As the season begins to close, the men’s basketball team looked to build off of their big win against the University of Chicago. Their first game of the closing stretch was a rematch against the University of Rochester. The Judge beat them in their first matchup of the season 83-72.
The first half started out tough for the Judges. Rochester went on a 6-0 and caused Brandeis to take a 30-second timeout. It proved to be a big timeout as sophomore forward Toby Harris ’25 immediately made a 3-pointer to get the Judges on the board. Rochester followed with a 3-pointer of their own and all of the sudden it looked like it was going to be an offensive battle. The two teams traded buckets but Rochester never gave up the lead. At half time Rochester held a 49-34 lead, even though junior guard Sam Adusei ’24 made a jump shot with time expiring. The Judges were shooting an impressive 56% from the field and 54.5% from three. However, Rochester was even better with a 63.3% field goal percentage and 54.5% from three. Harris led the way in scoring with 15.
Harris started the second half quickly with a dunk off of an assist from first-year Quron Zene ’26. The two offenses slowed down a little bit in the second half, but the Judges kept themselves in the game. With 10 minutes to go, the game was 50-66 after a jump shot from freshman Matthew Cadogan ’26. The game remained locked at the score for two minutes. From there, it was tough for the Judges to come back and they ultimately fell to Rochester 65-79. Overall, the Judges shot 48.1% from the field and 50% from three. Harris led the way in scoring with 25 points, which was his 12th game of 20 more points this season. He was followed by Zene with 17 points.
In the second to last game of the season, the Judges faced Emory College on Feb. 19. Brandeis barely lost to Emory in overtime earlier in the season, so this time they looked to split the season series. The Judges looked strong to start as they built an 8-3 lead after sophomore Griffin Walbridge ’25 made a layup with five minutes gone in the game. Emory evened the score at 10 with just over 13 minutes left in the half and they slowly built a lead after that. A 7-0 run from Emory was stopped after Zene made a jump shot following a Brandeis timeout. Senior Dylan Lien ’23 made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three, but Emory just kept scoring. Harris made a layup with five minutes to go and Brandeis finally took the lead back. The Judges closed out the half with a 9-2 run and ended up leading 40-33.
Harris once again led the team in scoring at half time with 15 points. The Judges were shooting much better from the field than a 50% field goal percentage compared to Emory’s 34.5%. However, the Judges also turned the ball over eight times. Emory went on a quick 6-0 run to close that deficit and all of the sudden it was a close game. After five minutes into the second half, Emory tied the game at 43-43. From there Emory took the lead and kept it until there were eight minutes left in the game. Lien and Adusei made big 3-pointers to tie the game at 54-54. It was a battle for the rest of the game. Every time Emory built a lead, Brandeis would answer. Zene made two free throws with just under a minute to go to tie the game at 67-67. With three seconds to go, Emory had possession and called a timeout. Emory ended up making a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in the game. Brandeis ultimately lost in heartbreaking fashion 67-70.
Lien and Harris led the way in scoring with 17 and 18 points respectively. Zene and junior Ryan Power ’24 both added 10 points of their own. The Judges shot 39.3% from the field and 33.3% from three. Emory did shoot 42.9% from the field, but 21.1% from three. Brandeis, however, had four more turnovers and two fewer rebounds.