WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team celebrated their senior day in dramatic fashion today as the Judges defeated Case Western Reserve University in overtime, 71-66, in a University Athletic Association contest in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, the Judges improve to 13-9 on the season and clinch a winning record for the first time since 2013-14. The loss drops the Spartans to 9-13, 2-9 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED (CLICK FOR VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS)
- The Judges got off to a scorching start to the game, hitting their first six shots and eight of their first 10. They took their biggest lead of the game at the 10:19 mark of the first half after two Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) free throws made it 21-11.
- Brandeis would cool off a bit, and CWRU went on a 19-10 run to close within one point on a Sam Hansen layup with 1:48 remaining.
- After back-to-back misses, a 3-pointer by Brandeis junior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) with just over a minute to play gave Brandeis a 34-30 lead at the half.
- The Judges outshot Case Western Reserve, 60.9% to 27.5% in the first half, but the Spartans' 12-2 advantage in offensive rebounds kept the game within reach.
- The visitors would score the first five points on the second half on a three-point play by Michael Hollis and a jumper by Ignas Masiulionis to take their first lead of the game, 35-34, just under 90 seconds in.
- From there, the second half would feature four ties and 10 lead changes.
- Case Western Reserve would take its biggest lead of the game with 6:24 remaining after Connor Nally hit the second of back-to-back 3-pointers, making it 52-47.
- Brandeis senior Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) answered with a pair of trifectas of his own, sandwiched around a Case bucket, as the hosts got back within one at 54-53 with 4:58 to go.
- The Spartans responded with an Antonio Ionadi lay-up, but Brandeis sophomore Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) drained a long ball of his own to tie the game at 56-56 with 2:56 left in regulation.
- Both defenses turned up the screws from that point on, with the next three points scored by the Judges at the line. The last of those were two Sherman free throws with 4.9 seconds showing on the clock that made it 59-56.
- Brandeis called a timeout to set their defense for the final rush. CWRU inbounded the ball and got it across half court, but a Brandeis trap forced a loose ball. It ended up in the hands of CWRU's Ryan Newton about 40 feet from the basket, and he had enough space to launch a jumper that was good and beat the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
- In the extra session, Brandeis never trailed. Sophomore guard Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) opened the scoring with a three-point play after both teams missed 3-point shots.
- Case got two points back on a pair of Hollis free throws, then after a Sherman jumper, tied the game at 64-64 on a Michael Volkening three-point play with 3:17 left.
- Brandeis reclaimed the lead on a Sherman free throw on the next possession, but he missed the second, keeping it a one-point game with 2:47 to go.
- Though the Judges were unable to extend their lead, their defense was terrific. Graduate student Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) led the way, blocking CWRU shots on the visitors' next two possessions.
- After the Judges missed a third-straight 3-pointer, it was D'Aguanno's turn on defense, as he forced the Spartans into a back-court violation with just over 30 seconds to go.
- The teams traded free throws on the next two possessions, with Sabir making it 69-66 with 17 seconds left.
- Workman got his third blocked shot of overtime on the next Spartan possession, and Jones made two last free throws to clinch the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Jones was the scoring leader for the Judges, finishing with a career-high 21 points. He hit 8-of-15 from the field, 3-of-8 from downtown and 2-of-3 from the line. Twelve of his 21 points came in the second half and overtime.
- Jones also grabbed 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and the sixth of his career.
- Sabir finished with 14 points – seven coming in overtime – and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. He also led the team with five assists.
- Sherman rounded out the Judges' double-digit scorers with 15 points – 10 in the second half and three in OT.
- Workman had a terrific all-around performance finishing with seven points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and a career-high-tying five blocked shots. He moved into sole possession of eighth place on the Judges' career list with his 67th career block.
- Case Western had four players score in double digits. Newton and Nally had 11 points each, while Volkening and Ionadi each contributed 10.
- Hollis pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. As a team, the Spartans dominated the boards, outrebounding Brandeis 52-38, including 26-7 on the offensive glass.
- The Judges won despite the rebound disparity by shooting 43.6% for the game (24-55) while holding CWRU to 27.2% (22-81).
- Brandeis was also able to overcome a 16-13 turnover deficit by being more efficient, outscoring CWRU 21-13 on the miscues.
- This was the fifth game in the past nine between these two teams that was decided by two possessions or fewer and the second that went into overtime.
- This marks the Judges' first season sweep of CWRU since 2008-09.
- Before the game, Brandeis honored its two graduating players, senior Corey Sherman and graduate student Latye Workman.
- The Judges close out the season with three-straight road games, starting with a trip to Chicago and Washington University next Friday night and Sunday afternoon.