scoring. Nicholson led the Judges with 19 points, hitting 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line. She also pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds, six on the offensive glass, tying a career-high set in January of 2018 against Chicago.

After being held to just three points in the first half, Casanueva finished just shy of a triple double, scoring 19 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing eight assists. She netted 11 points in overtime, all from the free-throw line, as she hit 11-of-12. Rubinstein added 14 points, scoring 12 in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Petrie, Thrun and Abdelrehim would each finish with 12 points for the Judges. Reserves Rubinstein, Thrun and Abdelrehim each outscored the Babson bench, who added just eight points.

After being held to 14-36 (38.9%) from the field in the first half, including 1-8 from downtown (12.5%), the Judges hit 19-of-36 (52.8%) in the second half and overtime, including 7-16 (43.8%) from beyond the arc. The Judges also made 25-of-28 from the line for the game (89.3%), including 17-of-18 in overtime. Brandeis won the rebounding battle, 51-35, including 7-1 in overtime.

Babson was paced by Bonifacic's game-high 29 points. She hit 14-of-21 from the field with one free throw. She also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds. Tamulionis and Jozefick each added 18 points and Bauman had 15 points and six assists. The Beavers forced 19 turnovers while committing only 12, but points off those miscues were only a 15-12 advantage.

This was the 52nd meeting between the two teams, with Brandeis improving to 25-27 in the series. The Judges have now won two of the last three meetings.

 Brandeis returns to action Thursday evening when they travel to Worcester to take on Clark University at 7 p.m. Babson heads to Western Massachusetts this weekend to meet Rochester and Williams at the Williams Holiday Classic.