WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Brandeis University basketball held off a late charge from Wellesley College and a record-setting night for the Blue's Malia Maier to secure a 65-61 victory on Wednesday night at Keohane Sports Center. Maier, who tallied 21 points on the night, led a 12-5 surge in the final minutes before the Judges sealed the win from the freethrow line. Maier also snatched five steals for a career total of 231, a new Wellesley record.
The win lifts the Judges to 3-2. The Blue drop to 1-2.
Shannon Hassan and Janella Rodriguez led the Judges with 12 points each, while Diana Cincotta added 10. Kelly Ethier was solid in the paint, with seven points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots. Hanna Cain tallie nine points and five assists in the win.
Maier's 21 points and five steals led the Blue in the loss. Maier's all-time steal total of 231 surpassed the 230 takeways that Sarah Bay '96 compiled from 1992 to 1996. Leslie Leong added 12 points, eight boards and five assists. Ashleigh Sargent and Morgyne Weaver chipped in 11 and nine points, respectively.
The Blue built a 10-7 lead in the opening minutes of the game before a traditional three-point play from the Judges' Courtney Ness tied the score at 10-10. The squads traded buckets midway through the period until back-to-back three-pointers from Brandeis's Rodriguez, who was 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the first half, gave the Judges a 20-16 lead. Brandeis pushed the lead to seven on three occasions and went to the locker room with a 32-26 advantage.
Wellesley opened the second period with a 12-7 run, but Brandeis answered with five straight to open a 44-38 edge at the 14:29 mark. The squads traded buckets for eight minutes until a lay-up from the Judges' Erika Higginbottom gave the visitors a 52-42 lead with 6:42 remaining. Wellesley responded with a furious charge, highlighted by five straight from Maier, as they trimmed the lead to 59-56 with 1:03 left on the clock. But Brandeis held off the Blue with a clutch three-pointer from Cincotta and freethrows from Ethier to seal the win.
Brandeis will take the court on Sunday, November 27, at 1pm, when they host Tufts University. Wellesley returns to action next Wednesday, November 30, at 7pm, when they travel to MIT for the NEWMAC opener.