PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Brandeis University rookie guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) hit one of two free throws with two seconds left in regulation to lift the visiting Brandeis University Judges to a University Athletic Association (UAA) road victory over Carnegie Mellon University, 73-72, in Skibo Gymnasium.
Brandeis (12-9, 5-5 UAA) reached the five-win mark in the UAA for the first time since 1994-95 with the victory. The Judges placed four players in double figures, led by senior forward Bryan Lambert (Auburn, Maine) with 19 points on nine-of-14 shooting with one free throw. Rookie guard Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) came off the bench to add 15 points, a career-best, on six-of-10 shooting with a trifecta and two free throws. Classmate Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) had a fine all-around night with 14 points and team-bests with six rebounds and three assists. Graves-Fulgham chipped in with 11 points, including the key foul shot at the end of the game. The Judges used 51 percent shooting from the floor (31-61) to overcome a 45-28 rebounding deficit.
Carnegie Mellon (14-5, 6-3) got game- and career-highs from forward Clayton Barlow-Wilcox, who had 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting, and 15 rebounds (five offensive). Guard Michael Divens also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Two other CMU players reached double figures as forward Nate Maurer had 15 points and guard Jason Walters added 11, but the Tartans' bench was outscored by a 21-3 margin.
After CMU jumped out early, Brandeis took its first lead, 11-10, at the 14:43 mark on a traditional three-point play by DeLuca. The Tartans answered with a Barlow-Wilcox jumper on the team's third shot of the next possession, but Lambert answered on the next Brandeis possession and the Judges never trailed again. Brandeis went up by as many as 13 points on a steal and lay-up by rookie guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) with 4:40 left in the stanza, but the hosts made a furious run to end the half. CMU outscored the Judges, 15-5, the rest of the way. Divens' late lay-up on a feed by Maurer meant Brandeis held just a 41-28 advantage at the break.
A put-back lay-up by Divens to open the second half cut the Brandeis lead to one. The Judges responded with a 13-5 run of their own over the next five minutes, capped by a Coppens lay-up after a steal by classmate Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine). The Tartans climbed back within two on a Walters trifecta with 8:32 remaining. They had several chances to tie or take the lead, but missed five shots on their next possession. Walters eventual drew a foul while shooting beyond the arc, but missed all three foul shots. The Judges answered and went back up by seven, 67-60, with 4:04 to play. CMU wouldn't go away, however, scoring 12 of the game's next 17 points, with a Goren triple tying the game with 30 seconds left, setting up Graves-Fulgham's heroics from the charity stripe.