November 17, 2006

Judges to meet Springfield in men's basketball Tip-Off title game

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University and Springfield College men's basketball teams will meet tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the 2006 Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament title, as both teams cruised in their opening round games. The host Judges put three people in double figures to defeat Newbury College, 73-60, while Springfield used stifling defense to earn a 77-53 victory over Colby-Sawyer College.

Brandeis (1-0) outscored Newbury 15-0 over a five-minute span midway through the first half to open a 19-18 lead into a 34-18 bulge. Junior Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) hit two 3-pointers and sophomore Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) had one while three other Judges scored lay-ups in the stretch. The Nighthawks' Arch Mitchell (Framingham, Mass.) hit a 3-pointer to end the first half and a jumper to open the second to pull Newbury (0-1) within 39-32, but a 20-5 run over the next seven minutes put the contest away.

Coppens led the Judges with 17 points, 13 coming in the first half. He hit all three 3-point attempts and all six free throws. Junior guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) picked up where Coppens left off, tallying 10 of his 15 points in the second half. Graves-Fulgham hit his first seven shots in a 7-for-8 performance, while tying for team-high assist honors with rookie Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass.) Junior guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macedonia) added 12 points in the contest, hitting 5-of-9 from the floor. Rookie Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) came off the bench to lead all players with eight rebounds in his collegiate debut. In all, 11 different Brandeis players scored points.

Newbury, in contrast, got 50 of its 60 points from juniors Mitchell and Walky Magloire (Waltham, Mass.). Mitchell hit 12-of-19 from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers, while Magloire hit nine-of-14. The rest of the Nighthawks shot just four-of-27. Sophomore forward Kevin Cleveland (Lynn, Mass.) had seven rebounds to lead Newbury, while senior guard Steven Morris (Somerville, Mass.) led all players with six assists. Rookie center Heman Honore (Medford, Mass.) had five blocks in his first college appearance.

In the nightcap, both teams got off to slow starts, but Springfield snapped out of it first, jumping out to a 17-2 lead 9:32 into the contest. The Pride (1-0) never looked back, going up by a 39-17 score at the half. Colby-Sawyer (0-1) trailed by as many as 33 in the second stanza before the final 24-point margin. The Springfield defense held CSC to 25 percent shooting from the floor (17-67), including 16 percent in the first half (5-32). The Chargers also committed 24 turnovers.

Springfield was led by the backcourt of junior Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) and senior Anthony Pizzo (Clifton Park, N.Y.), who combined for 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Gibbs had game-high honors with 20 points and three steals, while Pizzo went for 14 points and led all players with seven assists. Rookie Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) had seven boards in his first college contest. Colby-Sawyer had just one player in double figures, sophomore reserve Andrew Cousins (So. Portland, Maine), who had 14 points on four-of-nine shooting with two 3-pointers. Rookie guard Andrew Tracy (Ellsworth, Maine) led all players with 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.