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Men’s basketball splits road trip

By Charlie Romanow

Section: Sports

February 13, 2013

The Brandeis men’s basketball team went 1-1 for the second straight weekend, losing to Case Western Reserve University on Sunday and defeating Carnegie Mellon University on Friday. The Judges defeated both teams at home last month. The game against the Case Western Spartans left the Judges on the losing side of a 56-47 game and the win against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans was close at 73-68.

During the Sunday afternoon game, the Judges contended against Case Western who had already suffered a profound loss to Brandeis, 77-58, in January. Coach Brian Meehan previously stated that to put a successful campaign together, teammates have to play well with each other. Unfortunately, injuries and illness left Brandeis shorthanded and at a loss without three of their top four scorers. Alex Stoyle ’14 was sick, Ben Bartoldus ’14 suffered an injury in Friday’s game and Derek Retos ’14 suffered an injury early in the game. Without some of their usual starters, the Judges needed to look for support elsewhere. Youri Dascy ’14 came through with an impressive double-double: 16 points and 11 rebounds, six of which were on the offensive side of the court, providing opportunities for second-chance points.

This was Dascy’s second double-double of the season and seventh of his career. The season’s lead scorer Gabriel Moton ’14 also played a strong part with 12 points and six rebounds. Other reserve players also contributed more than usual because of those injured.

“Injuries and sickness are an unfortunate part of sports, which we cannot control,” Meehan said. “Certainly they play a part in how games are decided but you just move forward with the guys that are healthy and available and hope that different players will rise to the occasion and provide productive minutes in the place of whom they are replacing.”

The game was close at times as the Judges came out with an early 12-7 lead in the first half. The Spartans took advantage of an eight-minute point-free span by the Judges to lead 26-18 at halftime. After starting the second half strong, Case Western led throughout the rest of the game; however, Brandeis did come back, scoring the final 12 points of the game. The Judges played a worthy second half. They were outscored by only one point, but this was not enough to come back from the deep first-half deficit.

The Spartans lead scorer, Austin Fowler had 15 points, with David Thompson contributing four blocks, Dane McLoughlin putting up 12 points and Julien Person contributing a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, the latter of which is quite rare for a guard.
After shooting well over 40 percent from the floor last weekend, Brandeis was only able to make 29.5 percent of their shots, culminating in the fewest points that they have put up since the season opener.

The Judges were close to Case Western in terms of total rebounds, assists and turnovers, and even led with more points in the paint, fast break points and points from the bench. The momentum was not good for the Judges, however, with the Spartans’ largest lead coming to 22 points. Case Western left the weekend 11-11 overall, 4-7 in conference.

With Friday’s game, Brandeis entered the Steel City, facing Carnegie Mellon who started the weekend with only one UAA win. The Judges had previously beaten the Tartans 69-62. After being down by four at the half and down by 12 with 3:17 remaining, Brandeis came back to end the game on a 25-7 run. They steadily shrunk the lead, possession by possession with an array of players contributing in different ways.

Jay Freeman ’13 scored eight points in the last 90 seconds; Retos made two 3-pointers in a one-minute span down the stretch; and Dascy came up with some clutch free throws to pull ahead of Carnegie Mellon. There was not one shot missed in the last 2:49. Retos led the Judges with 19 points and played the entire game for the first time this season. As with Sunday’s game, the Judges played shorthanded as Moton and Stoyle were not able to play and Bartoldus had to leave in the first half. Connor Arnold ’14 led the game with a career-high nine rebounds. Freeman and Dascy, both off the bench, had 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Freeman scored more points in this contest than he had cumulatively during the season.

Rashaun Riley, Andre Moore and Asad Meghani each scored more than 14 points for the Tartans. Meghani also contributed five assists while Moore had four steals. The home team shot well, making 51 percent of their field goal attempts, a higher percentage than any team had put up against Brandeis this season.

The Judges shot well from all sectors, and outrebounded Carnegie Mellon 34-24, as well as leading in second-chance points 15-4, points in the paint 32-22 and having their bench outscore the opponents by a monstrous 35 points. The difference in this game was clearly the bench scoring, their clutch play at the end of the game and their ability to capitalize on offensive rebounds.

After starting conference play with a strong five-game winning streak, Brandeis has gone 2-4 since. The results have forced them out of D3Hoops’ top 25 rankings. Although the Judges didn’t have their ideal weekend, they should be encouraged by their strong performances despite missing some key players. If they can come so close without playing perfectly, then they can surely win against stronger teams when all of the moving parts are together. Their impressive 9-1 home record speaks to the potential success awaiting them if they take that mindset on the road.

They finish the weekend 16-6 overall and 7-4 in the UAA, tied for third in the conference.

They stay at home this weekend with games against the University of Chicago and Washington University as the regular season begins to wind down.

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