Brandeis men drop third in a row, 78-68, against WashU

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Sophomore guard Danny O'Boyle (Scottsdale, Ariz.) came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points to lead the visiting Washington (Mo.) University men's basketball team to a 78-68 win over Brandeis in Auerbach Arena tonight. The Bears' win, coupled with a loss by league-leader Carnegie Mellon at Emory, puts WashU and CMU into a two-way tie for the University Athletic Association (UAA) lead with two games to play.

WashU (16-7, 8-4 UAA) was paced by O'Boyle's 23 points on eight-of-10 shooting, including five-of-six from 3-poiunt range and a pair of free throws. He hit his first six shots from the floor before missing midway through the second half. The Bears also got 17 points from senior Scott Stone (St. Louis, Mo.), who had three trifectas, and 12 points and a team- and game-high eight rebounds from sophomore Troy Ruths (Sugarland, Texas). Stone, Ruths and rookie Sean Wallis (Northbrook, Ill.) all tied for team-high honors with five assists.

Brandeis (12-11, 5-7 UAA) dropped its third straight league contest despite a game-high 26 points – 22 in the second half - from sophomore forward Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.), who tied with Ruths for game-high honors with eight boards. DeLuca hit 10-of-16 from the floor with three-of-four beyond the arc and at the foul line. The Judges also got a career-high 14 points off the bench from rookie Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.), who hit four-of-eight, including three-of-five from downtown. Sophomore guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) had a season-high with nine assists.

The Judges jumped out very quickly in this contest, hitting seven of their first 10 buckets and racing out to a 15-6 lead just under five minutes into the game. WashU clawed back, however, outscoring the Judges, 23-9 the rest of the way in the first half to claim a 32-26 lead at intermission. Stone and senior Mike Grunst (Milwaukee, Wis.) each had eight points at the break for the visitors, while Grave-Fulgham and sophomore guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) had six each for the Judges. Brandeis hurt themselves with 13 turnovers in the first half to Washington's eight.

Brandeis pulled within one on three different occasions in the second half, the last on a DeLuca lay-up with 15:46 on the clock that cut the Bear lead to 40-39. WashU answered with a knockout blow, scoring 12 unanswered points over the next three minutes, including eight by O'Boyle that gave them a 52-39 lead. WashU was ahead by as many as 17, but the Judges got within five with just over a minute left on a pair of DeLuca free throws. WashU hit seven-of-eight from the charity stripe to ice the game.