WALTHAM, MA – The University of Rochester women's basketball team used strong first and fourth quarters to post a 68-61 road victory over Brandeis University on Friday night at Red Auerbach Arena, winning its ninth straight game on the season.
7th-ranked Rochester (14-1, 4-0 UAA) combined to outscore the host Judges (9-5, 1-3 UAA) 26-13 in the opening quarter, and then finished with a 20-11 edge in the fourth to offset two rough quarters in the second and third periods, emerging with the victory.
Brandeis clawed back into the game with a 19-7 advantage in the second quarter, and then took the lead heading into the fourth after outscoring UR by three in the third.
UR was led by senior Lauren Deming who scored 15 points and had eight rebounds in just 17 minutes of action due to foul trouble in the first half. Brynn Lauer scored a season-high 11 points and had four assists while three players, Lena Ethington, Jillian Silvestri and Brenna James all scored seven points each. Alexandra Leslie contributed 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.
Brandeis' Noel Hodges led the way with 13 points on 4-6 shoot, while Sarah Jaromin added 12 points off the bench. Katie Goncalo chipped in nine points and five boards.
Rochester, and Deming in particular, got off to a hot start in the opening minutes to build an early 10-point lead. Deming ended up scoring the Yellowjackets first eight points of the game and keyed a 10-0 run which built a 13-3 edge for the visitors just five minutes in. She would not though until the fourth quarter in which she added seven points to her total.
After UR ended the first quarter up 13 points, Brandeis turned in a solid defensive effort in the second quarter, holding Rochester to just 3-15 shooting from the floor (20%), compared to the 53% clip in the opening ten minutes.
That defensive effort, paired with 16-3 run over eight minutes pulled the Judges even on the scoreboard. Hodges scored eight points in the quarter to power Brandeis who also held a huge rebounding advantage in the opening half, grabbing 26 rebounds to UR's 12.
The Yellowjackets sluggish offense continued into the third quarter, with Brandeis scoring eight of the first 10 points of the second half to jump out to a five-point lead five minutes in. The Judges lead would hit a game-high seven following Camila Casanueva's layup with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.
Rochester rallied. Five straight free throws, three from James and two from Silvestri, coupled with a Shea McCartney jumper evened the score at 48-48 in the final minute of the period. Two Jaromin free throws in the final ten seconds sent Brandeis into the fourth up two, leading 50-48.
UR finally regained a rhythm on both the offensive and defensive ends in the fourth, scoring the first eight points of the quarter. That was a part of a 13-2 run which built out a comfortable nine-point margin with 3:26 remaining. Ethington and Deming each had four points in the spurt while Lauer drained a key 3-pointer from the left corner to answer a Brandeis layup which pulled the Judges within four.
Down the stretch, UR made 7-10 free throws and grabbed some important rebounds inside to seal the victory, the third straight in Waltham against Brandeis.
Neither team shot particularly well, with each ending around 35%. UR made seven 3-pointers compared to just three for Brandeis while the Yellowjackets ended up going 19-26 from the charity stripe. Brandeis was 16-23 for its free throws.
Rochester will be back at it on Sunday at 3 pm, with a road contest at New York University awaiting. The game is slated for a 3 pm tip at the Hunter College Sportsplex, as NYU's home floor of Coles Sports Center is currently under renovation.