WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team set a school record with 17 3-pointers today, but the Judges found turnovers costly as they suffered a 95-91 University Athletic Association defeat at the hands of Washington University in St. Louis today on Senior Day. The Judges fall to 7-16, 3-10 in the UAA, while the seventh-ranked Bears improve to 20-4 and have clinched the UAA title with a 12-1 record thanks to an upset loss by second-place Rochester.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first half featured one tie and three lead changes early in the game.
- Brandeis set the stage for their performance by hitting their first three 3-pointers to take an early 9-8 lead.
- The Bears answered with the next eight points of the game to take a 16-9 lead just under six minutes in.
- They expanded their lead to 23-13 on a Clinton Hooks lay-up off a steal.
- Brandeis cut the lead in half with the next five points of the game and were within five at 25-20 when the visitors rattled off a 15-5 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 40-25, on a Marcus Meyer jumper with 5:22 left in the half.
- Brandeis halted the momentum with two Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) free throws, sparking a 19-4 run.
- The Judges scored 15 of their points in the string from beyond the arc, with senior Jack Fay's (New Rochelle, N.Y./Suffield Acad.) fifth trifecta of the half with 37 seconds left tying the score at 44-all before the Bears netted the last bucket before the break to take a 46-44 lead into the locker room.
- WashU opened the second half strong with a 9-2 run to go back ahead 55-46 on an Andrew Sanders bucket four minutes into the stanza.
- Fay responded with another 3-pointer sparking a 15-4 run in just two minutes. Vilmont had six points on a 3-ball and a traditional three-point play, while rookie Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) dialed long distance at the 14:03 to give the Judges a 61-59 lead.
- The teams traded stops before WashU's Matt Highsmith tied the game, while Hooks connected from deep to put the visitors back on top at the 12:19 mark.
- The Bears tried to pull away, but Brandeis remained within striking distance. WashU was ahead, 79-73 with just over five minutes to go on a Jake Knupp lay-up, but Brandeis scored nine of the next 12 points – all from junior Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) and Vilmont, who tied the game at 82-82 with a 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining.
- Washington answered with two Andrew Sanders free throws and a three-point play by David Schmelter to push the lead back to five.
- D'Aguanno responded from downtown to cut the deficit back to two points, but WashU hit a free throw, and after a Brandeis miss, Kevin Kucera returned the lead to six from beyond the arc, making it 91-85 with 1:25 to go. The Bears hit just enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the four-point win.
FOR THE JUDGES
- Brandeis had three players score at least 20 points in the contest.
- Cooper led all players with 25 points, hitting 10-of-16 from the field, 2-of-5 from downtown and 3-of-4 from the line.
- Cooper also tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds.
- Fay established a career-high 23 points – 17 coming in the first half – as he hit 8-of-11 overall and 7-of-8 from downtown.
- Fay's 17 first-half points were one shy of his previous career-best for a game.
- Vilmont finished with 21 points, hitting 7-of-11 overall and 4-of-7 from deep.
- He became Brandeis's 13th player with 100 career 3-pointers with his first make of the game.
- Vilmont also tied his career-best with nine assists.
- The Judges' 17 3-pointers eclipsed the previous mark of 16 set against Newbury College in 2010 and Case Western Reserve in 2009.
FOR THE BEARS
- WashU had six different players score in double digits.
- Matt Highsmith scored 19 off the bench, outscoring the Judges' reserves in the process. He hit 9-of-16 from the field and had one free throw.
- Sanders added 17 points, Kucera had 15, Schmelter 13 and Hooks 11.
- Schmelter also led the visitors with eight rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
- Kucera topped WashU with eight assists, while Jake Knupp had seven and three steals.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Brandeis shot a season-high 60.4% from the field (32-53), while Washington connected on 54.4% (37-68).
- Brandeis was just as hot from deep at 60.7% (17-28), while WashU hit just 40% (4-10).
- The Bears had a 33-26 rebounding edge, but 16-4 on the offensive glass.
- The turnover battle was won by Washington as well, as they committed just seven for the game while forcing 19. They turned that into a 26-18 margin in points off turnovers.
- Before the game, Brandeis honored their four seniors who were playing in their final home games: Fay, Vilmont, Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews, R.I., School) and Samuel Dowden (Andover, Mass./Andover).
- Brandeis closes the season next Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at rival NYU. Washington U. meets Chicago the same day.