BRISTOL, R.I. (taken from an RWU Press release) – The Brandeis University men's basketball team won for the fourth time in five games tonight as the Judges opened 2015 with a 61-50 victory at Roger Williams. Brandeis improved to 4-5 with their third win in a row, while the Hawks fall to 4-6 after having won their last two games.
The Judges were led by sophomore John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May). Powell recorded a career scoring high for the third game in a row, finishing with 20 points. He hit 9-of-12 from the floor and two free throws to reach 20 for the first time in his career. Powell also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots. He scored 11 points in the first half and nine in the second.
Ryan Palumbo (Warwick, R.I.) dropped in a layup on the first Hawk possession to give RWU a quick 2-0 lead. However, a traditional three-point play by Powell put the Judges on top by a point, helping spark a 10-2 run, and the visitors would never trail again. Brandeis led by as many as eight in the half. The Hawks managed to pull back within one with just under two minutes left in the period (28-29), but a Powell dunk on an assist by rookie Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) before the end of the half gave Brandeis a 31-28 lead at the break.
Brandeis dominated the second half. After giving up a lay-up on the third possession of the stanza to allow RWU back within one at 31-30, the Judges allowed just one more field goal over the next 14-plus minutes. Brandeis had runs of 13 and 10 in a row to pull away. The Judges' lead bulged to 22 with just under four minutes remaining before a late Hawk run made it the 11-point final.
In addition to Powell's big night, rookie Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) added nine points and three boards. Sophomore Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) led all players with ten rebounds, one shy of a career-best.
Conor O'Brien (Sharon, Mass.) led the Hawks with a career-high 17 points and six rebounds. Jennings finished with nine points and six rebounds, while Palumbo added five points and five boards.
The Judges are right back in action tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Curry College. Roger Williams takes on Eastern Nazarene on Tuesday night.