ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Rochester ran off a 10-0 spurt early in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good in a 61-51 victory over Brandeis University at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Friday night.
Alexandra Leslie and Lauren Deming scored three points apiece in the crucial burst. It turned a 39-38 Brandeis lead in to a 48-39 Rochester advantage with just under six minutes remaining.
Brandeis whittled the deficit down to six points three times – the last at 57-51 on a jumper by Joelle Markanthony with 29 seconds to play.
Leslie, Deming, and Brynn Lauer all scored in double figures for the Yellowjackets. Rochester improved to 19-4 overall, 9-3 in the University Athletic Association. UR is ranked #16 in the WBCA Coaches' Poll this week and #18 in the D3hoops.com media poll. Brandeis is 12-10 overall, 4-8 in the UAA.
Leslie led all scorers with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocked shots in 31 minutes. Deming scored 16 points, added eight rebounds, and seven steals. Lauer scored 10 points – 8-8 at the foul line – and pulled down eight rebounds.
Markanthony scored a team-high 12 points for Brandeis. Katherine Puda had 11 points. Noel Hodges scored eight points and collected six rebounds before fouling out.
Rochester did much of its scoring at the foul line. The Yellowjackets made 24 of 32 free throws (Leslie was 5-5 and Emma Michaels was 4-4). In the fourth quarter, Rochester sank 19 of 25 free throw attempts.
UR used baskets from Leslie, Lauer, and Deming late in the second quarter to open a 24-17 lead at halftime. Early in the third quarter, the Yellowjackets stretched that lead to nine, 30-21, in the first three minutes. Leslie scored on a putback, Deming drove for a layup, then added another on a fast break.
Brandeis took over in the last five minutes. The Judges outscored the Yellowjackets, 15-4, to take their first lead since early in the game on a drive by Hodges. Rochester evened it on Leslie's jumper in the paint and two Deming free throws put Rochester back in front, 38-36, after three.
Jillian Petrie sank a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 39-38 lead less than 90 seconds into the last quarter. That set up the decisive Rochester scoring run.