WALTHAM, Mass.- On Thursday January 2nd, the Brandeis University men's basketball team opened the New Year with an 81-74 victory over Roger Williams University at Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges were led by senior guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) who came off the bench to score 19 points, including five 3-pointers, as he claimed sole possession of fourth place on Brandeis' All-Time list with 179 made 3-pointers. Brandeis improves to 7-3 on the season while the Hawks fall to 1-8.
The first half featured two ties and seven lead changes. The Judges took the lead for good at the 8:14 mark when sophomore forward Kevin Trotman (Bristol, Conn./Taft School) drained a corner trey to make it 22-20. RWU would get back within three points when rookie guard Zac Campbell (Woodbridge, Conn./Amity Regional) hit a 3-pointer of his own to make it 28-25 with 4:51 to play. After that shot, Brandeis closed the period on a 14-3 spurt and took a 42-28 advantage into the break.
In the second period, the Judges never relinquished their lead but allowed the Hawks to chip away. Brandeis led by as much as 17 after a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) made it 47-30. However, with 3:18 on the clock, RWU cut the lead to 70-64 when junior guard Ryan Palumbo (Warwick, R.I./Williston Northampton) drained a pair of his own from the charity stripe. The Judges were able to hold off the rally as Retos hit two shots from behind the arc and made two free throws to score eight of Brandeis' final 11 points in the 81-74 win.
Retos led the Judges with 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting including 5-for-9 from downtown. Senior forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) joined him in double-digits with 12 points. Senior guard Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad. (N.H.)) and Trotman each contributed nine points. Senior guard Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) had a game-high eight assists and tied with classmate center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews School (R.I.)) for team-high honors with six rebounds.
The Hawks were led by rookie forward Chris Bardwell (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) who had a near double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Rookie forward Josh Syska (Peabody, Mass./St. John's Prep) and Palumbo chipped in with 14 points apiece. Sophomore forward Josh McCourt (Lincoln, R.I./LaSalle Acad.) led the squad with four assists while Palumbo nabbed a game-high five steals.
Brandeis continues their schedule on Tuesday January 7th at home against Bates with a 7:00 p.m. tip-off. RWU returns to conference play with a home game against Western New England at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday January 4th.