Judges drop 66-64 OT loss at Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (courtesy Rochester sports information) – Sam Borst-Smith hit a running bank shot with 6.9 seconds left in overtime to give the University of Rochester a 66-64 victory over visiting Brandeis University at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Sunday afternoon.

 Brandeis rushed the ball up the floor and Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) tried a jumper from the left side. His miss was rebounded by Rochester's Zack Ayers as the final buzzer sounded.

Borst-Smith led the Yellowjackets with 23 points and three steals. Mack Montague had 15 points and Jared Seltzer scored 11. Ayers had five points, a game-high 11 rbeounds, and two blocked shots.

Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds, made four steals and had two assists for Brandeis. Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) scored 16 points.

Rochester improved to 9-11 overall, 5-4 in the University Athletic Association. Brandeis is 7-13, 2-7 UAA. The Yellowjackets, at 5-4, are one game out of first place in the UAA. The University of Chicago is first at 6-3. Case Reserve, Washington, Emory, NYU, and Rochester are all 5-4. Chicago and Washington travel to Rochester  and Emory next weekend.

Brandeis overcame a haphazard first six minutes. The Judges missed their first 10 shots from the floor and didn't make a basket until K.J. Baptiste (Onset, Mass. / Brimmer and May School) made a layup. Rochester wasn't much sharper. The Yellowjackets held a 5-4 lead after six minutes of play.

 Montague's 3-point goal pushed Rochester in front, 24-19, with 6:31 left. Brandeis answered with an 11-1 run over three minutes. Vilmont scored the last seven points of the run to put Brandeis up, 30-25 with 3:15 left in the half. The Judges led, 35-29, at the break.

A conventional three-point play by Vilmont put Brandeis up by seven, 45-38, with 13:02 left in the second half. Rochester scored 12 of the next 15 points to go up, 50-48. In the last nien minutes, there were five ties and two lead changes. Two free throws by Vilmont with 31.8 seconds left tied the score at 60. On its last possession, Rochester couldn't get the ball inside and Kevin Sheehy airballed a long three-point shot from left wing with less than a second to play. 

The overtime was as tight as the second half. Montague made two free throws (62-60 Rochester). Cooper got a layup on the break but missed a chance to put Brandeis ahead when his free throw rimmed out. Montague made a layup with 2:49 to go. Brandeis tied it, getting one free throw from Smith (with 1:25 left) and another from Tim Reale (with 21.9 seconds left). 

After a time out, Borst-Smith held the ball at the top of the key, then drove left and down the lane. He banked in the winning shot which stood up once Ayers rebounded the final Brandeis miss.

The Judges return home next weekend to face Carnegie Mellon at 8 p.m. on Friday night and Case Western Reserve Sunday at noon on Senior Day.