The Emory women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five games after picking up a pair of wins against Brandeis University (Mass.) and New York University (NYU) in University Athletic Association (UAA) conference play this past weekend.
Stifling defense set the tone for the Eagles in their first contest at Brandeis on Feb. 1 as they limited the Judges to 23.6 percent from the field and a mere 15 points in the second half, which resulted in a decisive 72-42 victory. Emory’s interior defense was especially effective as they recorded a season-high of nine blocks and allowed hardly any easy baskets inside the paint. Sophomore center Blair Ripley led the way defensively with four blocks of her own to go along with nine points offensively, all within 17 minutes of action.
Ripley credits the defensive performance to the team’s preparation beforehand.
“We focused on staying locked in and paying close attention to [the individual] tendencies [of the Brandeis players],” Ripley said. “If we execute defensively, offense comes easily.”
The stellar defense was complemented by consistent offensive production from junior forward Erin Lindahl and junior guard Allison Chernow, who each scored 15 points and combined for five three-pointers. Senior guard Azzaria Jackson-Sherrod rounded off the double-digit scorers with 10 points of her own on an efficient five-of-eight from the field. Other notable contributions included junior guard Lindsey Tse’s six assists and senior Ashley Oldshue’s eight points and 11 boards.
The Eagles’ trip down to NYU on Feb. 3 proved a tougher test. Despite Emory securing a 21-point lead midway through the second quarter, NYU refused to go down without a fight and responded with a 13-0 run to shorten Emory’s lead to just eight at the half. The second half was similar to the first as the Eagles’ 19-point lead in the third quarter was once again reduced to single digits midway through the fourth. However, timely plays by the Eagles down the stretch prevented a miraculous NYU comeback and Emory was able to secure a 78-70 win.
Head Coach Misha Jackson said multiple scoring threats were vital for Emory to prevail, as the Eagles had five different double-digit scorers.
“What makes us dangerous is that someone different is showing up every night,” Jackson said.
Against NYU, “that someone” was Tse as Emory’s career leader in assists per game showed off a different dimension to her game with a team-high of 15 points to go along with eight assists. Despite limited minutes due to foul trouble, Chernow and Oldshue added a combined 23 points on seven-of-10 shooting. Lindahl and Ripley also contributed with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The victories brought Emory’s record to an impressive 15-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play, and gave the Eagles some momentum heading into key UAA matchups.
Despite earlier struggles against their next two opponents, Jackson remains confident.
“[We’re a] totally different team than the first time [we played them],” Jackson said. “We have improved tremendously throughout UAA play.”
Next weekend, the Eagles return home, looking to avenge earlier regular-season losses in heavyweight UAA clashes against Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) on Feb. 8 and the University of Chicago (Ill.) on Feb. 10.