Cold stretch in second half keeps Judges from upset of #4 WashU, 79-68

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis men's basketball team led fourth-ranked Washington University by six points early in the second half, but the Judges went cold as visiting Washington University scored 19 unanswered points en route to a 79-68 University Athletic Association (UAA) victory in Red Auerbach Arena today. With the loss, the Judges fall to 7-9 overall, 2-3 in the UAA. The Bears, ranked No. 4 in Division III by D3hoops.com, improve to 14-2, 3-2 UAA.

      The first half was a game of runs. It featured three ties and four lead changes. WashU led by as many as 12 points at 25-13 just over eight minutes into the game on a 3-pointer by junior Luke Silverman-Lloyd (Culver City, Calif./Windward). The Bears were still up eight after sophomore Michael Bregman (New York, N.Y./Fieldston School) had a steal and a breakaway dunk. Unfortunately, Bregman injured himself seriously on the play.

      After play resumed, Brandeis answered with an 11-1 run over the next three-plus minutes, taking their first lead on a 3-pointer by rookie Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass./Rivers School) at the 4:38 mark. Haymon added another trifecta and a lay-up as the Judges built a three-point lead, but WashU scored the last four points of the half at the line to take a 38-37 lead into the break. Silverman-Lloyd led all players with 11 points at halftime, while Brandeis sophomore Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y./Suffield Acad.) had nine and Haymon had eight for the Judges.

      Brandeis opened the second half by scoring the first seven points. Sophomore Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School) hit two free throws and a lay-up to start the stanza. Rookie Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) connected from downtown at the 17:26 mark to put the Judges ahead, 44-38. At that point, Washington went on the key run, scoring 19 unanswered points. The Bears held Brandeis to 0-for-5 from the field with three turnovers in the streak. Offensively, they got six points from senior Matt Palucki (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) and five from classmate Nick Burt (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township), while senior David Fatoki (Hazelcrest, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) added two assists, a steal and capped the run with a lay-up that made it 57-44 with 12:15 left.

      Brandeis looked to snap out of their cold snap in a big way from 3-point range. Sophomore Samuel Dowden (Andover, Mass./Andover) connected from downtown on the Judges' next two possessions to get the Judges back within seven. After another defensive stop, rookie Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) hit from long range on the left side to get the deficit down to four. Meanwhile, WashU was called for a foul underneath, giving the ball back to the Judges. Brandeis was unable to take advantage, and the Bears answered with the next two buckets as they kept the home team at bay the rest of the way.

      Both teams put four players in double figures in scoring. For the Judges, Fay posted 14 points, a career-best, missing just one shot. He was 3-for-4 overall, 3-for-3 from downtown and 5-for-5 from the line. Haymon had 12 points, while Cooper added 11 and Dowden had 11. Junior guard Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) led the team with five rebounds and three assists, tied with Cooper.

      The visitors were paced by Silverman-Lloyd, who posted a career-best 20 points, hitting 6-of-9 from beyond the arc and 7-of-12 overall. Fatoki finished with a double-double, stuffing the stat sheet with 10 points, 11 assists, five steals and four rebounds. Burt added 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Palucki scored 12 points in 18 minutes of action, primarily in the second half.

      Brandeis returns to action next Friday night at 8 p.m. with another UAA tilt against Emory University.