February 17, 2008

Coppens reaches 1000 point plateau in 84-81 win over Carnegie Mellon

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Brandeis University senior Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) hit two free throws with 12:55 left in the second half to become the 26th 1,000-point scorer in school history as the 10th-ranked Judges overcame an eight-point second-half deficit to defeat Carnegie Mellon University, 84-81, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena.

Brandeis (18-4, 8-3 UAA) won its sixth-straight contest by putting five players in double figures in scoring. Coppens led all players with 23 points, connecting on eight-of-13 from the field, three-of-seven from 3-point range and four-of-four from the line. Junior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) finished with 16 points, going six-for-11 with two trifectas and two free throws. Sophomore Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass.) contributed 14 points and four assists off the bench. Sophomore forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) had 13 points, while front-court mate Stephen Hill (Brighton, Mass.) added 11. Hollins led the Judges with eight rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. The Judges shot 51 percent from the field (28-55) for the game and won the rebounding battle, 33-31. Brandeis also converted 16 CMU turnovers into 16 points, while the visitors had just eight points on 12 Brandeis give-aways.

Carnegie Mellon (14-8, 4-7 UAA) also had five players score at lead 10 points, paced by a five performance from senior center Greg Gonzalez (Southlake, Texas). He registered his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Gonzalez hit four-of-nine from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers and was 11-of-12 from the line. He also tied four other players with a game-high four assists. Sophomore guard Jack Anderson (Beaver Falls, Pa.) added 14 points off the bench. Junior guard Corey O'Rourke (Merion, Pa.) finished with 13 points thanks a pair of 3-pointers, while forward classmates Ryan Einwag (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Terrance Bouldin-Johnson (Tukwila, Wash.) had 12 points each. Bouldin-Johnson also played a fine defensive game with nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

Carnegie Mellon jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the contest, but the Judges answered with 14 of the next 21 points, taking a 24-21 lead on a Hollins lay-up with 10:16 left in the first. The Tartans responded with a 14-1 run over the next five minutes to establish a 35-25 lead on two Bouldin-Johnson free throws with 6:07 left before the break. Brandeis climbed within three points when Roberson hit a jumper with eight seconds remaining to cut the lead to 43-40 at the intermission.

A 12-7 run over the first 4:29 gave the visitors a 53-45 lead on a Rob Pearson (Philadelphia, Pa.) lay-in. Brandeis responded with a 15-4 run of their own, reclaiming the lead on a Hill free throw with 9:28 left and going ahead by three on another Roberson jumper. After a Coppens trifecta with 7:40 left put the Judges ahead by four, 67-63, CMU climbed back in it, as Gonzalez connected twice from the line on back-to-back possessions. The second pair of foul shots gave the Tartans their last lead, 70-69, with 5:01 left in the game. Hill answered with a 12-foot jumper on a feed from Olson for a lead the Judges wouldn't relinquish. The Judges held CMU without a field goal over the next three-plus minutes, while nine-for-12 from the line to expand the lead. The Tartans scored eight late points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the final score, 84-81.