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Men’s basketball suffers third consecutive loss

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Sports

January 28, 2011

The 21st-ranked men’s basketball team suffered its third loss in the past four games as the Judges fell to Washington University. The Judges fall to 12-3, 2-3 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while the Bears improved to 8-8, 2-3 in the UAA.

The Judges did not lead in the entire game and put on a clinic for how not to play a basketball game. They had both their worst offensive and defensive performances of the season all in the same game. The Judges gave up 13 more points than their average and scored 30 points fewer than their average. Center Youri Dascy ’14 led all Brandeis scorers with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. The rest of the squad, however, shot an abysmal 10-of-54 from the court, as the Judges finished the day at a season low 24.1 percent from the court. Sophomore center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn) led Brandeis with a career-high five rebounds and senior forward Christian Yemga had two assists.

Bears senior forward Spencer Gay scored 23 points in 33 minutes shooting 10-of-15 and 3-of-3 from the line. Gay scored 15 points in the second half, more than the entire Brandeis team, which only scored 14. Underscoring the Judges defensive failures, the Bears shot 52.7 percent from the floor for the game (29-55) and 63.6 percent in the second half (14-22).

Rookie guard Ben Bartoldus hit a three-pointer seven minutes into the game to tie the score at 12-12. The Bears responded, however, with a 17-4 run during the next seven minutes to establish control for the rest of the game.

Brandeis had already overcome two 18-point deficits this season, so when sophomore guard Anthony Trapasso hit a jumper with 9:17 left in the second half, to pull Brandeis within 15 at 50-35, a comeback was not out of the question. The only scoring the Judges managed the rest of the way, however, was a mere free throw.

Earlier in the week, the Judges beat the University of Chicago 59-53. The Judges had lost their two previous games by a combined four points. Brandeis improved to 12-2, 2-2 in the UAA, while Chicago fell to 5-10, 2-2 in the UAA. Bartoldus scored a career-high 20 points, with 10 of them coming in the first eight minutes of the second half. He connected on 3-of-8 field goals, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.

Other than Bartoldus, no other Brandeis player scored more than seven points; however, the Judge’s bench outscored their counterpart 24-8. Junior forward Vytas Kriskus contributed six points along with a team leading 10 rebounds, matching a career high. Junior guard Tyrone Hughes dished out a game-high seven assists, matching the entire assist tally of Chicago.

The Judges capitalized on 17 Chicago turnovers scoring 15 points, while limiting Chicago to only nine points on 13 turnovers.

Chicago managed to keep the game competitive thanks to a game-high 27 points, a little more than half of Chicago’s entire points, by junior guard Matt Johnson. Johnson connected on 4-of-13 field goals, 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and 4-of-6 from the line. The rest of the Maroon roster, however, shot a tepid 6-of-26 from the field and 4-of-11 from downtown.

The first half of the game saw four ties and six lead changes. Chicago took a handful of leads early on and, eight minutes into the game, pulled ahead 15-12 on a Johnson three. Rookie forward Alex Stoyle and guard Trapasso never let the Maroon take control of the game, scoring the next 13 points for the Judges. Stoyle capped off the run with a three-pointer at the 1:56 mark of the first half that gave the Judges a 26-23 lead, which they never relinquished.

Bartoldus started his scoring binge just before the break, scoring the Judges’ final five points, giving them a 31-25 lead at the half.

Johnson and Bartoldus began the second half in a shooting duel. Bartoldus scored eight of Brandeis’ first 10 second-half points, while Johnson dropped nine early points to pull Chicago within one at 37-36.

After a timeout, Dascy began a 13-2 Brandeis run during the next nine minutes. The Judges’ defense limited Chicago to 1-of-8 shooting during the same period, while also forcing four turnovers. A Bartoldus layup with 6:27 left to play gave Brandeis a 14-point lead, their largest of the game, at 52-38.

Chicago hung around going on a 15-7 run paced by eight points from Johnson, including a three-pointer to pull the Maroon within five points at 56-51, with a little less than two minutes to play. Chicago got a stop on the next possession, but then missed on three clean looks from beyond the arc, forcing them to foul Kriskus after he grabbed the Chicago miss with 49 seconds remaining. He hit one of his two free throws to extend the Judges’ lead to 57-51. On the next Chicago possession, Matt McKenzie connected on both of his free throws to pull the Maroon within four at 57-53 with 27 seconds remaining. The Maroon forced a Judges turnover on the ensuing inbounds play. As Chicago threw the inbounds pass into the backcourt, however, Hughes stole the ball and was immediately fouled. He connected on both of his free throws sealing a six-point Judges’ win.

Brandeis returns to UAA action next weekend when they host Emory Friday night at 8 p.m. and Rochester at noon on Sunday. Washington hosts Carnegie Mellon at 8 p.m. Friday night and Case Western Reserve at noon on Sunday. Chicago hosts Case Western Reserve at 8 p.m. Friday night and Carnegie Mellon at noon on Sunday.

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