Women's basketball advances to Division III 'Sweet Sixteen' for first time
Judges will take on Muhlenberg next weekend
WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University women's basketball team jumped out to a 16-2 lead and never looked back, leading wire-to-wire as the Judges defeated Mount Saint Mary (N.Y.) College, 79-52, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. With the win, Brandeis registers 19 victories in a season for the sixth-straight year and advances to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. The Judges will take on Muhlenberg next weekend in Amherst, Mass.
Brandeis (19-7) was paced early by sophomore Diana Cincotta (W. Boylston, Mass./W. Boylston) and junior Jessica Chapin (Mendon, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), who each had five points in the opening run. With the early 14-point lead established, the Blue Knights had to shoot from deep to try to catch up, but with 3-for-22 shooting from beyond the arc, the visitors were never able to get any closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Three Brandeis players reached double figures, led by Chapin's 18. Rookie guard Kelly Ethier (Springfield, Mass./Minnechaug Regional) came off the bench with a career-high 13 points, seven in the second stanza, hitting on 4-of-7 overall, including both 3-pointers, and 3-of-4 from the line. Classmate Morgan Kendrew (Cotuit, Mass./Barnstable) added 12 points thanks in part to three 3-pointers. Senior Lauren Orlando (Peabody, Mass./Peabody) and Cincotta also both added nine points as well. Sophomore Amber Strodthoff (DePere, Wis./DePere) led all players with eight rebounds (four offensive) off the bench, while senior Cassidy Dadaos (Healdsburg, Calif./Healdsburg) had seven boards.
Against one of the top defensive teams in the NCAA statistics, Brandeis had a fantastic night. The Judges shot 55.3 percent from the floor against the top-ranked team in shooting defense, as MSMC had held opponents to just 28.7 percent for the season, while scoring 30 more points against the nation's third-ranked scoring defense, putting up 79 on a team allowing just 48.9 ppg. Brandeis also outrebounded the Blue Knights, 37-29, against a foe that outrebounds their opponents by nearly 11.