December 5, 2012

Torrid second half leads men past MCLA, 86-65

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team shot 65% from the floor in the second half, connecting on 16 of their first 22 attempts, as the Judges defeated visiting Mass. College of Liberal Arts, 86-65, in a non-conference showdown in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. The win is the seventh in a row for the Judges, who improve to 7-1, while the Trailblazers fall to 1-5.

      Brandeis put four starters in double figures, led by junior forward Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.), who scored a game-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, and 1-of-2 from the line. Bartoldus also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. His 11 first-half points staked the Judges to a slim 34-32 lead.

Junior forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) and classmate center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews School) scored 13 and 12 points respectively, all coming in the second half, while junior guard Derek Retos (North Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) notched eight of his 10 points after the break. The three combined to hit 10-of-15 from the floor in the final 20 minutes as the Judges hit 17-of-26 as a team and outscored the Trailblazers, 52-33.

Rookie guard Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) led all players with seven assists, while Stoyle matched his career-high with five helpers. Senior center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union Academy, N.H.) finished with six boards as the Judges outrebounded MCLA, 35-31, and owned a 30-16 edge in points in the paint.

Mass. College also had four players score in double figures, led by rookie guard Paul Maurice (Boston, Mass./Snowden), who had 14 points off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting overall, 3-of-6 from downtown and 1-of-3 from the line. Sophomore center Mike Muller (Norton, Mass./Coyle-Cassidy School) added 12 points off the bench as the Trailblazer reserves outscored Brandeis's, 30-26.

Senior Richard Johnson (Springfield, Mass./Commerce) added 11 points – eight in the first half - and three blocked shots to pace the MCLA starters, while classmate Bilal Shabazz (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) had 10 points. Junior forward John Jones (Worcester, Mass./Worcester South) led all players with nine rebounds (six offensive), while Shabazz topped the 'Blazers with five assists. MCLA kept pace with the Judges by shooting 44% in the first half (14-32), but they connected on just 39% (12-31) in the second while the hosts were shooting the lights out.

Brandeis returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Amherst, Mass., to take on 10th-ranked Amherst College at 3 p.m. MCLA hosts SUNY-Canton at 2 p.m. the same day.