February 19, 2006

Four Brandeis men score in double figures as Judges down Chicago, 68-51

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University men's basketball team jumped out to an 18-2 lead and never looked back today as the Judges defeated the visiting University of Chicago Maroons, 68-51, in Auerbach Arena, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest.

Brandeis (13-11, 6-7 UAA) clinched a second-straight winning season for the first time since 1991-92 as four different players scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) led all players with 18 points on six-of-nine shooting from the floor, including two-of-three from beyond the arc, and four-of-five from the line. Sophomore backcourt mates Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) and Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) both scored 13 points, while forward Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) added 12 points. Rexhepi led all players with a career-high nine assists, the season-high for the Judges, while sophomore reserve forward Rocco Toppi (Portland, Maine) had a game-high eight rebounds. Brandeis shot 56.3 percent from the floor (27-48), their second-highest total of the season, including 60 percent in the second half (15-25).

Chicago (14-10, 7-6 UAA) was paced by 13 points from sophomore forward Nate Hainje (Brownsburg, Ind.) and 11 fom junior guard Brandon Woodhead (Lincoln, Neb.). Hainje also led the Maroons with seven rebounds, while Woodhead and junior Drew Adams (Elida, Ohio) tied for team-best honors with three assists. UC had a 18-8 advantage on the offensive glass, but were outrebounded overall, 37-36, despite owning a 24-18 edge at halftime.