Strong fourth quarter lifts women to UAA win over Rochester, 60-50

Kat Puda '21 (Photo by
Kat Puda '21 (Photo by

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team outscored the visiting University of Rochester, 21-9, in the fourth quarter tonight as the Judges picked up a University Athletic Association (UAA) victory over the Yellowjackets, 60-50. With the win, the Judges improve to 11-2, 1-1 in the UAA, while Rochester falls to 6-7, 0-2 UAA.

With the Judges trailing, 41-39, headed into the final 10 minutes, Brandeis junior forward Jillian Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) scored the first two baskets to give her team its first lead of the second half at 43-42. Rochester's Moriah Kunes hit a lay-up to put UR ahead, 44-43, with 7:10 remaining. A 3-pointer by rookie Francesca Marchese (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Academy) put Brandeis ahead for good on the next possession as Brandeis outscored the visitors, 17-6, the rest of the way. Junior Katherine Puda (Whitinsville, Mass./Worcester Academy) scored eight points in the final period, including a big left-handed lay-up that made it a two-possession game and sparking a 10-2 run that put the game out of reach.

Brandeis owned a 16-11 lead after one period, thanks to eight points from junior Lauren Rubinstein (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug), who hit a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws. Rochester held Brandeis to just 10 points in the second quarter, taking a 27-26 lead into halftime thanks to two late free throws by Tessa Ludwick. The visitors led by as many as eight points in the third quarter, opening the second half on an 8-2 run over the first 1:51, but Brandeis battled back to make it a two-point game headed into the final stanza.

For the game, Brandeis was paced by the bench, led by Puda with team- and season-high 12 points. She hit 3-of-8 from the field, including 6-of-6 from the line, with eight of her points coming in the final 10 minutes. Junior center Samira Abdelrehim (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills) added 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Junior Courtney Thrun (Regina, Sask. / Wilbraham & Monson Academy) pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. She helped Brandeis to a 48-40 advantage on the glass and 16-10 edge in second-chance points. The Judges also outscored Rochester, 23-9 from the free-throw line, including 10-3 in the fourth quarter as they did not miss from the charity stripe during their comeback. Brandeis played terrific defense in holding Rochester to just 26 percent shooting (18-69), including just 18 percent in the fourth quarter (3-17).

Rochester was also paced by a bench player, Alexis Sestric, who provided 15 points in 22 minutes of action. She hit 6-of-15 from the field, 2-of-6 from deep and 1-of-2 from the line. No other UR player had more than seven points. Shannon Loiseau pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, including six offensive. Hannah Lindmuth had a game-high three assists. The Yellowjackets also owned a 15-12 edge in turnovers and 13-2 in points off those miscues.

Brandeis will return to action on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. when they host 11-2 Emory University, who defeated NYU, 74-59, tonight. Rochester plays at NYU at the same time.