January 21, 2005

BRANDEIS SENIORS HELP JUDGES EVEN UAA RECORD WITH 74-66 WIN OVER CASE WESTERN RESERVE

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Senior forward Bryan Lambert (Auburn, Maine) had 22 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, while classmate Omri Ayalon (Potsdam, N.Y.) came off the bench for a season-high 17 points as the Judges defeated host Case Western Reserve University, 74-66, in a University Athletic Association contest.

Brandeis (9-5, 2-2 UAA) evened its conference mark thanks to Lambert's 10-14 performance from the floor. He also hit two free throws on the evening, while his 15 boards were his most since a 16-board performance last season. Meanwhile, Ayalon scored 17 points in 20 minutes, his most playing time in eight games. He canned six-of-13 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and hit both of his free throws.

Case (5-10, 1-3 UAA) put three starters in double figures, but got only nine points off the bench, compared to Brandeis's 25. Mason Conrad paced the Spartans with 19 points on nine-of-15 from the floor, while Carson Oren had 16 points and Matt Cannan added 12. Those three players also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds each.

The game featured eight ties and 12 lead changes. Brandeis was able to take a six-point lead, the largest of the first half, on a free throw by rookie Jake Kaplan (Roanoke, Va.) with 4:27 left, but Case closed the stanza on a 12-5 run. Andrew Impastato gave the Spartans the 38-37 halftime lead on two free throws with 44 seconds left. Lambert and Oren led all players with 12 points in the first, while Conrad added 11 for the Spartans and Ayalon had 10 for the Judges.

After lay-ups by freshmen Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine) and Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) gave Brandeis an early three-point lead in the second half, a 14-2 run by the hosts ran the lead to 52-43, the biggest of the game, on a Chris Hill jumper with 12:54 on the clock. The Judges answered with 10 unanswered points over the next three mminutes and 10 seconds, reclaiming the lead on a free throw by guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia). The lead changed hands five times over the next five minutes before Toppi nailed a trifecta with 5:36 remaining to give Brandeis a 61-60 lead. The Judges would outscore Case 13-6 the rest of the way to clinch their second UAA victory of the season.