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Men’s basketball faces ups and downs

The Brandeis University men’s basketball team was ranked number 25 in preseason by D3hoops.com. Two losses in non-conference play—the first to Emerson College at the Lion’s Den and the second to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) at Red Auerbach Arena—leave the Judges with a record of 3-2 on the season.

The Brandeis men were successful, both individually and as a team, against UMass Dartmouth, as Collin Sawyer (GRAD), who scored 24 points—three shy of his career best—became the 34th player in Brandeis’ history to score one thousand points, and the first since former teammate and current Graduate Assistant Coach Eric D’Aguanno ’20. Nolan Hagerty ’22, who had his fifth career double-double, scored 18 points and secured 13 rebounds. Hagerty’s efforts coupled with Sawyer’s prolific scoring provided the Judges with a 76-68 victory over UMass Dartmouth. Dylan Lein ’23 also provided an offensive spark for the Judges, finishing with 13 points and three assists. Akin to Hagerty, Tommy Eastman (GRAD) was active on both ends of the floor, adding 12 points, four assists and eight boards in his first game off the bench. 

After having the Thanksgiving holiday off, the Brandeis men’s squad competed in the Black Coaches Classic, which Head Coach Jean Bain believed was an important event for a variety of reasons. Namely, the event “shed light on some of the things that have been going on, specifically minority coaches getting opportunities to coach.” Jean Bain also believed that this event was a great way to showcase that there are opportunities for Black aspiring coaches to have success at the Division III level, specifically, as this event honored the successes of four head coaches in men’s Division III—all of whom coach at high academic, well-respected institutions. While this event was meaningful and significant to Coach Jean Bain, his team understood the magnitude of the event and arrived ready to compete. Bain’s squad defeated UMass Boston 63-54, led by Eastman who totalled 21 points, 14 rebounds and four assists and Hagerty who filled the stats sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. 

In their losing effort against the WPI Engineers on Tuesday, Nov. 30, Sawyer finished with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting overall, 3-of-7 from behind the arc and 4-of-4 from the line. Productive center Hagerty added 12 points along with a team-high six rebounds and three assists. Providing a defensive spark off the bench, Using had three assists, in addition to three blocked shots. 

The Judge’s return to action in the opening round of the New England Big Four Challenge hosted by Brandeis University in Red Auerbach Arena, on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. The Judges look to defeat Babson to gain their fourth win on the season. The consolation game is on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m., followed by the championship game at 3 p.m. 

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