Women’s basketball falls to No. 17 NYU and No. 15 Brandeis

The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team lost a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) games this weekend in Skibo Gymnasium. On Friday night, they hung tough with the #17-ranked New York University Violets but in the end fell short, losing 58–50. Then on Sunday afternoon, the strong post play of the #15-ranked Brandeis Judges was too much for Carnegie Mellon as the Tartans lost 66–51. The losses drop the Tartans to 5–17 overall and 0–11 in the UAA.
Against NYU, first-year forward Jeanette Schilling’s layup off sophomore guard Leah Feola’s pass resulted in a Tartan lead, 11–10, with 12:43 remaining in the first half. But after that, the Tartans fell behind and went into the second half down 32–22.
In the pivotal first five minutes of the second half, the Tartans went on a 12–3 run to close the gap to 35–34 at the 16:07 mark. After a New York timeout, the Violets answered with a 10–2 run to increase their lead to 45–36. Carnegie Mellon didn’t wither away, however, as they stepped up their defense and closed the margin to two points with 3:05 remaining. The Tartans had several chances to tie or take the lead, but each opportunity was thwarted by the Violet defense, which stepped up to the threat. A three-pointer by first-year guard Gemma Easterling that would have given the Tartans the lead with 2:25 left fell short, and the Violets rebounded and made their foul shots the rest of the way to put the game out of reach.
“I thought we played really well; it was one of the games where I felt we had a team effort,” said head coach Gerri Seidl. “We played within ourselves and played hard and with poise offensively.” The Tartans’ stingy defense held the Violets to 31.7 percent shooting for the game, including only 24 percent in the second half.
Seidl was proud of her team’s defensive effort. “To hold them to 58 points is a testament to our defensive ability,” she said. “We were worried about their transition game and I thought we did a nice job of helping out on defense and encouraging more of a jump shot, while taking away the dribble penetration.”
Carnegie Mellon trailed Brandeis all of Sunday’s game, finally getting close at 35–30 early in the second half. The Judges continued to pound away inside and draw fouls resulting in successful free throws. The Brandeis lead got as big as 18 points on two occasions, including 61–43 with 5:32 remaining before ending up at 15 when the final buzzer sounded.
Schilling came off the bench to lead the Tartans with 12 points against both the Violets and the Judges. Easterling added nine points on Friday, while senior Dava Sommermeyer contributed 11 points and nine rebounds on Sunday against Brandeis.
The women’s basketball team travels to Emory University and Case Western Reserve University before wrapping up their home schedule when they battle Rochester University on Saturday, February 25, at 2 pm in Skibo Gymnasium.