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Men’s basketball defeats Rochester

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

January 29, 2010

<i.PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot</i>

<i .PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot

The men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to five games with a win Friday night over the University of Rochester Yellowjackets before falling on Sunday to the Emory University Eagles. The Judges moved to 12-3 on the season and 3-2 in University Athletic Association play.

The Yellowjackets got the first basket of the game but Brandeis answered back when guard Kenny Small ’10 tied the game at two each thirty seconds later. The two teams continued to trade baskets back and forth for the early part of the game.

The Judges took the lead with just under 14 minutes remaining in the half off a layup by forward Terrell Hollins ’10 and held onto it into the break, heading into the locker room with a 38-32 edge.

Rochester came into the second half ready to move ahead of their hosts and went on an 8-3 run in the first three minutes of play to give them a 41-40 lead. Brandeis responded quickly and regained a 42-41 advantage just ten seconds later thanks to guard Tyrone Hughes ’12 making two from the line.

Those shots sparked an 8-2 run by the Judges, who would remain ahead for the rest of the game to eventually capture a 70-63 victory. Brandeis had only ten turnovers the night, while forcing 17 from their opponent.

Guard Vytas Kriskus ’12 had another big game, leading the Judges with nine points in each half for a total of 18 in 25 minutes off the bench. Kriskus was one of four players to reach double digits. Hollins tacked on 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Hughes contributed 13 points and four assists while Small had 12 points on the night.

The game on Sunday against Emory was significantly different for the Judges. It was easy to see from the start that these were two extremely evenly matched teams. The seven ties that ensued over the course of the game certainly reinforced this.

The Eagles were able to get some momentum going by the end of the first half, going into the break with a 36-30 lead over the Judges.

Brandeis came back from the break ready to get down to business and went on a 25-7 run in the first ten minutes of the half to gain a 55-45 lead over their visiting UAA rival.

From that point on, Emory stepped up in a big way to take back control of the game. A layup with 9:23 left on the clock sparked the Eagles to a 14-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 59-58 lead with just under four minutes remaining to play.

“We played very well on Sunday versus Emory,” Coach Brian Meehan said. “Unfortunately our shooting went cold over the last six to seven minutes and it cost us the game. If we didn’t execute or they had done something which stopped us from getting good shots then we would have some concerns but it was simply us not being able to score the ball.”

The Judges were able to tie things up again with 3:40 left at 60 apiece, but were stunned by a 17-4 Eagles run for a final score of Emory 77, Brandeis 64.

While they were disappointed by the loss, the Judges had three players reach double-digits. Hollins put up his second straight double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, in addition to a game-high six assists. Guard Andre Roberson ’10 also put up 15 points and tied his career-best eight rebounds. Small had ten points. Despite the high scoring, Brandeis only made one three-pointer, going 1-for-17 from range.

Hollins was named a UAA Outstanding Athlete of the Week based off his impressive performances this past weekend. This was the third time in his career he has had this honor but told The Hoot, “it still feels good.”

“It makes people recognize what you have accomplished from the past week in an extremely tough league,” Hollins explained, adding that he sees the UAA as the toughest in Division III.

Although he was proud of how he played this weekend, Hollins pointed out that he would “rather play horrible in a win than great in a loss, that’s just how I am.”

The Judges are gearing up for another difficult weekend as they continue their UAA play by hosting Case Western Reserve on Friday night at 8 p.m. and Carnegie Mellon on Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m.

“We expect another tough weekend versus Case and Carnegie and we need to be ready to play well to get back on track,” Coach Meehan explained. “I am sure they will be well prepared for us and we need to continue to play well on the defensive end of the floor and in our pressure defense to help us get some easy baskets.”

Despite the fact Brandeis has tended to excel against these competitors, Hollins knows to take nothing for granted.

“In this league you cannot take teams lightly and have to prepare the same against everyone because on any given night you can get knocked off,” Hollins said. “These two teams have more size than us so we will have to use our athleticism to our advantage.”

Mental and physical preparation is key for the team to get geared up for the games, but they rely on more than just that to play to their fullest.

“I would like to take a minute and thank everyone who came out and supported both teams this weekend because the fans are what make us go,” Hollins told The Hoot. “Hopefully we can get the same types of crowds this weekend as well. As we push forward through this season we have to continue to improve if we are going to accomplish are teams ultimate goal.”

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