It was quite the weekend on the road for Brandeis University Judges men’s basketball team. The Judges were on the road for matchups against Emory University on Friday night and Rochester University Sunday afternoon.
Friday night was a battle of the top scoring offense and defenses in the University Athletic Association as the Judges visited the Emory Eagles in Atlanta. It was offense that beat out the defense in this contest, as the 17th ranked Eagles defeated the Judges, 92-59. It was a tight game in the first 10 minutes of action, featuring four ties and 10 lead changes.
Coming off the bench, guard Eric D’Aguanno ’20 hit back to back threes to give Brandeis a 19-17 lead with 12:24 left in the first. The Judges were not able to sustain or keep up with the Eagles’ hot offense as they went on to score 19 of the game’s next 20 points over the next five minutes to claim a 45-28 lead. Emory went on to shoot 61.8 percent from the field for the first half as they took a 55-37 lead into the locker room, while Brandeis hit just 43.8 percent. On a good note, Brandeis’s defense improved dramatically in the second half, holding Emory to 37 points and 36.7 percent shooting, but it wasn’t enough as the Judges couldn’t find an offensive rhythm of their own, shooting 24 percent from the field after the break. D’Aguanno ’20 finished with 17 points, hitting 5-8 from deep. It was his second game of the season with at least five 3 pointers and the 10th of his career. Forward Chandler Jones ’21 added nine points, a team high six rebounds, and four assists.
In the second contest of the weekend, the Judges faced the University of Rochester Yellowjackets looking for a bounce back win. Juniors Collin Sawyer ’20 and Eric D’Aguanno ’20 combined for 44 points and eight rebounds to lead the Judges as they defeated the Yellowjackets, 75-69. Rochester got off to a quick start, opening the game on a 15-3 run. Brandeis responded with a 21-9 run, eventually tying the game at 26 all on a lay up by graduate student Latye Workman. The hosts ended the period with seven of the last nine points to take a 39-36 lead into the locker room.
It was a back and forth affair in the second half, until around the five minute mark when Workman and Sawyer scored the game’s next five points to give the Judges their biggest lead of the game, 64-57, and Brandeis was able to keep the Yellowjackets in check the rest of the way. Sawyer led all scorers with a career high of 23 points, hitting 6-12 overall, 3-7 from downtown and 8-8 from the line. He also grabbed a pair of rebounds and had two blocked shots. D’Aguanno netted 21 points in 24 minutes off the bench. He was 7-11 overall, 6-9 from deep and his only free throw. He also grabbed a game high six rebounds. Corey Sherman ’19 added 10 points, while Lawrence Sabir ’21 had nine and a season high of eight assists, one shy of his career best. Brandeis outscored Rochester, 39-18 from 3-point range, establishing a season high with 13 trifectas. The Judges were also extremely effective in converting their turnovers into points. Despite losing the turnover battle 13-11, Brandeis outscored Rochester, 20-5, in points off turnovers. Coupled with the Brandeis women’s 56-52 win in the second game of the doubleheader, the Judges were part of just the program’s third ever sweep in Rochester. The previous two times were in 2009 and 2010. Brandeis improves to 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the UAA.
Also in the news for men’s basketball this week, D’Aguanno earns UAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He was a big part of the Judges 1-1 week by averaging 19 points and four rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from 3-point range. In the road loss to Emory on Friday he had 17 points and two rebounds, then followed it up with 21 points and six rebounds as the Judges won 75-69 at the University of Rochester. The Judges overcame a 12 point first half deficit to win at Rochester for the first time since 2010. For the season, D’Aguanno is third on the team in scoring at 10.8 points per game. He is second in the UAA in 3-point percentage at 43.3 percent and third in total 3-pointers with 52. D’Aguanno ranks 50th in Division III in 3-point percentage and 99th in 3-pointers.