January 7, 2007

No. 23 men's hoops drops second straight, 75-68, at Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (taken from a CMU release) -- The Brandeis University men's basketball team dropped its second straight University Athletic Contest today, falling by a 75-68 margin at Carnegie Mellon University.

Brandeis (10-3, 0-2) took a 28-19 advantage with 6:45 on the clock in the first half off a trey by junior Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia). The Tartans (9-3, 2-1) then put together a 17-4 run to end the half that started with a second chance basket from sophomore Ryan Einwag (Pittsburgh,
Pa.). During the run, freshman Dan Sawl (Irwin, Pa.) was perfect from the floor (3-of-3) and cashed in with seven points. The Judges shot just 1-of-11 heading onto the locker room trailing 36-32.

The second half was an even contest with five ties and four lead changes. The Judges took their first lead of the second half at the 10:01 mark when freshman Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) converted a three-point play making the score 53-52. The Judges would hold the lead over the next 7:25 extending their lead to six (62-56), but Carnegie Mellon grabbed the lead back during an 11-4 run, 67-66.

After two offensive rebounds by the Judges on their next possession, junior Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) gave the lead back to Brandeis on a lay-up with 2:02 to play. The next 1:13 would be scoreless until Tartans junior guard Geoff Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa.) hit a jumper off a pass from sophomore guard Corey O'Rourke (Merion, Pa.). Kozak's bucket made it 69-68 in favor of Carnegie Mellon with 49 seconds remaining in the game and gave them the lead for good.

Over the last 49 seconds, the Tartans would break out of their slump from the charity stripe by converting their last six foul shots, four by O'Rourke. The home team finished 16-of-29 from the line.

Carnegie Mellon was led by O'Rourke and Einwag with 18 points apiece. O'Rourke's was a career-high and he finished one rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double. Senior Brad Matta (White Oak, Pa.) and Kozak each finished with 11 points in the win. Brandeis was led by junior Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) with 14 points, while Rexhepi and Hollins finished with 11.