Men's hoops drops another close affair with Case, 74-72

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Brandeis men's basketball team suffered a tough two-point loss at the hands of Case Western Reserve, 74-72, in a University Athletic Association contest tonight. The Judges lost for the second time in a week to the Spartans by a combined six points and fall to 9-10 overall, 3-5 in the UAA. CWRU, which got game-winning free throws from Eric Black with 5.1 seconds left to break the 15th tie of the contest, improve to 10-9, 3-5 UAA.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • In addition to the game's 15 ties, there were also 10 lead changes.
  • Brandeis led by eight points early in the contest, 10-2, four minutes in.
  • The Spartans scored nine unanswered points, but the biggest lead for the rest of the game was five at 18-13 midway through the first.
  • Case took their biggest lead of the first half late in the stanza at 33-30, but Brandeis junior Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) had a steal and buzzer-beater to get the Judges within one at the break.
  • The hosts took a two-possession lead of the game with back-to-back hoops by reserves T.J. Duckett and Jake Lavis at 15:00 and 14:23 of the second to go ahead, 47-43.
  • Brandeis answered with two straight buckets of their own by sophomore Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) and senior Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover), and the game was nip-and-tuck from there.
  • The Spartans established another four-point advantage, 70-66, with 3:21 remaining on two Matt Clark free throws.
  • Brandeis junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May) converted back-to-back buckets, including on Brandeis's fourth shot of a possession with 1:59 to go, tying the game at 70-70.
  • The Judges got a stop despite giving up an offensive rebound on CWRU's next possession, but the Spartans' Colin Zucker swiped the ball after a Brandeis defensive board.
  • Case drew a foul, and Javier Alvarez converted both free throws to put his team ahead two with 55.1 seconds left.
  • Brandeis's Cooper made  a jumper in the lane with 34.7 seconds to go, tying the game again at 72-72.
  • On the next possession, Case called timeout with 17.1 seconds to go. The Judges played nice defense, but with the shot clock winding down, Alvarez found Black open under the basket. Brandeis recovered to foul him with 5.1 seconds left, but both free throws were good.
  • After the make, Brandeis called timeout, then got the ball to half court and called another TO with 4.3 second to go.
  • The ball made it into Vilmont's hands at the top of the 3-point arc, and he made a nice drive to his left in the lane, but his elevated jumper as time was running out hit the front and back of the rim before popping out, giving Case the 72-70 win.

FOR BRANDEIS

  • Cooper was the game's high scorer, finishing with 18 points on 9-of-14 from the floor.
  • He scored 10 points in the first half. Cooper also had eight rebounds and tied for game-high honors with three steals.
  • Powell finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career.
  • Powell scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.
  • Vilmont and junior Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School, R.I.) also reached double-digits in scoring with 11 and 10 points each.

FOR CASE WESTERN RESERVE

  • Alvarez led the Spartans with 17 points in 27 minutes off the bench.
  • He outscored the Brandeis reserves, 17-16.
  • Clark added 14 points and Black had 13.
  • Black and reserve Spencer Boyd tied for team-best honors with six rebounds each.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Three of Brandeis's five UAA losses have been by five points or fewer.
  • Case outscored Brandeis, 17-12, from the free throw line and hit five 3-pointers to none for the Judges.
  • It marked the first time since at least 2004-05 that the Judges failed to connect from beyond the arc.
  • The Judges had a slight edge in rebounding, 36-34, and second-chance points, 18-14.
  • CWRU owned a 18-15 advantage in points off turnovers.

UP NEXT

  • The Judges head to Pittsburgh to face Carnegie Mellon on Sunday at 12 noon in another UAA contest. The Judges defeated the Tartans last weekend, 81-67. Case Western Reserve hosts NYU at the same time.