FREDERICK, Md. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team used a balanced attack today to post a 72-60 victory over Rutgers-Newark, claiming the program's fourth Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III crown in the process. With the win, Brandeis closes out its season with four-straight wins to finish with an 18-11 record. Rutgers-Newark finishes up at 16-13.
HOW IT HAPPENED – FIRST HALF
- The first half was a back-and-forth affair that featured 10 ties and eight lead changes.
- The largest lead of the half for either team was a four-point advantage for the Judges at 11-7 after a Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) layup at the 14:11 mark.
- Neither team was able to pull away, and Brandeis owned a 31-29 lead at the break.
- Judge sophomore Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy), who had big second halves in Brandeis's quarterfinal and semifinal wins, got it done in the first half today, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds while playing all 20 minutes.
- Tyler Offray had nine points, five rebounds and three steals to keep the Scarlet Raiders in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED – SECOND HALF
- The early stages of the second half were more of the same, with two more ties.
- Trailing 34-31, R-N scored six-straight points, taking their biggest lead of the game at 37-34 on Mark Thomas's lay-up with just over two minutes gone.
- After the Judges called a timeout, they went on a 10-0 run. It started with back-to-back 3-pointers by Sherman and Jones, the last of which put Brandeis ahead, 40-37.
- Trailing again, the Scarlet Raiders called a timeout, but were called for two technical fouls during the stoppage. Sherman hit all four free throws to put Brandeis ahead, 44-37, the first three-possession lead of the game with 16:25 on the clock.
- R-N did not back down, scoring the next four points, though they were whistled for a third tech after Quincy Rutherford's lay-up at the 15:20 mark.
- Sherman hit two more free throws to make it 46-41, but the Raiders scored the game's next seven points at the line, taking a 48-46 lead on two Ofray foul shots at the 13:58 mark after the Brandeis bench was assessed the fourth technical foul of the game.
- R-N was whistled for an offensive foul on the ensuing possession, and the Judges made them pay, as junior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) buried a 3-pointer that gave Brandeis the lead for good, 49-48, with 13:43 to go.
- Both teams came up empty on their next several possessions before Sherman dialed long distance off a Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) offensive rebound two minutes later.
- Judge junior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) scored the game's next five points on two free throws and a 3-pointer, extending the run to 11-0 and pushing the lead to 57-48 with 10:06 left in the game.
- Brandeis's defense was outstanding in the final 10 minutes of the game, holding Rutgers-Newark to just 2-for-10 from the field with three turnovers.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Judges used a balanced attack, with Jones leading the squad with 17 points. He also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and the seventh of his career.
- Sherman added 16 points, while Sawyer and D'Aguanno had 15 each.
- Workman added eight rebounds and blocked three shots, while sophomore Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) had a game-high three assists.
- Workman's three blocks give him 76 for his career, ranked sixth all-time.
- D'Aguanno had three 3-pointers, giving him 83 for the season, tied for the third-best campaign in school history, while the 191 for his career will put him nine away from becoming the fourth Judges with 200 entering his senior campaign.
- Brandeis shot 46.5% for the game (20-43) while holding R-N to 31.8% (14-44), including just 20% in the second half (4-20).
- The Judges also connected on 47.6% from 3-point range (10-21) and were nearly perfect from the line (22-23, 95.7%).
- Rutgers-Newark also had three players score in double digits: Chase Barneys with 16, Ofray with 15 and Thomas with 13.
- Offray also led the Scarlet Raiders with eight rebounds.
- Sherman was named the ECAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging 16 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range in the four contests.
- Jones also earned All-Tournament honors, averaging 18 points and seven rebounds per contest, shooting 54 percent overall and 58 percent from deep.
- Brandeis improves to 4-0 all-time in ECAC tournament finals, having won the crown in 1974, 1992 and 2011 previously. They are 12-3 all-time in ECAC tournament contests.
- In his first season with the team, head coach Jean Bain improved Brandeis's win total by 11 games over last season. The 18 wins in a season are the most for a Brandeis squad since the 2011 ECAC champions won 19.