WALTHAM, Mass.- Despite having four players reach double-figures and a season-high 32 points from senior guard Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St,. Petersburg), the Brandeis University men's basketball team fell in a tight University Athletic Association (UAA) contest against the Emory University Eagles, 94-88. The Judges fell to 9-7 (1-4 UAA) while the Eagles improved to 12-4 (4-1 UAA).
In a back-and-forth game that featured 13 ties and 22 lead changes, the result was hanging in the balance with 4:34 to go and Emory leading 90-84. The contest wound up coming down to a few possessions for both squads as Brandeis fought back. A pair of free throws from senior guard Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad. (N.H.)) cut the deficit to four, 90-86 with 1:56 remaining. Then, a big defensive stop by the Judges led to a loose ball foul on Emory. Rookie guard Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) drained his two shots from the line and suddenly it was 90-88 with 1:15 left on the clock. The Brandeis defense came up with another stop on the Eagles' next trip down but a wild shot Vilmont on the other end would not fall. Senior forward Jake Davis (Cincinnati, Ohio/The Seven Hills School) hit two from the charity stripe to make it 92-88 with 15 ticks left and would add another pair with seven seconds remaining for the final margin of 94-88.
In the first half, both squads were lighting it up on the offensive end. The largest lead for either team was six for the visitors at 15-9 at the 16:02 mark as the score was tied 10 times and the lead was changed 10 times in the period. Emory shot 66.7% from the field while Brandeis shot 48.6% and stayed in the contest by shooting 11-for-14 from the line and 6-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Eagles were led by 16 first half points from junior guard Michael Florin (Port Washington, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) whose lay-up with 11 seconds left in the period gave his squad a 52-51 advantage headed into the break.
The Judges were led by Moton's 32 points, 19 in the first and 13 in the second, on 10-for-20 shooting from the field including three 3-pointers and a 9-for-10 performance from the charity stripe. Senior guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) came off the bench to score 16 points including a 4-of-8 afternoon shooting behind the arc. He now has 201 trifectas for his career and moved into sole possession of second place on Brandeis' all-time list. He passed Mark Peabody '90 who finished his career with 200 made 3-pointers. Joining them in double-figures was Bartoldus who had 13 points and senior forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) who added 10 points, all in the first half. Vilmont, Moton, and junior forward Ishmael Kalilou (Windsor, Conn./Taft School) shared team-high honors with four rebounds apiece. Vilmont also led the squad with a game-high six assists.
Emory was led by Florin who poured in 26 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field and added a team-high five assists. Davis was one of four starters in double-figures, finishing the game with 20 points and sharing game-high honors of eight rebounds with junior forward Alex Foster (Portland, Ore./Catlin Gabel) who also had 11 points. Rounding out the scorers in double-digits was senior guard McPherson Moore (St. Louis, Mo./MICDS) who contributed 18 points. McPherson added a game-high three steals.
Brandeis continues their season on Friday January 31st with a road UAA matchup against Case Western Reserve with an 8:00 p.m. start. The Eagles go back home to take on UAA rival Chicago on the same day also with an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.