Nicholson paces women to best start since '08-'09 in 83-55 win at JWU

Hannah Nicholson '20 (Photo by
Hannah Nicholson '20 (Photo by

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Brandeis University women's basketball team improved to 3-0 on the road today with an 83-55 victory over Johnson and Wales University. With the win, the Judges improve to 7-1 overall, their best start to a season since going 10-0 in the 2008-09 season when they went to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Wildcats fall to 6-2 on the campaign. 

Brandeis was paced by senior forward Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy), who had a season-high 20 points on 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. It was the second-highest scoring game of her career, trailing only a 23-point contest against Carnegie Mellon on Jan. 28, 2018. Her 80 percent performance helped Brandeis outshoot Johnson and Wales, 50 percent (30-60) to 35 percent (24-68). 

The Judges had two other players score in double digits, both off the bench. Senior guard Lauren Rubinstein (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) has 12 points in 22 minutes of action, while junior center Samira Abdelrehim (Burlington, Conn./Lewis E. Mills) had 10 in 19 minutes. They helped the Brandeis bench outscore their counterparts from JWU, 39-13. The Judges showed balance throughout their lineup, as four other players scored between six and eight points.

The Judges also owned a 44-31 advantage on the glass, thanks to nine rebounds each from junior guard Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) and classmate Courtney Thrun (Regina, Sask./Wilbraham and Monson Academy). Rookie forward Emma Reavis (Miami, Okla./Deerfield, Mass., Academy) tied for game-high honors with three assists. 

Johnson and Wales was paced by 15 points from center Brittany Gallagher, who connected on 7-of-13 from the floor with a 3-pointer. Forward Tara Murphy added 10 points. Tera-Nay Lee led the hosts with seven rebounds and three assists. 

The first period was close, with Brandeis taking a late 25-20 lead on a three-point play by Nicholson before JWU's Courtney Lee hit a late bucket to get her team within three points at the first intermission. Nicholson then hit the first six points in a 10-2 run to open the second quarter that gave Brandeis a double-digit lead at 35-24 on Casanueva's bucket at the 7:44 mark. The Judges went on to outscore JWU, 23-12, in the second to take a 48-34 lead into the locker room. After a relatively close third quarter that the Judges won, 20-15, they locked things down in the fourth, outscoring the Wildcats, 15-6, to provide the final 28-point margin of victory.

Brandeis will close out the first semester on Monday evening with a 6 p.m. tip against Becker College in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.