DeLuca hits 1,000-point mark, but Judges fall to No. 10 WashU, 68-64

St. Louis, Mo.,— Washington University’s 10th-ranked men’s basketball team picked up a hard-fought, 68-64, win against Brandeis University on Friday night at the WU Field House, spoiling the night that Brandeis junior Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) became the 25th player in Judges history to score 1000 career points.

Brandeis (13-4, 3-3 UAA) jumped out to a 13-7 lead five minutes into the game when Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) hit a pair of free throws. Coppens led the Judges with 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field in the opening half.

The Bears bounced back, though, as junior Troy Ruths (Sugar Land) and sophomore Tyler Nading (Highlands Ranch, Colo) found the hot hand. Nading scored eight points and Ruths added four in a 17-10 run to give the Red and Green their first lead at 24-23. Nading capped off the run on a transition lay-up on a long pass from sophomore Phil Syvertsen (Evanston, Ill). Ruths gave WU a three-point edge (28-25), but Brandeis rallied to lead 31-30 at the half. DeLuca chipped in with seven points, reachin six rebounds and three steals for the Judges, reaching the 1000 point mark on a lay-up with 4:48 left in the stanza.

The Bears opened the second half on a 16-9 run for a 46-39 lead with 11:09 left in regulation. Wallis gave Washington U. a 50-43 lead with 7:30 on the clock, taking a steal length of the floor for a transition lay-up.

The Judges whistled for time after Wallis’ bucket, and scored seven of the next 11 points. Deluca converted two free throws and Terrell Hollins hit 1-of-2 to make it 54-50, when WU called timeout with 3:30 remaining in the game.

WU used some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch, though, to seal the win. Nading hit a pair of free throws, Ruths scored on a backdoor lay-up, and Wallis drained two from the charity stripe to give the Red and Green a 60-50 lead.

Ruths paced the Bears with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Nading finished with 17 points and six boards. Sophomore Sean Wallis (Northbrook, Ill) added 14 points and nine assists; he went 12-of-12 at the free throw line. Coppens led the Judges with 17 points, while Stephen Hill (Brighton, Mass.) added 12 and DeLuca finished with a double-double of 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.