Olson's 3-pointers lead men past NYU, 63-44, in regular-season finale
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Brandeis University senior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass./Rockport), the top 3-point shooter in NCAA basketball, connected on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc as part of a game-high 21 points to lead the Judges to a 63-44 University Athletic Association (UAA) victory over New York University today. With the their fifth-straight win, the Judges finish the regular season with a 17-8 record, 10-4 in the UAA, to finish in second place in the league. Brandeis will await the NCAA Division III tournament selection on Monday to see if they will extend their season. NYU closes the campaign at 15-10, 4-10 UAA.
Olson scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half. He connected on 2-of-3 from 3-point range in the first half and all three of his trifectas in the second to finish the regular season shooting 59.7% from deep (80-134). Two other Brandeis players reached double figures. Junior guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) had seven points in each half to finish with 14 points, while grad student Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) had 10 points in the first and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine boards. The Judges also got 10 assists from junior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson), matching a season-high and one shy of a career-best, as Brandeis had 16 helpers on 20 buckets. In all, the Judges shot 52.9% (10-19) from 3-point range, improving their Division III-leading percentage to 45.4%. They outscored NYU, 30-9, from beyond the arc, and 13-5 from the free-throw line, where they connected on 13-of-14 (92.9%).
NYU was paced by senior John Mish, who had 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the double-double. He connected on 6-of-11 from the field, but connected on just 2-of-7 from the line. Classmate Bill Morrissey had eight points in his regular-season home finale, but no other Violet player scored more than five points. NYU outscored Brandeis, 28-14, on points in the paint, but connected on just 18.8% from 3-point range (3-16) and 36.7% overall (18-49). They also won the battle of the boards, 31-30.
After a nip-and-tuck first half, the key run in the game came in the final 3:18 minutes. With the game tied at 24-24, Brandeis scored the final eight points of the half, five from junior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) and a late 3-pointer by Small to give the Judges a 32-24 lead at intermission. NYU closed within seven points midway through the stanza at 41-34 with 10:59 on the clock, but four straight trifectas, three from Olson and another from Small, were part of a 12-2 run that sealed the contest for the Judges as they went ahead, 53-36, with 6:49 to go, as the lead never dipped below 13 the rest of the way.