Men’s basketball finds success opening up UAA play

Men’s basketball finds success opening up UAA play

January 18, 2019

Over winter break, men’s basketball was still in action with five games, one out of conference and three UAA games. The Judges began on Dec. 30, hosting Bowdoin College. Brandeis outscored Bowdoin, 32-23, in the first half, closing on a 6-0 run in the final 1:13 to take a nine point lead. Eric D’Aguanno ’20 led all scorers with 10 points off the bench in the first. Bowdoin began its run in the second half, going on a 10-2 run with eight minutes to go. Bowdoin was able to push the lead to five, and the Judges were never able to climb back. The Polar Bears were able to hold Brandeis to just two field goals over a seven minute stretch as the Polar Bears came back from an 11 point deficit to defeat the Judges, 64-58. D’Aguanno led the Judges with 16 points for the game. He hit 6-13 overall and 4-10 from deep. He also pulled down six rebounds for the second game in a row. Also scoring in double digits were Corey Sherman ’19, with 15, and Chandler Jones ’21, who had 11. Nolan Hagerty ’22 had one of the best games of his career, with team and career highs of nine rebounds and four assists. He logged a career best of 20 minutes.

In their second game, the Brandeis men’s basketball team opened up UAA conference play against NYU at home. The Judges were able to hold the lead throughout a tight game and closed out on a 25-11 run to seal the 56-52 victory. Colin Sawyer ’20 scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the second half to lead three Judges in double figures in scoring. It was his sixth game reaching double digits this season. Lawrence Sabir ’21 added 12 points, seven in the second half, while pulling down five rebounds. Graduate student Latye Workman rounded out the double-digit scorers by recording his second double-double of the season and the fifth of his career with 10 points and 11 rebounds, tied for game-high honors. He also led the Judges with four assists and added two blocked shots. After struggling from the floor in the first half, Brandeis turned it around in the second, hitting 52.2 percent (while holding NYU to 32.1 percent). The Judges held the Violets 21 points below their season scoring average and under 60 points for the first time in 2018-19.

For their non-conference finale the men’s basketball team faced Amherst College. It was a battle of two of the top defensive teams in Division III this season, 24th-ranked Amherst College defeated the Brandeis men’s basketball team, 65-52. Both teams allowed under 62 points per game entering the contest, but Amherst was able to make just enough plays to seal the win. The Mammoths held Brandeis without a field goal for more than six minutes as they built a double-digit lead in the first half, 17-5. The Judges were led by Sherman with 14 points, while Jones scored nine points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Judges. They finished shooting 33 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three.

The men’s basketball then traveled to Pittsburgh and Cleveland for UAA play facing Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve University. Facing host the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, the Judges fell behind early and were unable to recover, falling 80-63. The hosts led by as many as 17 points early in the second half. Brandeis was able to get within 11 points on a four-point possession. Sherman was fouled at the 8:04 mark and the Tartans were hit with a technical. Sherman hit all of his free throws to cut the CMU lead to 11 at 64-53. After getting a stop, Brandeis couldn’t respond and CMU connected from downtown on the next possession to halt the Judges’ momentum. Sherman led the Judges in scoring with 16 points, 11 coming in the second half. He also dished out a team-high four assists. D’Aguanno added 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench, hitting 3-6 from three. Jones registered his third double-double of the season and the fifth of his career with 10 points and a career high 13 rebounds.

In the second game of the weekend, the men’s basketball team was able to get back on track against host Case Western Reserve University, with a 67-65 road victory in the UAA. Brandeis trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but D’Aguanno kept the Judges in the game in the first half with nine points on three three-pointers. The Judges opened strong in the second half, scoring the first seven points to take a 38-35 lead after Sawyer hit a three-pointer and two free throws. The game was back and forth, with several lead changes, until a Jones three-pointer from straight away that gave the Judges a 52-51 lead they would not relinquish. Sherman led all players with 20 points, 13 coming in the second half. He hit 8-12 from the field, 2-4 from the three-point range, and 2-2 from the line. Jones and Sawyer also had big second halves, with Jones scoring 10 of his 13 points after the break and Sawyer netting seven of his 10. Workman nearly registered a double-double with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. He also led all players with five assists. With the win, the Judges improve to 9-5 overall, 2-1 in the UAA. The victory was Brandeis’s first in Cleveland since the 2008-09 season. Brandeis needs just one more victory to reach a 10-win season for the first time since 2013-14.

Editor’s note: Camila Casanueva is a member of the women’s basketball team.