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Men’s basketball ends the season in the Elite Eight

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

March 19, 2010

The Brandeis men’s basketball team reached the sectionals, or the Elite Eight, in the NCAA Division III Championship last Saturday where they fell to the hosting Williams College Ephs 71-57. The Class of 2010 will graduate as the winningest seniors in school history, taking part in 83 wins, four NCAA berths and two appearances in the Elite Eight.

The Judges continued their playoff run last Friday when they faced off against the Rhode Island College Anchormen in the Sweet Sixteen round of play. It was an extremely close game, with four ties and nine lead changes before Brandeis was able to pull through for the win.

Three of the ties and four lead changes happened in the first half as the two teams traded baskets to open up the contest. Just over seven minutes in Rhode Island held a nine-point lead, 20-11, over Brandeis. The Judges went on a 12 point unanswered run in less than five minutes to take a 23-20 lead over the hosts. During the run forward Terrell Hollins ’10 put up four points while forward Vytas Kriskus ’12 had six off the bench.

The Anchormen started to push back, tying things up with 3:15 left to play in the first half at 26 a piece. Brandeis tacked on another six in the half but a foul shot by Rhode Island Jake Grimes put them ahead 34-33 at the half.

Rhode Island started out the second with a five point run to pull ahead 39-33. Guard Kenny Small ’10 went on a one-man run, snagging seven straight points to retake the lead by a single point. The Anchormen responded again to take a 42-40 lead before Brandeis went on another run, this time throwing up 10 straight points to take a 51-42 lead.

Grimes scored all 13 points of the Anchormen’s response, including three 3-pointers, to take a 55-53 advantage with 10:42 left to play. Brandeis took a single point lead, 59-58, again with just over seven minutes remaining to play. The Judges offense and defense went into overdrive in the last minutes, closing things out on an 18-6 run to finish things up with a 76-65 victory.

Small and Hollins each had 20 point.s Hollins also had 16 rebounds. This was the 14th double-double of the season for Hollins, splitting things pretty evenly with 11 points and eight rebounds in the first half and nine and eight in the second. Kriskus finished close behind with 19 points in 27 minutes off the bench.

Guard Andre Roberson ’10 led the Judges with four steals while Tyrone Hughes ’12 had four assists.

With the win, Brandeis moved on to face Williams, the second ranked team, on Saturday night. The Judges kicked things off by taking a nine point lead, 21-12, in the first nine minutes. Hughes had six points during the run while Small put up five and Roberson added four.

Unfortunately for Brandeis, the hosting Williams could not be quieted that easily. The Ephs fought back to within a single point, sitting at 22-21 with less than eight left in the first half before taking their first lead at 26-25 just over three minutes later. Williams continued their run.

Guard John Weldon ’10 nailed two shots from the line for Brandeis with 41 seconds on the clock to bring the game within two before a trifecta by the Ephs with eight seconds remaining gave them a 35-30 lead. Hollins ran the length of the floor to keep the game within three, nailing one in at the buzzer to make the game 35-32.

Brandeis kept the pressure up for most of the second, forcing five ties and four lead changes, including a three-pointer by Roberson to open the half with a tie game.

The Judges had pulled ahead by three, holding onto a 44-41 lead six and a half minutes in before yet another tie pulled them down.

The teams traded baskets and Brandeis climbed within one, trailing 53-52, with 5:30 remaining.

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