Women’s basketball falls to rivals NYU, Brandeis

Sophomore McKayla Filiere led the Tartans with 23 points in the team’s loss against the NYU Violets. (credit: CMU Athletics) Sophomore McKayla Filiere led the Tartans with 23 points in the team’s loss against the NYU Violets. (credit: CMU Athletics)

This past weekend, the Carnegie Mellon women’s basketball team faced off against two University Athletic Association (UAA) rivals, the New York University (NYU) Violets and the Brandeis University Judges.

In front of an excited home crowd at Skibo Gymnasium, the Tartans battled the Violets in a nail-biting game on Friday, Feb. 2. The game came to the final seconds of the fourth quarter, with the Tartans ultimately falling 68–63 to their University Athletic Association (UAA) rivals.

Three Tartans scored in the double digits, with sophomore MaKayla Filiere leading the way with 23 points. Sophomore Katharine Higgins followed with 15 points and nine rebounds, while first-year Kylie Huffman dropped 10 points off the bench and added four blocks. Junior Jenn Mayberger led the team with nine rebounds and six assists.

The Violets got on the scoreboard first with a quick layup and held off the aggressive Tartans squad for most of the first quarter. With 3:44 left in the quarter, Filiere hit a three-point shot to make the score 10–8 and take the first lead of the game for the Tartans. The Violets responded with a 7–0 run in the next two minutes, and led 17–2 at the end of the quarter.

Th teams traded baskets for much of the quarter, the Tartans keeping the lead within reach. A layup by sophomore Megan Jaeb after an offensive rebound gave the Tartans their second lead of the game, 26–25. Late in the quarter, the Violets tied the game and soon pulled away, and led 34–28 at the half.

Coming out of halftime, the Tartans stayed aggressive, their defense keeping them in the game. Feeding off the defense, the offense came alive, surging to a 39–36 lead after an 11–2 run capped off by a layup from sophomore Laura Ochsner. The Violets fought to tie the game 48–48 at the end of the third quarter.

Bursting into the fourth quarter, the Violets scored five straight points to take a small lead over the Tartans. With 2:41 left to play, the Violets led by seven points. The Tartans scored five straight points of their own to cut the deficit to two. A layup from Huffman brought the Tartans within one point with 13 seconds to go. Down by three points, two missed three-point attempts forced the Tartans to foul with two tenths of a second left in the game. A final two free throws ended the game, the Violets taking the win 68–63.

The two teams finished with nearly identical field goal percentages, with the Violets shooting 40.6 percent from the field (26-64), and the Tartans shooting 41.3 percent (26-63).

On Sunday afternoon, the Tartans lost to the Brandeis Judges 60–52. The Tartans were led by Filiere’s 16 points and sophomore Laurel Pereira’s 13 points. Mayberger led the Tartans on the glass with 10 rebounds. Mayberger also led the team in assists, with five, and steals, with four. Huffman and Higgins each recorded five blocks.

The first quarter consisted of back and forth possessions between the two teams, each trading baskets and the lead. With 1:45 left to play in the quarter, a three-point shot by Filiere made the score 17–12, the final score of the first quarter.

Pereira started the scoring in the second quarter, and the Tartans led for the entirely of the quarter. They led by as much as 10 points, but the Judges finished the half with two buckets to cut the deficit to six points, 33–27.

A 13–4 run by the Judges in the third quarter gave them back the lead, 43–42, with 2:16 to go. The Judges held on to their lead, extending it to 12 points late in the fourth quarter on the team’s third three-pointer of the period.

Both teams’ overall shooting efficiency was low, but the Judges improved their shooting in the second half from 27.8 percent to 32.4 percent, and made five triples while the Tartans made only one. The Tartans’ team shooting fell to just 18.7 percent in the second half, allowing the Judges to come from behind to take the victory.

The Judges also benefited from 24 points off the bench, while the Tartans contributed only 10 bench points.

After the two games this weekend, the men’s basketball team’s record moves to 1–8 in UAA play and 9–11 overall this season. The Tartans will next host Emory University on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6:00 p.m.