The Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team lost a hard-fought game on Friday night to Brandeis University, 59–54. The Tartans came out firing in the first half, fueled by four three-pointers from junior Nicole Vaccarella, one three a piece from junior Jen Larsen and first-year Gina Tudi. Tudi also ran the show on offense as a distributor, tallying up eight assists before halftime. The women went into the half leading 34–22. It was one of their best first-half performances of the year, as their offense was strong and their defense put the clamps on Brandeis. Unfortunately, the Tartans couldn’t continue their dominance in the second half and ended up losing by five.
The second half was close throughout, but Brandeis pulled away to win the game, as the Carnegie Mellon women’s offense failed to fire at the same clip as the first half. The loss drops the Tartans to 2–19 on the season and 0–10 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. Even in the disappointing loss, the Tartans saw outstanding performances from Nicole Vaccarella, Gina Tudi, and sophomore Emily Peel. Vaccarella finished the game with five three-pointers and 18 points in all. Tudi finished with nine assists (one shy of the Carnegie Mellon record), and Peel recorded 17 points and nine rebounds.
After the tough loss at Brandeis, the Tartans dropped another game on Sunday afternoon to New York University (NYU), 72–50. Once again the women kept the game close in the first half, only trailing by six at halftime, but struggled in the second half as NYU pulled away. Junior Jacki Cortese led the Tartans in scoring on Sunday with 13, and Peel registered another solid performance with 12 points. The Violets of NYU were just too much for the Tartans on Sunday, however, and Carnegie Mellon looks forward to two home games this upcoming weekend.
The Tartans host University of Rochester at 6 p.m. this upcoming Friday night and take on Emory University on Sunday at 2 p.m. Following a disappointing weekend in Boston and New York, the women look to turn it around in their final home stand of the season.
Looking toward the upcoming UAA weekend with a sense of urgency, Jen Larsen commented, "We really need to pick it up this weekend. Our last two losses should motivate us because they showed that we can compete in this league, but we need to improve our consistency. We want to finish the season with some wins, and I think we're capable of doing that.”