Women’s basketball team falls to Brandeis and NYU

History repeated itself last weekend as the Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team dropped two games to Brandeis University and New York University — the Tartans lost to both teams over the first weekend of January.
Playing both games on the road, the Tartans fell short against Brandeis 74–48 and against NYU 86–66. The losses move Carnegie Mellon to 8–14 overall and 2–9 in the University Athletic Association (UAA).

Brandeis began pulling away from the Tartans early in the game on Friday. The Judges built a 26-point lead (32–6) within the first 15 minutes of play. The Tartans and the Judges had similar shooting percentages (35 percent), but turnovers allowed Brandeis to take 14 more shots during the first half. Brandeis was up 37–17 heading into halftime.

“Once again, we just weren’t hitting our shots,” senior guard Nora Darcher said. “We were getting some good looks, but we just weren’t hitting them.”

The Judges began the second half strong — upping their field goal percentage to 54 percent. Carnegie Mellon reduced its point deficit to 12 points on two different occasions, but ultimately came up short against Brandeis. The win advances the Judges to 16–4 overall, and 6–4 in the UAA.

Sophomore forward Ashley Rothwell led the Tartans in scoring with 10 points. Sophomore forward Jeanette Schilling and sophomore guard Stacie Aleski each had nine points. Junior guard Leah Feola grabbed eight rebounds for the Tartans. First-year Jessica Chapin led Brandeis with a career-high 21 points and seven rebounds.

On Sunday, the Tartans played even with the Violets during the first half of the game. The Tartans opened the game with a 6–0 streak, making 48.5 percent of their shots throughout the first half.

Leading by one (39–38) to start the second half, the Tartans were unable to maintain their momentum and NYU took control with 15 minutes left to play.

“We had such a strong first half against NYU, especially coming off of Friday’s game,” Darcher said. “Things just didn’t go our way in the second half. We got some bad calls early in the second and the momentum shifted.”

Feola led the Tartans in the loss with 23 points and six rebounds. Rothwell added 12 points to the Tartan total.
The team will return home this weekend to play UAA opponents Washington University and University of Chicago on Friday and Sunday. Friday’s game begins at 6 p.m. while Sunday’s game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

“Two back-to-back weekend trips are always rough because you are only home for three days between trips,” Darcher said. “I think that being back on our home court will be really helpful; we’ll be able to use it to our advantage.”