New Year, New Head Coach, New Streak

Coming off a weekend of wins at home against No. 7 Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) and No. 8 Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), Emory women’s basketball attained another two road wins this past weekend against New York University Jan. 19 and Brandeis University (Mass.) Jan. 21. The Eagles defeated the NYU Violets 69-64, before they claimed victory over the Brandeis Judges with a final score of 53-39, anchoring the Eagles to their fourth straight win.

After the resignation of Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty, just prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, Emory selected Misha Jackson (13C), former team member from 2010-2013 and assistant coach since 2013, as interim head coach for the 2017-18 season. Jackson has led the team to a standing of 10-6 and 4-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), helping the Eagles to the No. 3 position in UAA standings.

Over winter break, the team maintained an even ledger with three wins and three losses. Emory’s only conference loss to date is to UAA co-leader University of Rochester (N.Y.) Jan. 6.

“We’ve obviously had some ups and downs, but we’re learning and we’re maturing,” Jackson said. “I think that showed in these last couple wins here. … We have extreme room for growth, but I think our players have bought into it and are starting to understand what it takes to be successful.”

Emory bested the No. 6 Brandeis Judges 53-39 in Waltham, Mass., Sunday afternoon. The Eagles again established a strong 13-11 lead in the first quarter which prompted Emory’s dominance in scoring for the rest of the match. After Emory’s lead built up to 13 points at the half, the Judges made a brief comeback in the third quarter to decrease the Eagles’ lead to just five points. A three-pointer by sophomore point guard Lindsey Tse pushed the Eagles back up to 40-32 just before the fourth quarter.

“We started doing the little things, starting getting some stops, started getting some rebounds, and executing the offense,” Jackson said. “Free throws were huge. We had to make some big free throws down the stretch, and that helped seal the deal. All that time that the girls have been getting in to get extra shots up or shooting in practice. That paid the price, and that was able to come into play on Sunday.”

In the end, the Eagles came out on top, finalizing the win with a 13-point advantage. Junior guard Azzairia Jackson-Sherrod scored the last shot for Emory with 10 seconds left on the clock, resulting in a game- and career-high of 22 points.

Last Friday, the Eagles triumphed against the No. 5 NYU Violets at the Palladium Court. Emory took the lead from the start, ending the first quarter 18-17 and securing their lead early in the second quarter with 10 consecutive points. The Violets rallied to tie the game in the final stanza at 53-53. The Eagles withstood the Violets’ push and, with 12 seconds remaining, delivered the knockout punch when junior center Ashley Oldshue knocked down two free throws to give Emory a 69-64 win.

“NYU is always a high intensity team,” Oldshue said. “One of the things we pride ourselves on is our transition game and our up-tempo kind of pace, and NYU is definitely the closest to us in that regard in the conference. … [Our team] really built each other up as opposed to trying to make a play or whatnot by themselves. That really helped us in the last quarter.”

Oldshue led the match with 16 points, making five of nine field goal attempts and six of eight free-throws. Emory featured three other double-digit scorers, all sophomores: forward Erin Lindahl with 14 points, Tse with 12 points and guard Allison Chernow with 11 points. NYU senior guard Kaitlyn Read finished with a game-high of 21 points.

The Eagles are set to tip off at home against UAA co-leader University of Chicago Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. and No. 4 Washington University (Mo.) Jan. 28 at 2 p.m.

“UChicago and Washington University are great teams, but at the end of the day, we can’t control what they do,” Jackson said. “We have to focus on us, and so we’re gonna get back to getting back in the lab, working on our offense, fine-tuning some things and getting ready to defend and rebound.”

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