WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team scored the game's first 13 points and never looked back tonight as the Judges defeated visiting Becker College, 65-40, in a non-conference showdown in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, the Judges extend their best start in more than a decade to 8-1. The Hawks fall to 2-7 with the loss in their first-ever meeting with Brandeis.
Brandeis kept Becker off the board for the first seven minutes of the contest as they built a 13-0 lead. The Judges were ahead, 17-7, after one period, with eight different players contributing to the cause. In the second, it was the Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) show, as the junior guard doubled up the entire Hawk team, scoring 10 points on 4-of-4 from the field with two 3-pointers. The Judges outscored Becker, 23-5, in the second quarter to take a 40-12 lead into the locker room.
The second half was more closely contested, mostly thanks to Becker's Cassidy Harrison, who scored all of her game-high 17 points after the break. She had eight in the third period and nine more in the fourth. Though the Hawks held Brandeis below 36 percent shooting in both periods, the Judges were able to use a dominant performance on the boards, outrebounding the visitors 25-11 to keep them at bay. Senior forward Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) grabbed eight rebounds in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Brandeis put four scorers in double digits in scoring. Nicholson led the way with 14 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds. The double-double was her third in the last four games and her fourth overall this season. Casanueva's 13 first-half points were enough to put her second on the squad, while junior forwards Jillian Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) and Samira Abdelrehim (Burlington, Conn./Lewis E. Mills) each had 10 points. Rookie forward Emma Reavis (Miami, Okla./Deerfield Academy) had a fine all-around game with career-highs of six assists and five steals.
Becker was paced by Harrison's game-high 17 points, which came on 6-of-14 from the field, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc and 1-of-4 from the line. Riley Berry added 13 points on 5-of-11 overall and 3-of-9 from deep, but no other Hawk had more than three points. Jazlyn Contreras and Natasha Pacheco tied for team-high honors with four rebounds; Contreras topped the team with three assists, while Pacheco had four steals.
Brandeis, which received 13 votes in today's D3hoops.com national poll, is off to their best start since going 10-0 in 2008-09. The Judges are off until December 31st, when they host Gordon College at 1 p.m. Becker returns to action in the New Year, meeting Regis in Weston on January 2.