Salem, Mass. (courtesy Salem State sports information) -- The fifth time was the charm. After coming up short in his first four attempts at his 300th career win, Brandeis head coach Brian Meehan finally reached the milestone, as the Judges defeated Babson, 61-53, in the consolation game of the New England Big Four Challenge Sunday afternoon at Salem State University. Meehan becomes the 61st active division III coach in the nation with 300 wins. Meehan, who was Salem State's head coach from 1996-2003, is now 300-122 overall (.711), and 140-83 at Brandeis (.628).
The game was a back-and-forth battle in the second half, as the lead changed hands nine times. Brandeis (3-5), which trailed by three at halftime, 25-22 scored 16 of the first 24 points after intermission to take a 38-33 lead. Derek Retos (North Attleboro, Mass.) connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the game to end the spurt, as the Beavers managed just three field goals in the first eight minutes.
Babson (7-2) stayed close, however, as the Judges scored just one field goal over the next six minutes. John Wickey's (Manchester, N.H.) spinning layup with nine minutes remaining gave the Beavers a 43-42 lead. The game was tied at 48 when Brandeis took the lead for good after Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews, R.I., School) powered home a layup and converted the three-point play after being fouled. The Judges still led by three, 54-51 when Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness, N.H., School) nailed a 3-pointer to give them an insurmountable six point advantage with two minutes left in the game.
Retos led all scorers with 17 points, including 13 of Brandeis' 22 points in the first half. He hit 4-6 from three-point range and was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts. Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) added 14 points, including 9-10 from the free throw line, and Dascy finished with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and second in a row.
Babson, which suffered its first two losses of the season this weekend, was led by Marcus McDermott's (Milton, Mass.) 13 points, as he was the only Beaver to score double figures. Babson shot just 60% (15-25) from the free throw line, and was outrebounded 33-25.