No. 12 men's hoops survives at Tufts, 89-87

MEDFORD, Mass. (taken from a Tufts University press release) -- Visiting Brandeis University earned a tightly contested 89-87 victory over Tufts in men’s basketball action at Cousens Gym on Sunday afternoon. The Judges trailed by six with three minutes to play, but put together a 10-0 run down the stretch to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Senior Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, MA) scored 23 points and sophomore Terrell Hollins (Springfield, MA) had 21 as Brandeis improved to 4-0. Hollins had 17 in the second half, when the Judges shot 62.1 percent (18/29) from the floor. Sophomore Andre Roberson (Springfield, MA) added 17 points for the winners.

Tufts was led by 28 points from senior tri-captain Jake Weitzen (New York, NY), who was 9 for 9 from the free throw line. Junior Jon Pierce (Belmont, MA) added 25 points on 11 for 18 shooting. The Jumbos dropped to 1-2 overall.

The game was close throughout. A 38-29 Brandeis advantage after a three-pointer by Kevin Olson (Rockport, MA) with 1:37 left in the first half was the biggest margin. Tufts scored the last six points and was within 38-35 at intermission. After a Hollins jumper to open the second half gave Brandeis a 40-35 lead, it was a one-possession game until Tufts took a 66-62 lead on a lay-up by Pierce with 9:15 remaining in regulation. A lay-up by Weitzen, who scored 20 second-half points, put Tufts up 80-74 with 3:22 on the clock.

Graves-Fulgham scored the next six points to tie the game, and following a three-point play by Hollins and a free throw by Roberson the Judges had an 84-80 lead with under a minute to play. Pierce drained a big three to cut the margin to one (84-83). Roberson was clutch while making four straight free throws, but missed one out of two with 12 seconds left to give the Jumbos a chance. However, the hosts did not get a good look and Weitzen’s heave at the buzzer was off the mark.

Both teams were excellent at the free throw line, including a perfect first half. Brandeis finished at 87.5 percent (21/24) and Tufts was at 94.7 percent for the game (18/19). Both squads also finished the game with shooting percentages higher than 50 percent with the Judges at 56.4 (31/55) and Tufts at 52.5 (31/59). The Jumbos had 18 turnovers to 12 for Brandeis, while Tufts earned a 31-23 advantage on the boards.

Hollins added six rebounds and five assists to his game for Brandeis. Joe Coppens (Rockland, MA) chipped in nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Senior point guard Jeremy Black (Jamesville, NY) finished with 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for Tufts.