The women’s basketball team suffered two tough defeats away from home this past weekend. The ‘Jackets (18-4) lost at New York University on Friday night, 77-54, and then suffered their second loss at Brandeis University on Sunday afternoon, 65-49.

Going into the NYU game, both teams were tied atop the University Athletic Association standings, along with Washington University in St. Louis, for first place. Both the NYU and Brandeis losses have set the women back a bit in the UAA standings, dropping them to a third place tie with Brandeis at 7-4.

Earlier in the season, the No. 6 ranked Yellowjackets handled the NYU Violets convincingly at the Palestra, cruising to an 82-69 victory. However, the going proved to be a bit tougher this time around in New York City. The game was one of the biggest of the year for the ‘Jackets, as NYU packed its gym with nearly 1,500 rowdy fans.

The team appeared unfazed in the early going of the game, jumping out to a 6-2 lead in the first three minutes. However, the Violets then went on an 11 point run in the next seven minutes to gain back the lead, 13-6.

A three-pointer from sophomore forward Helen Baroody tied the game back up at 19 apiece, and senior forward Emily Lyons’s lay-up gave UR the lead, 21-20, with 12 seconds left in the first half. But NYU three-pointer in the closing seconds gave NYU back a two-point advantage at halftime.

The second half was all Violets, as they shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and 91 percent from the charity line to dominate the ‘Jackets. NYU never trailed from the midpoint of the game on.

NYU’s 18-2 run midway through the second half separated the two teams and put the game out of reach for UR.

The Yellowjackets were led in scoring by senior forward Danielle Muller, and sophomore forward Alex Porter contributed her fourth double-double of the year with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Baroody hit three of five from downtown en route to 11 points off the bench in just 17 minutes.

Poor shooting, which has been a constant in all four of the ‘Jackets’ losses this season, was again one of the main culprits for the loss. The team shot 29 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers. NYU is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation according to rankings from ESPN and USA Today.

The UAA this season is very tough and the parity of the league is astounding, evident by the five teams (NYU, WashU, Rochester, Brandeis and Chicago) that are all ranked in the top 25 nationally.

The Yellowjackets looked to bounce back from their tough loss in the city with a win over No. 21 Brandeis on Sunday. The game was a bit similar to Friday night’s game, as the ‘Jackets got off to an early lead and the game was back and forth for much of the first half. UR led 21-20 after a three-pointer from freshman sharpshooter Jessica Mastronardi with just over three minutes left in the first half. That basket, however, would be the last lead that the ‘Jackets enjoyed as Brandeis scored the next five points and went into halftime with a four point lead, 27-23.

The Yellowjackets, who have been primarily considered a second half team, especially in the first semester, just couldn’t get the ball rolling in the second 20 minutes of the game.

Brandeis jumped out early on UR, extended its lead to double digits and never looked back. The game ended with Brandeis on top, 65-49. The Judges’ defense held the ‘Jackets to only 32 percent shooting, and they also forced 23 turnovers.

Jamie Capra of Brandeis was especially devastating, as she went off for a whopping 31 points and 12 rebounds.

She hit nine of 20 from the floor and 13 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Muller led the ‘Jackets in scoring again, shooting four of seven from the field for 12 points. Marriott had a solid game as well, contributing 10 points and eight rebounds. Senior point guard Emily Bango dished out five assists, giving her 104 on the year. This is the third straight year Bango has topped the century mark in assists for a season.

This coming weekend, the ‘Jackets will face the University of Chicago on Friday night and UAA leaders Washington University on Sunday afternoon at the Palestra. The next three games for the women are all at home and are going to have an enormous impact on the team’s bid for a postseason berth and for first place in the UAA standings.

Yellow fever returns this weekend and it goes without saying that the support of the Rochester community and student body will be a huge factor in the team’s home court advantage in these important final games.

The tip-off for Friday night’s game is set for 6 p.m. On Sunday, tip-off is 2 p.m.

Brackney is a member of the class of 2007.

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