Men’s basketball opens up conference play with a win against NYU

The Brandeis men’s basketball team started the new year on a high, ending their non-conference schedule with a victory over Bates and defeating University Athletic Association (UAA) rival New York University (NYU) on the road to secure their first conference win.  

In a tough battle against Bates College, the Judges rallied together to win the game on a 10-4 run, after trailing by nine at halftime.  Throughout the game, there were seven ties and 13 lead changes. Late in the first half, Bates went on a run, scoring 19 of the game’s next 21 points, after Collin Sawyer ’20 finished a lay-up with seven minutes to go.  With two minutes to go in the first half, Bates’ Kenny Aruwajoye’s lay-up established a 17 point lead over the Judges – 39-22.  Junior guard Lawrence Sabir ignited the Brandeis comeback with an incredibly athletic block, which he then finished on the other end, cutting the deficit to single digits at the half.  The 10-2 run for the Judges in the final two minutes of the first half was crucial heading into the second half.

Throughout the second half, there were six lead changes, until the Judges scored back-to-back field goals with under three minutes to play. Eric D’Aguanno ’20 delivered a behind the back pass to Nolan Hagerty ’22, with 2:26 seconds to go, that secured the lead for the Judges, 63-62.  Hagerty then found freshman Dylan Lien who sunk a clutch three-pointer with 1:33 to go. The Judges finished off the game sinking five of their last six free throws from the line.  The final score was 71-66, which gave Brandeis their last non-conference win, improving their record to 8-3.

Despite missing the final few minutes of the game, Sawyer led all players for the Judges with 20 points; he hit 7-11 from the field, including 6-of-9 from behind the arc.  Providing a spark off the bench, D’Aguanno hit 4-of-8 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from three and 4-of-5 from the line to contribute 14 points in the Judges winning effort.  Sabir had a well-rounded performance, finishing the game with eight points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Hagerty also contributed with a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and six points.  The Judges out rebounded Bates 39-31 and made 13 three-pointers; Brandeis outshot the Bobcats in the final 20 minutes of the game, too, hitting 7-of-10 from deep, while the Bobcats only connected on 1-of-10.   

Looking for their best 12 game start since the 2012-13 season, the Judges built a lead as large as 18 points in the first half against UAA rival NYU in the Big Apple.  The Judges connected early on from behind the arc, hitting 10-first-half 3 pointers, steer-headed by Sawyer and Lien, who each hit three from deep, combining for 26 of Brandeis’ 46 points. 

The biggest lead for Brandeis was 44-25 with four minutes to play in the first half.  After Sawyer connected on his third three of the game, the Violets responded with 11 straight points; Miles Somerville’s four-point play before Sawyer’s late field goal decreased the Brandeis lead to 10 at the half.  

Austin Clamage ’21 helped to improve the Judges’ lead to 15 in the second half with 13 minutes to go after hitting another shot from deep.  NYU then scored the next seven points, cutting the Brandeis advantage to single digits, after Somerville sunk a three midway into the half that made it 63-57.  After a Brandeis timeout, the Violets brought it within four twice, with under nine minutes to go.  

The Judges, though, did not settle and Hagerty responded with back-to-back lay-ups, increasing their advantage—a 70-61 game with six minutes to play.  For the next four minutes, NYU held Brandeis scoreless and Somerville concluded the Violet’s 8-0 run with 1:57 remaining, cutting the Judges’ lead to one point at 70-69.  Although NYU got a stop, they were unable to find success, and Hagerty scored again to extend the lead to three with 47 seconds to go.  

With 33 seconds left, Violet Nick Macarchuk connected, but Sawyer drew a foul out of a Brandeis timeout and he hit both free throws.  Freshman Darret Justice ‘23 got a steal on the next NYU possession, and Sawyer finished again to end the game, 76-71.  

Sawyer led all players, finishing the game with 19 points.  Hagerty and Lien each contributed 12 points, with Hagerty tying for team-high honors with eight boards.  Chandler Jones ‘21 recorded a well-rounded performance, with seven points, eight rebounds and a game-high five assists.  Brandeis had 18 assists on 27 baskets, and the Judges committed fewer turnovers than their opponent; the Violets finished with 12, while the Judges finished with seven, which gave them an 18-7 advantage in points.  Additionally, the Judges finished the game with 12 3-pointers to seven from the Violets.   

Brandeis looks to increase their UAA winning streak at home, facing University of Rochester at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17th.  

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