February 16, 2007

Coppens hits for 28 to lead Judges to 76-67 win at Emory

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Junior guard Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) struck for a career-high 28 points tonight, 21 in the second half, to lead the visiting Brandeis University men's basketball team past Emory University, 76-67, in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.

Brandeis (17-6, 7-5 UAA) picked up its first road conference win of the season behind a second-straight night of hot shooting from 3-point range. The Judges were 11-for-20 (55 percent) from beyond the arc and are 22-36 (61 percent) over their last two contests. Coppens led the way by hitting seven-of-10 from downtown as part of a 10-for-15 performance overall. After going three-for-six with a 3-pointer in the first half, Coppens went off for 21 in the second on seven-of-nine overall, including six-of-seven from beyond the arc.

Junior forward Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) was three-for-five from distance en route to 12 points, while guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) had the team's other trifecta and reached double figures with 10 points. Rookie guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass.) came off the bench for 10 points in 24 minutes of action, putting four players in double figures. DeLuca led the Judges with six rebounds, tied for game-high honors, while Grave-Fulgham had four assists to pace the Judges. Brandeis shot 50 percent from the floor overall (26-52) and converted 16 Eagle turnovers into 17 points.

Emory (8-15, 2-10 UAA) was paced by 19 points from junior guard Spiros Ferderigos (Oldsmar, Fla.), who shot six-for-13 from the field, three-for-eight from downtown, and made all four of his foul shots. Ferderigos also led all players with five assists and three steals. Senior center Barry Corrado (Naples, Fla.) added 10 points and paced the Eagles with six rebounds. Emory shot 54 percent for the game (27-50), but were unable to overcome a 33-12 deficit from 3-point range and a 13-9 Brandeis advantage from the free-throw line.

Emory opened up an early 13-7 lead on a Ferderigos lay-up just over five minutes into the contest. Brandeis answered with a 14-4 run of their own to claim a 21-17 lead with 7:39 before the break. Two hoops by senior guard Alex Ford-Carther (Evanston, Ill.) and a bucket by senior center Brandon Rowlett (Smyrna, Ga.) capped a 6-0 run by the Eagles that saw them take a 23-21 lead, but Brandeis scored 10 of the final 12 points over the last 5:39. The Judges forced five Emory turnovers in that span to claim a 31-25 lead at the intermission

Brandeis never trailed again. Emory climbed to within 40-37 just under seven minutes into the second half, but the Judges hit 10 of their next 11 shots from the floor, opening up a 65-44 lead with 6:01 on the clock. Coppens scored 17 points in the run, hitting five trifectas and one two-pointer in the stretch. The Eagles responded with a 16-3 run of their own to whittle the advantage to 68-60 with 1:28 on the clock, but Brandeis hit eight-of-nine from the free-throw line to ice the contest.