January 18, 2008

No. 2 men's hoops handles No. 24 Carnegie Mellon, 60-48

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (taken from a CMU press release) -- The Brandeis University men's basketball team, ranked No. 2 in the nation, defeated 24th-ranked Carnegie Mellon University, 60-48, in a University Athletic Association contest tonight. The Judges, who moved to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in the UAA with the victory, tied the 1957-58 edition of the team for the best record after 13 games. CMU suffered its first loss in 10 games, falling to 10-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

Brandeis took the lead early over Carnegie Mellon and stayed on top throughout the first half. Leading 23-16 at the 6:37 mark, the Judges went on an 8-0 spurt to increase their lead to 15 points. That's where the lead would stay with the Tartans going into halftime down 35-20. Brandeis shot 55.2% in the first twenty minutes whereas the Tartans shot 27.6%.

The Tartans made things interesting in the second half, getting the home crowd into it as the Cardinal and Gray went on an 11-1 run to open the final 20 minutes. The Tartans made their first four shots, highlighted by a jumper from senior guard Geoff Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa.) on which he drew a foul and made the subsequent free throw.

The Tartans got another three-point play the old fashioned way when junior Ryan Einwag (Pittsburgh, Pa.) laid the ball in, drew the foul, and made the ensuing free throw. Einwag's three-point play narrowed the score to 38-34 with 13:55 remaining.

The Tartans would get no closer, as after a Kozak three-pointer made it 44-39, the Judges reeled off seven straight points to push their lead back
into double digits. The Judges extended their advantage and were up, 57-41, at the 4:19 mark. The Tartans got a couple shots to fall down the stretch before the final buzzer and the 12-point defeat.

Brandeis sophomore forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) provided the scoring in the post as he scored a game-high 18 points. Judges junior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) came off the bench to add 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Carnegie Mellon shot slightly better in the second half but still finished at a woeful 35.7% for the game while Brandeis shot right about their season average at 48.0%. Einwag's 13 points led Carnegie Mellon with Kozak contributing ten. Senior center Greg Gonzalez (Southlake, Texas) pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds to go with his three blocks.

The win for the Judges sets up a showdown with top-ranked and undefeated Rochester on Sunday at noon. The Yellowjackets defeated NYU tonight, 70-54. Brandeis has already knocked off one top-ranked team this season, defeating then No. 1 Amherst, 72-62, on Dec. 8.