January 3, 2006

Judges improve to 7-3 for first time since 79-80 with 74-62 win over Curry

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University sophomore guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) finished with 25 points tonight, two shy of his career high, as the Judges defeated visiting Curry College, 74-62, in a non-conference men's basketball match-up. With the win, Brandeis is off to its best 10-game start since they also started the 1979-80 season at 7-3.

Rexhepi, the reigning University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year, hit 10-of-18 from the floor for the game, including a pair of 3-pointers, and was three-for-three from the line. In a back-and-forth first half in which both teams had a seven-point lead, it was Rexhepi's jumper at the buzzer following a steal by backcourt mate Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) that gave the Judges a 37-36 advantage at the break. Rexhepi had 16 points in the first to offset 12 by Curry senior center Raheim Lamb (Roxbury, Mass.). Both teams shot lights out in the first half, hitting 15-of-28 from the floor (53.6 percent).

In the opening stages of the second half, the lead changed hands eight times in seven minutes, with the Judges twice hitting 3-pointers to take a two-point lead, only to see the Colonels (3-4) answer. Curry went ahead once with a trifecta of their own and once on a traditional three-point play from Lamb with 12:59 on the clock that gave the visitors a 52-51. Brandeis sophomore forward Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) answered on an assist from Rexhepi, sparking a 10-3 run over the next six minutes, and the Judges never looked back as Curry scored just 10 points over the final 13 minutes of action.

In addition to Rexhepi's fine night, Brandeis got 13 points, six rebounds and five assists from sophomore forward Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.), while DeLuca finished with 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds, the ninth time in 10 contests he has led the Judges. Brandeis outrebounded Curry, 36-23, including 22-11 in the second half.

Lamb paced the Colonels with 24 points, hitting 10-of-14 from the floor and all four free throws, but no other Curry player had more than nine points. Senior guard Michael Mohrin (New Orleans, La.) and rookie guard Deryk Largesse (Sutton, Mass.) had nine each. Mohrin led Curry with six assists and tied for team-high honors with five board with junior guard Stephen Prescod (Milton, Mass.)