Men overcome 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Chicago, 59-55

Gabriel Moton '14 (Photo by Jan Volk/Sportspix)

CHICAGO, Ill. – In their first University Athletic Association road contest of the season, the Brandeis University men's basketball team defeated the host University of Chicago, 59-55, by holding the Maroons to just 21 points in the second half. The Judges overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to improve to 13-2, 4-0 in the UAA, matching their entire win total for 2011-12. The Maroons fall to 7-8, 1-3 UAA.

Trailing 34-24 at the break, the Judges opened the second on a 12-3 run, with seven of the points coming from junior guard Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg). His jumper with 5:21 gone in the second half got the Judges within one at 37-36. UC's Jordan Smith stopped the bleeding, but Brandeis senior Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) answered with a put-back. Freeman did it again on the Judges' next possession, hitting a 3-pointer shortly after the Maroons' Charlie Hughes had done the same, making the score 42-41, Chicago with 12:16 left.

The next eight minute saw three ties and five lead changes. A Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) jumper at the 10:15 mark gave Brandeis its first lead since 12:15 in the first half at 43-42. Just over five minutes later, the game was tied at 48-all after Hughes hit a pair of free throws. After both teams missed on their next possession, a nifty fast-break bucket gave Brandeis the lead for good. Senior center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union Acad.) pulled in a rebound, sent the outlet pass to Retos, who fired a ball to junior Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Taft School) for the lay-up who was fouled in the process. He hit the free throw to put Brandeis ahead, 51-48.

Chicago's Sam Gage – who had fouled Stoyle - got two points back on the other end and drew a foul as well. Gage failed to convert, and Retos made the Maroons pay with long 3-pointer from straight away to make it a two-possession game. After both teams came up with stops, Stoyle hit two foul shots to make it a six-point game with 2:17 left. Chicago's Royce Muskeyvalley connected on a quick 3-pointer just 14 seconds later to make it 56-53, Brandeis. On the Judges' next possession, however, they were able to bleed more than a minute off the clock thanks to a van der Eng offensive rebound. A Stoyle 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and 51 seconds left in regulation made it a 59-53 game, with a late Wayne Simon jumper for UC accounting for the final 59-55 tally.

Brandeis had three players score in double figures, led by Moton, who topped all players with 14 points, 10 in the second half, including his seven early points that got the Judges back into it. Stoyle finished with 12 points, including eight in the final five minutes of the contest. Retos had 11 points off the bench – a team-high six in the first half – as he hit 3-of-5 from downtown. Moton also led all players with five assists and tied with a team-high eight rebounds. Van der Eng also had eight, establishing a new career high, six coming in the second half, helping the Judges to a 38-37 edge on the glass. Brandeis shot 42.3% (22-52) to just 36.2% (21-58) for Chicago. After UC held the shooting advantage in the first half, the Judges held the hosts to just 6-of-26 (23.1%) in the second.

Chicago built its 10-point first-half lead on the strength of seven points each from Muskeyvalley, Jordan Smith and Ian Joyce, but the three combined for only nine points total in the second. Smith led the Maroons with 11 points off the bench, while Muskeyvalley had 10 to lead his team's starters. Gage just missed a double-double with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Hughes and Simon each had two assists for the hosts, who had just seven assists on 21 baskets.

Brandeis, which kept pace with second-ranked Rochester atop the UAA at 4-0, returns to action on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm Eastern/12 Central, when they take on 13th-ranked Washington University. The Judges will be trying for their first Midwest sweep since 2010. Chicago hosts NYU at the same time.