NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Brandeis men's basketball team erased a 10-point second-half deficit, but the Judges couldn't hang on to the lead, as they dropped a heartbreaking 59-57 decision to NYU in the University Athletic Association regular-season finale for both squads. The Judges close the regular season with a 17-8 overall record and 8-6 in the UAA, as they await possible word of an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Violets salvage a season split for the fourth year in a row and finish at 15-10, 5-9 UAA.
Brandeis was down, 42-32, just under six minutes into the second half after a lay-up by NYU's Devin Karch capped a 14-3 run for the Violets. The Judges got a spark at that point from rookie reserve Kevin Trotman (Bristol, Conn./Taft School). Trotman scored the game's next five points on a quick jumper and a traditional three-point play. He then picked off an NYU pass and fed junior guard Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) for a trifecta to give Brandeis eight points in less than two minutes, pulling them within 42-40.
The Violets' stemmed the tied with a trifecta from Watertown, Mass., native Kyle Stockmal. NYU maintained the lead, and the hosts were up three after two Karch foul shots made it 49-46 with 7:01 to go. The Judges answered with the next six points of the game, with a put-back by senior Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union, Vt., Acad.) starting the run. A Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews, R.I., School) jumper gave Brandeis its first lead since the first half at 50-49 with 5:47 left. Moton's two foul shots made it a three-point game with 5:11 remaining.
NYU's Carl Yaffe and Dascy traded buckets on the next two possessions, with a Karch lay-up and two Moton freebies maintaining the three-point Brandeis lead with 2:49 to go. Another Yaffe hoop got the hosts back within one, 56-55, at the 2:33 mark. On the next possession, Karch earned a steal from Moton and converted the lay-up to put NYU back ahead, 57-56, with 2:05 on the clock. The final 125 seconds saw both teams miss opportunities to pull even or pull away, depending on the sideline.
After Stockmal missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to go, Brandeis senior Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./St. Mark's School) grabbed the rebound, and the Judges elected to on offense without a timeout. Dascy worked into the paint, but couldn't convert through traffic. Moton was there for the offensive rebound, and coach Brian Meehan called for a timeout with 9.8 seconds left. Once again, the ball went to Dascy in traffic in the middle. This time, he drew a foul with 5.5 seconds on the clock to get to the line with a chance to tie or go ahead. Unfortunately, he was unable to convert either foul shot, and NYU's Max Wein grabbed the rebound on the second miss. Wein converted both to make it a 59-56 game with 4.4 to go. Brandeis was able to get one last desperate chance when junior Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) was fouled with 0.4 seconds left. He hit the first, but NYU knocked Stoyle's intentional miss away, giving the hosts the win.
Brandeis got 14 points from Moton, 11 from Dascy and a career-high nine from Trotman off the bench. Dascy tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds, while Moton led everyone with six assists, matching his career-high. In a tight game that saw both teams take 52 field-goal attempts, NYU made 23 to Brandeis's 20, but the Judges connected on seven 3-pointers to four for the Violets. The Judges missed eight free throws (10-18), which proved to be costly in a two-point contest.
NYU got 19 points each from Karch and Yaffe, who shot 8-for-13 and 8-for 16, respectively from the floor. Yaffe tied Dascy with eight rebounds for game-high honors, while Wein's three assists paced the Violets.