WashU rallies to defeat men's hoops, 61-52

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (taken from a WashU prss release) -- The Brandeis University men's basketball team owned a nine-point half-time lead, 36-27, against Washington University, but the host Bears rallied in the second half to come away with a 61-52 University Athletic Association (UAA) victory. WashU improves to 12-4, 4-1 in the UAA with the win, while Brandeis falls to 8-7, 1-4 UAA.

After Washington opened the game with a 3-pointer, Brandeis followed with a 15-2 run. Sophomore Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) led the Judges during the spree with seven points, as the Bears connected on just two of their first 10 field goal attempts.

The Bears rallied to tie the score at 23-23 behind the strong play of freshman Sean Wallis and senior Scott Stone. Wallis tallied five points, two assists and three steals in nine first half minutes, while Stone added eight points, including two 3-point field goals during an 18-8 run.

Brandeis sophomore Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.), though, kept the Judges in front, scoring from all around the court. DeLuca finished the first half with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. He also added seven rebounds. Brandeis outrebounded Washington U. 26-8 in the first half and held a 36-27 halftime lead when sophomore Rocco Topi (Portland, Maine) scored five unanswered points to end the frame. The Red and Green shot 9-of-28 in the period (.321).

DeLuca knocked down a pull-up jumper to open the second half before the Bears reeled off 13 unanswered points to regain the lead at 40-38. WU scored 10 points in the paint during the run, highlighted by sophomore Troy Ruths. Ruths, who hit 5-of-7 from the field, scored three consecutive trips down the floor in the post, and freshman Tyler Nading added five points to close out the run.

Nading scored all 12 of his points in the second half, while Ruths netted all 11 of his points in the second frame as well. Stone finished with 12 points, five assists and four steals. Moreover, the Bears held a 32-12 advantage in points off turnovers.