ORTON, MA - (taken from a Wheaton College press release) The
Wheaton College men's basketball team opened its home slate
with a win Tuesday night, topping the visiting Brandeis University Judges,
93-78 in a non-conference game in Emerson Gymnasium. The win puts the
Lyons back over .500 at 2-1, while the Judges drop to 1-2.
The Lyons capitalized on a plethora of Brandeis turnovers to
jump out to a
commanding 12-0 cushion and a lead that wouldn't be
relinquished. Sophomore Brian Zukowski (Dracut, MA/Dracut), who finished
the half with an impressive 18 points and four steals, hit a couple of
baskets in the opening stretch. Brandeis freshman Rocco Toppi (Portland,
ME/Portland) nailed a three-pointer to put the Judges on the board with
16:47 to go. Junior Sean Kelly (Providence, RI/Wheeler School) teamed with
Zukowski on defense to grab four steals in the opening stanza.
Brandeis picked up the offense in the middle part of the period,
as a dunk
by Toppi created a surge that brought the Judges as close as 32-28 with
4:55 to play in the half. Wheaton, however, managed to close out the half
on a 13-4 run, capped by Kelly's traditional three-point play with three
ticks on the clock to give the Lyons a 45-32 halftime lead.
The Lyons started the second half hot, as treys by senior
Stanton (Lynnfield, MA/Brewster Academy) and freshman Justin Brown (Gorham,
ME/Gorham) sparked a 9-0 run to put the Lyons up 54-32. Stanton kept the
hot hand for the next few minutes as he drained three more from beyond the
arc, pushing the score to 70-52 with 11 minutes left in the game. Brandeis
slowly crept back into the contest, using a 14-7 run late in the period to
get to within eight points at 81-73, but Zukowski and Kelly hit a series of
lay ups and free throws to clinch the win.
Wheaton continued its balanced scoring attack, putting four
double figures. Stanton used a strong second half to notch 25 points on a
5-of-11 shooting performance from three-point range while grabbing a
team-high seven boards. Zukowski had his best offensive night to date with
a career- best 21 points (8-16 FG) and game-high tying five steals. Kelly
tallied a double-double performance, scoring 17 points while dishing out 11
assists. Freshman Brent DiGiovanna (Hanover, MA/Hanover) rounded out the
double-digit scorers with a season-best 16 points.
Leading the way for the Judges was first-year forward Steve
(Merrimack, NH/Merrimack), as he netted 16 points on 5-of-7
shooting. Senior captain Bryan Lambert (Auburn, ME/Edward Little) notched
a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Joe
Coppens (Rockland, MA/Rockland) scored 13 points and grabbed eight boards
in the loss.