North Adams, Mass. (courtesy MCLA Sports Information)- Visiting Brandeis University scored the first five points and never looked back, leading wire to wire in besting Mass. College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) 83-68 in a rematch of last year's ECAC New England Semifinals. With the win, the Judges move to 4-5, while MCLA drops to 2-6.
Brandeis placed four players in double figures led by sophomore forward Ben Bartoldus' (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) 22 points. Classmate Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) added 21 points. Each hit four 3-pointers on the night. MCLA was led by season high 19 points from Chris Harris.
The Judges started quickly as Bartoldus scored the opening bucket and following a defensive stop, Retos connected from beyond the arc putting the Judges up 5-0. They never looked back. They stretched their lead to 15 points at 27-12 on a Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) School) layup midway through the opening half. They led by as many as 18 points (45-27), before settling for a 45-31 lead at the break.
MCLA upped the intensity in the second half and got within nine on a Tito Pizzaro layup with 6:10 to play, but the Judges answered with another Retos triple putting them up 12. MCLA never seriously threatened again.
The emotional game was a physical one. Brandeis held a decisive edge from the free throw line shooting 27-37 for the game. MCLA was only 11-19 in the contest.
Joining Bartoldus and Retos in double figures was Kriskus with 13 points and sophomore center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School), who finished with 11 points and a team high nine rebounds. Senior Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) added six assists in the win.
For the Trailblazers, Tyrell Mosley added 11 points while Michael Young came off the bench to score 10. Jamal Brown added a game high 14 rebounds, including nine offensive boards for MCLA.
Brandeis returns to action on Saturday evening against second-ranked Amherst College at 7 p.m. in the Gosman Athletic Center.
The Trailblazers will travel to SUNY-Canton on Saturday looking to get back on track.