Women’s basketball drops games at NYU, Brandeis

The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team capped off a disappointing week of University Athletic Association (UAA) action with losses to the New York University Violets Friday and the Brandeis University Judges Sunday last week. The losses dropped the Tartans record to 7–15 overall and 0–11 in UAA play.
“Right now we are working to improve our shooting percentage and transition defense,” said junior guard Jeanette Schilling before the game. “Our practices have been focused on perfecting our offensive execution and defending key players. We hope to have a good showing in New York and Boston.”
Assistant coach Carissa Sain added, “Shooting percentage is the great equalizer in the game of basketball — all other preparation is irrelevant if you can’t score in games.”
The Tartans’ intense preparation seemed to have paid off as they sprinted out of their recent shooting slump early in the game, hitting six of their first eight shots and five of their first six three-pointers on their way to an impressive 17–8 lead with just above 12 minutes left in the first half. Juniors Corey Innes and Stacie Aleski each had two three-pointers early in the game.
A three-pointer by junior forward Rachelle Roll gave them the largest lead of the game, with a score of 38–20 at the half. Aleski led all scorers during the first 20 minutes of play with 13 points and a perfect 5 for 5 from the field and 3 for 3 from downtown. Innes and Roll each had eight at the break, while Feola cashed in with seven and led all players with seven boards. The Tartans shot 58 percent from the field in the first half, but more importantly shot 64 percent (seven for 11) from behind the arc. NYU was 24 percent from the field and only made one three-pointer.
After Feola made the first basket of the second half, giving the Tartans a 40–20 lead, the Violets arose from their slump, as they went on a 20–1 run to pull within one point at 41–40 with 9:31 to play. Each team exchanged baskets and then the Tartans scored six unanswered points to push their lead to seven with 6:58 showing on the clock. Following a NYU timeout, however, the Violets answered Carnegie Mellon with eight straight points of their own, to take their first lead of the contest at 50–49 with 3:27 left in regulation.
NYU then continued its hot streak, with a 17–0 run to end the game, snatching the victory from the Tartans at 59–49. Aleski had a game-high 16 points, while three other Tartans scored in double figures; Roll cashed in with 11 and Innes and Feola each had 10.
Following their disappointing loss, the Tartans traveled to take on the Judges. They trailed 20–8 at the 11:13 mark before rattling off five unanswered shots to pull within seven (20–13). Aleski converted on an and-one and then dished the ball to Roll for the Tartans’ other score. Brandeis then answered the Tartans and turned nine Tartan turnovers in the first stanza into 14 points for the Judges as they took a 15-point lead, 43–28, into the break.
In the second half, Brandeis exploded on a 9–0 run, extending its lead to 52–28.
The Judges held a 61–37 lead with 8:20 to play, but the Tartans persisted, as they went on a 9–0 run of their own, closing to 61–46 with 7:03 on the clock. Aleski accounted for seven of the Tartans’ nine points on their run.
Carnegie Mellon continued to chip into the Brandeis lead, but sophomore Jessica Chapin’s three-pointer with 2:20 to play unfortunately sealed a 69–60 victory for the Judges.
The Tartans were led by Aleski’s season-high 19 points and Roll’s second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite the losses, Sain and Schilling remained proud of their team.
“Every coach we play against comments on how hard our kids play every minute of every game,” Sain said. “You can’t ask for more from our players in terms of game time effort.”
“The UAA is a perennially tough league. In the face of multiple injuries, this year’s team has proven to be hard-working and mentally tough as we approach every game with intensity and confidence,” Schilling added.
Carnegie Mellon will host the Emory University Eagles at Skibo Gymnasium Friday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.