Brandeis men drop UAA opener to Rochester, 73-69

WALTHAM, Mass. - Senior Mike Chmielowiec (Batavia, N.Y./Batavia), the leading scorer in the University Athletic Association, tallied 15 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to lead the visiting University of Rochester Yellowjackets past host Brandeis University, 73-69, in the Judges' UAA opener tonight in Red Auerbach Arena. UR improves to 8-2, 1-1 UAA, with the win, while Brandeis falls to 6-5, 0-1 UAA.

Brandeis owned a 22-16 lead with 7:15 left in the first half when Rochester when on a tear, outscoring the Judges 19-7 the rest of the way. The 'Jackets hit six of their last seven shots, while Brandeis hit just three of 10 over that stretch, giving the visitors a 35-29 lead at the break on a late bucket by rookie Nate Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic).

Chmielowiec tallied 15 points in the first half on 5-of-8 from the field, 3-of-4 from downtown and a pair of free throws, while Novosel added eight points, six coming in the late run that gave Rochester the lead. Junior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) led Brandeis with 10 points off the bench, hitting 4-of-7 from the field with a pair of trifectas.

Brandeis opened the second half with a nice spurt, scoring nine of the first 11 points to reclaim the lead on a Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) lay-up. Chmielowiec answered with a trifecta, setting off a Rochester barrage in which they connected from downtown on four of their next five possessions. A John Charlesworth (Cary, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) deep ball with 12:41 gave the Yellowjackets a 49-40 lead, while senior Max Kaplan (Chicago, Ill./St. Ignatius Prep) connected from deep just about midway through the stanza to give the visitors a 56-43 lead.

The Judges didn't let the lead get out of hand, and were still within nine points, 69-60, with 3:00 left in the contest following a Chmielowiec put-back. They held Rochester without a field goal the rest of the way and climbed within three on a Small trifecta with 30 seconds left. Chmielowiec hit his next two foul shots, and Brandeis junior Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) connected from the corner with 1.9 seconds left to get within 71-69, but Chmielowiec was able to get the final inbounds pass and hit from the line for the four-point final.

Both teams shot the lights out tonight, connecting on better than 50 percent of their shots. Rochester hit 56.1 percent (23-41), while Brandeis connected on 51.7 percent (30-58). The big shooting difference came in long distance and free throw shooting. Rochester connected on a season-best 11 3-pointers at a 64.7% clip (11-17), while Brandeis hit just 36.4% (8-22) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Rochester went to the charity stripe 20 times, compared to just three free throws for Brandeis, giving the Yellowjackets a 16-1 scoring advantage from the stripe.

Chmielowiec finished shooting 7-of-13, 4-of-6 from deep and 7-of-8 from the line to earn his game-high honors. Sophomore Marcus Roberson (Howell, N.J./Freehold Township) added 11 points, eight in the second half, while Novosel had 10 points and a game-high six rebounds. Kaplan finished with seven assists to lead all players.

Small matched his career-high with 15 points, connecting on 6-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-6 from deep. Grad student Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) added 12 points and Andre Roberson had 11 for the Judges. Hollins, DeLuca and sophomore Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad.) tied for team-high honors with five rebounds, while Roberson and Hollins each had four assists.

Brandeis is next in action on Sunday afternoon at noon when they take on 14th-ranked Carnegie Mellon in UAA action, while Rochester head to NYU for a conference matchup at the same time.

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