Women's basketball comeback attempt at Emory falls just short, 58-57

Courtney Thrun '21 (Photo by Sportspix.com/Mike Lovett)
Courtney Thrun '21 (Photo by Sportspix.com/Mike Lovett)

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis University women's basketball team cut an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to one and had a chance to win, but their last-second shot came up just short as host Emory escaped with a 58-57 University Athletic Association (UAA) victory today in Atlanta. With the loss, the Judges fall to 13-9 overall, 3-8 in the UAA. The Eagles improve to 16-6, 7-4 UAA.

Although Brandeis held the hosts to just 27% shooting in the first period, Emory owned a 15-12 lead thanks to seven Judge turnovers. The Eagle defense kept Brandeis in check in the second and third quarters, as the Judges shot just under 30% from the floor (11-37) while Emory connected on 39% (13-33) to build a 50-40 lead headed into the final 10 minutes.

 Brandeis scored the first three points of the fourth, but Emory answered with the next four to take a 54-43 lead with 7:47 remaining. The teams were nearly scoreless for the next two minutes before Brandeis junior Courtney Thrun (Regina, Sask./Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy) broke the drought. After an Eagle miss, Thrun assisted a 3-pointer from Judge rookie Francesca Marchese (Staten Island, N.Y./Staten Island Academy) that got Brandeis back within 54-48 with 5:24 to go.

After Emory's Blair Ripley answered to put the hosts back up by eight, Thrun hit a pair of free throws with 3:18 left. The Judges got a quick stop, and Thrun scored again on an assist by junior Camila Casanueva (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos) that made it 56-52 with 3:09 on the clock. Both teams used a lot of the shot clock on the next three possessions, and after a Brandeis stop, Marchese dialed long distance again with 1:40 to go to make it 56-55, forcing Emory to call a timeout.

After the stoppage, the Eagles' Ripley got to the line with 57 seconds remaining, hitting both to provide the hosts' final scoring of the game. On the next possession, Casanueva's shot was blocked out of bounds, but she found an open Thrun with 34.6 left on the clock, getting Brandeis back within one. Emory brought the ball to the front court and called a timeout. Brandeis elected not to foul on the next possession, and forced an errant shot as the 30-second clock expired. The Judges called timeout and advanced the ball to the front court, taking the ball right in front of their bench. The ball got inbounded to Marchese in the near corner for 3, but her shot was altered as it went up, and the Eagles hung on for the one-point win.

For the game, the Judges had three players score in double figures. Senior Lauren Rubinstein (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug) led the way with 12 points, six coming in the third quarter when she hit a pair of 3-pointers. Rookie guard Emma Reavis (Miami, Okla./Deerfield (Mass.) Academy) added 11 points, while Thrun finished with 10 in 16 minutes off the bench, eight coming in the fourth quarter. Senior Hannah Nicholson (Sunderland, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) just missed out on a double-double with nine points and team-high 12 rebounds, but was held scoreless in the second half. Casanueva struggled shooting, hitting just 1-of-13 from the field, but distributed a game-high five assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Brandeis outrebounded Emory, 48-41,

Emory's Ripley was the player of the game for the home team, finishing with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. She was 8-of-19 from the field, 1-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 6-of-7 from the line. Ana Arato added nine points. Tori Huggins matched Nicholson for game-high honors with 12 rebounds, while Lindsey Tse dished three assists.

After a four-game road trip, the Brandeis women's basketball team will return home for their final three games of the season, starting with Washington University next Friday evening at 6 p.m.