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Men’s basketball advances to Sweet Sixteen

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

March 12, 2010

After two exciting victories last weekend in the first and second round of the NCAA Division III tournament, the Judges have moved onto sectional. This is the second time Brandeis has reached the Sweet Sixteen under head coach Brian Meehan.

The Judges kicked off the weekend in Rochester on Friday night when they faced the St. Lawrence University Saints. The Saints opened up the game with back-to-back baskets to take a four-point lead but guard Kenny Small ’10 answered back with a trifecta off an assist from classmate forward Terrell Hollins.

St. Lawrence held onto the lead for the first ten minutes of play before Small was able to tie things up at 17 each with a three-pointer and Hollins took the lead off a layup. The Judges would hold the lead for the remainder of the game, slowly building it up in the remainder of the half. Guard Vytas Kriskus ’12 tacked on three three-pointers before the break to help give Brandeis a 42-33 lead going into the lockers.

Brandeis opened up the second half with a commanding 23-9 run in the first ten minutes, taking a 23-point lead. While the Saints fought to bring the game back within reach, the Judges continued to hold steady. When the buzzer sounded, Brandeis had beaten their opponents 76-64.

Kriskus led the Judges with another incredible performance, coming off the bench to tack on 29 points in 30 minutes. He landed 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, matching a career-high. Small had 16 points on the night while Hollins put up 12. Forward Christian Yemga ’11 had seven rebounds, tying for the game-high and matching his season-high, and guard Andre Roberson ’10 had the game-high seven assists and six points.

This was the first time the two schools had faced each other. St. Lawrence finished up their season with a 16-12 record.

Brandeis went on to face the hosting St. John Fisher Cardinals on Saturday night. The two teams traded leads and baskets to open up the first, going through three ties and one lead change. Roberson nailed the first basket for the Judges, a three-pointer just under three minutes in that tied the game at 5-5. With the basket Roberson became the 28th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau.

A layup by Hollins at 9:14 gave Brandeis a 17-15 lead and set them on a 9-1 run to get an eight point lead off five points from Kriskus and four from Hollins. Fisher continued to fight back, landing baskets and cutting the Brandeis lead to just three points a few times before the end of the half when another layup by Hollins closed out the first stanza with a 35-27 Brandeis lead.

The Judges really turned up the heat in the second half, starting off with a 13-5 run to snare a 16-point lead. Brandeis held onto a double-digit lead for the first 16 minutes of play before two foul shots by the Cardinals brought the game to just eight points with a score of 58-50.

In the final minute and a half of play the Judges defense held the Cardinals scoreless while Kriskus, Roberson, and Hollins nailed two foul shots each to make the final score 66-52 in favor of Brandeis.

Kriskus finished out the game as the leading scorer for the second night in a row, putting up 17 points in 26 minutes off the bench. Hollins put up 16 points alongside a career-high 21 rebounds while Small hit 4-of-5 from three-point range to help him reach 14 points on the night. Roberson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points.

Brandeis will now mve onto the Sweet Sixteen on Friday night, travelling to Williamstown, Massachusetts to face Williams College at 6 p.m. The winner will face the winner from the Williams/SUNYIT face-off on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the Elite Eight. The victor from that matchup will travel to the Final Four. WBRS will broadcast the game live.

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