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Harris and Zene lead men’s basketball team in scoring

After a 6-0 start to the season, the men’s basketball team looked to continue that success through December and January. Their first game of this long stretch came against Colby College on the first day of the University Athletic Association (UAA) New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Challenge on Dec. 3. It was a rough start for the Judges as they missed their first 10 shots and fell behind 0-16. Forward Quron Zene ’26 finally got the team on the board on a layup with just over 15 minutes left to play in the first half. The two teams then traded points for the rest of the half and as Brandeis was behind 21-37 at halftime. Colby’s offense was hard to stop as they shot 60% from the field in the first half. The Judges, on the other hand, shot just 26.7% from the field. Brandeis slowly started creeping back and cut the deficit to 11 with 11 minutes to go in the game after sophomore forward Toby Harris ’25 finished a layup. Colby responded with a 3-pointer and stopped the momentum for the Judges. The early deficit proved to be too much to overcome as Brandeis lost to Colby 52-66. 

Harris led the team in scoring with 19 on 50% shooting. Zene led the team in rebounds with six. Senior guard Dylan Lien ’23 was the team’s second-leading scorer with eight points off the bench. Brandeis shot just 32.2% from the field and 22.2% from three, while Colby shot 46.4% from the field and 38.9% from three. 

On day two of the UAA-NESCAC Challenge, Brandeis played Bates College. The scoring started with a layup from junior Ryan Power ’25. Guard Ethan Edwards ’26 followed that with a layup and a three-pointer. All of the sudden, the Judges were up 7-0. They continued to build a lead that got up to 24-8 in the first half. Bates slowly caught up and ended up cutting their deficit to just 29-34 at halftime. The two teams were close in field goal percentage at halftime; however, the Judges made three more three-pointers and outrebounded them 22-18. In half two, the two teams were neck and neck. Bates tied the game at 43 with 13 minutes left to play. The Judges went on a 13-2 run late to solidify the win for Brandeis. Bates couldn’t make the comeback as Brandeis got back to winning with a 68-58 victory. 

The team was led by two players in particular. Harris had a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds. He was followed by Edwards with 20 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds. Zene was the team’s next leading scorer with 13. The team overall shot 43.1% from the field and 36.0% from three, which was about 8% higher than Bates’ shooting percentages. 

Next, the Judges returned home Dec. 8 for a game against rival Babson College. The game was a battle from start to finish. Both teams had solid starts to the game, but the Judges took an early lead with strong 3-point shooting. Harris was especially great to start the game. He scored 13 points in the first half and led his team to a 38-34 lead in the first half. The Judges made eight 3-pointers in the first half, with half of them coming from Harris. In the second half, Babson quickly tied the game and began taking the lead. Lien tried to stop the momentum with a three pointer, but Babson continued to build a lead. The two teams mostly traded points from there, but Brandeis could not make a comeback. They ended up losing 76-88. 

Harris once again led the team in scoring with 23 points, while adding seven rebounds. Lien was the team’s second-leading scorer with 20 points from the bench. Edwards added 15 points of his own to give three players with double-digit scoring. The Judges shot 50% from the field and 57.9% from three. These were similar shooting percentages to Babson, but Babson outrebounded them 31-24 with seven more offensive rebounds and also had just four turnovers in the entire game. 

Game four of this stretch saw the Judges play a game against Westfield State University (WSU) on Dec. 30. Power got the scoring started with just under a minute into the game. From there came minimal scoring. Halfway through the first half and the teams scored a combined 13 points. The two teams heated up towards the end of the half with Harris making a tip in to close the first half. Brandeis led 28-24 at halftime. Both teams shot under 45% from the field after the first half and under 30% from three. Harris picked up from where he left off at the start of the next half with a quick layup. This helped start a 16-4 run for the Judges. Brandeis followed that with an 8-0 run to build a lead too large for WSU to come back from. The Judges once again bounced back from a loss, this time with a 60-47 victory. 

It was a hard-fought game between these two teams. Harris led the team in scoring with 21 points. Zene led the team in rebounds with 11 and was the third-leading scorer with eight points. Lien was the team’s second-leading scorer with 11 points from the bench. Brandeis shot 43.6% from the field and 33.3% from three. Both percentages were much higher than WSU’s percentages. However, the key to the game was the rebounding: Brandeis had 40 while WSU had 28. 

In the team’s first game of the new year, the Judges traveled to play their first game in Virginia with a game against Christopher Newport University (CNU) on Jan. 2. Power once again started the scoring with a layup. Junior guard Sam Adusei ’24 got involved early with two points and two assists in two minutes. Neither team could get out to a large lead in the first half. However, late jump shots from Power and Harris helped give the Judges a 35-31 lead at halftime. Brandeis had the narrow edge in field goal percentage as they shot 46.2% from the field, however, they shot just 16.7% from the 3-point line. Edwards led the team in scoring at halftime with 10 points from the bench. In the second half, the Judges maintained the lead a while, before CNU took control. At one point, CNU held the Judges scoreless for four minutes, while they scored 14 points. Brandeis proceeded to close that gap to make the score 67-69 with just under two minutes to go in the game. However, CNU closed the game out strong and won 79-73. 

Edwards led the team in scoring from the bench with 23 points, which was a career high. Harris and Power tied the team lead in rebounds with five, while also adding 16 and 15 points respectively. Brandeis shot a decent 42.1% from the field, however, they shot just 18.8% from the 3-point line. 

The final game of this stretch came against New York University (NYU) on Jan. 7. NYU was undefeated entering this game against the Judges. Senior guard Darret Justice ’23 got the scoring started for the Judges in this game. The two teams went back and forth for the majority of the first half. That was until Brandeis went on a run to build a 32-20 lead. NYU slowly closed that gap and at halftime the score was 42-38 with Brandeis still leading. Brandeis had a lower overall field goal percentage than NYU but was still leading due to more offensive rebounds and fewer turnovers. In the second half, the two teams battled back and forth until there was 10 minutes to go in the half. Then Brandeis went on a huge 23-7 run that solidified the win for the team. The Judges ended up winning the game 81-61. 

The bench led the way in scoring for the Judges. Lien scored a career-high 28 points from the bench, while Edwards also added 22 points and six rebounds. Harris had another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. In the end, the Judges had a higher overall shooting percentage at 51.7% and 3-point percentage at 50%. They held NYU to just 38.1% from the field and 29.6% from three. The strong defensive effort down the stretch allowed the Judges to give NYU their first loss of the season. 

At this point, the Judges are now 9-3 for the season overall and 1-0 for in conference games. They will next go away to face Washington University (WashU) on Jan 13. Last year, the Judges fell to WashU 53-67. After WashU comes the University of Chicago two days later. Brandeis got the better of Chicago last year 62-47. 

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