February 6, 2009

Chicago sharpshooting shocks Judges, 90-81

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Brandeis University senior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass./Rockport) had 22 points to tie for game-high honors, while junior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists, but it wasn't enough to overcome torrid 3-point shooting by the host University of Chicago Maroons, who put all five starters in double figures by connecting on 17-of-26 from beyond the arc to earn a 90-81 University Athletic Association victory. Brandeis falls to 12-7 overall, 5-3 in the UAA, while Chicago moves to 3-16, 3-6 UAA.

The Judges got in a hole early, falling behind by a 17-4 margin with just over 5:30 gone as UC connected on six of their first eight shots, including their first three trifectas. Brandeis responded by scoring 17 of the next 20 points of the game, as an Olson lay-in put the visitors ahead, 21-20, with 6:47 before the intermission.

Chicago caught fire once again, however, closing the stanza on an 18-8 string. The Maroons reclaimed the lead on a Jake Pancratz 3-pointer and never looked back, scoring their last six buckets from beyond the arc. They got two each from Adam Machones and John Kinsella to go with Pancratz's hoop to open the run and one from Michael Sustarcic with 24 seconds left to close the period at 38-28. Olson had 10 points at the break, while junior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) had seven for the Judges, but no other player had more than four. Due to two quick fouls, grad student Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) had no points or rebounds in just four minutes. Kinsella led the hosts with nine first half points on three 3-pointers, while Machones and Sustarcic had eight apiece with two trifectas each. UC connected on 67 percent from downtown (10-15) in the first half as they scored as much in the first half as they did for the entire game in a loss in Waltham last Sunday.

The 3-point parade slowed down early in the second half, as the teams traded two-point buckets and free throws over the first three minutes of the stanza. Ahead by eight, 44-36, with just over three minutes gone, UC scored the next eight points of the contest, pushing the lead to 16 on a traditional three-point play by senior Matt Corning. Olson answered with his first deep ball of the second half to keep the Judges within sight, while a Rich Magee (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) lay-up got the lead back down to 11, but back-to-back bombs by Kinsella and Pancratz squashed the Brandeis momentum as the Maroons took their biggest lead, 58-41, with 12:41 left. Though two more Olson trifectas kept Chicago from pulling any further away, the Judges were unable to get back within double digits until trimming the lead to 80-71 with 2:11 left. Brandeis didn't give in, cutting the lead to six with 53 seconds left, but it was too little, too late.

Olson's 22 points tied for game-high honors. He was two points and one 3-pointer shy of a season-high in each category. Roberson registered his second career double-double with his 14 points and 10 assists, tied for a career-high. Also reaching double figures in scoring for the Judges were DeLuca and Small with 12 points each and sophomore forward Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad.) with 11. DeLuca, Magee and Yemga all had four rebounds for the Judges, who lost despite shooting 60.4 percent from the field for the game (32-53), their second-highest total of the season.

Chicago also got a point-assist double-double, as Machones finished with 16 points and 11 dimes. He also led all players with five rebounds. Kinsella's 22 points matched Olson for game-high honors, while Sustarcic had 19 points. Pancratz finished with 17 points and Corning's 13 put all five starters in double figures for the Maroons. Chicago committed just 11 turnovers, eight fewer than last Sunday. They finished the game shooting 58.3% for the contest (28-48), outscoring the Judges from beyond the arc, 51-30, and 17-7 from the free-throw line.

Both teams are in action on Sunday afternoon, when the Judges travel to No. 2 ranked and defending national champion Washington University, while Chicago hosts NYU. Both games are at 1:00 p.m. EST.

BOX SCORE