ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The host Washington University Bears, ranked No. 2 in the nation according to d3hoops.com, had strong starts to both halves today as they defeated Brandeis University, 82-57, in a University Athletic Association contest. WashU improves to 19-1, 9-0 in the UAA, while Brandeis falls for the third time in four contests to fall to 12-8. 5-4 UAA.
Washington connected on their first nine shots of the game to take a 24-15 lead and were ahead 26-16 midway through the first stanza. The Judges answered with seven unanswered points on a trifecta by rookie Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania), a steal and lay-up by classmate Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass.) and a jumper by grad student Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.) to get within 26-23 with 9:16 left. The Washington lead was up to 12 points on a Cameron Smith free throw with 3:06 on the clock. Brandeis followed with an 8-0 run, ignited by back-to-back trifectas from sophomore Beau Bonness (Omaha, Neb.) and senior Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) and capped by a Hughes lay-in with 39 seconds left, but Ross Kelley connected from deep for the hosts to stop the Judges' momentum and give WashU a 45-38 lead at the break. In the second stanza, Washington opened on a 12-2 run over the first five minutes to claim a 57-40 lead on a Zach Kelly jumper, and the Bears never looked back, leading by as many as 26 points.
For the game, Kriskus tied for high-scoring honors with 15 points in his first collegiate start. He connected on 4-of-13 overall, 4-of-10 from 3-point range and 3-of-5 from the line. Hughes added a career-best 14 points in his second start of the campaign, while also grabbing six rebounds and making four steals. Olson finished with 12 points, but had a tough-shooting day compared to his usual stellar effort, hitting just 4-of-13 overall and 4-of-10 from deep. Junior Rich Magee (Burke, Va.) led all players with nine rebounds. The Judges hit just 37 percent from the field for the game (20-54), including 27 percent in the second half (7-26).
WashU just missed putting all four starters in double figures. Tyler Nading led the way for the hosts with 15 points, while Aaron Thompson added 14. Sean Wallis had 13 points, all in the second half, to go with four assists, while Cameron Smith add 11 points. Zach Kelly had nine points, while Ross Kelley (no relation) had six assists to lead all players. The Bears connected on 59 percent from the floor (29-49) - including 67 percent in the first half (16-24) - and 56 percent from beyond the arc (10-18).
Brandeis is next in action next weekend when they head to Carnegie Mellon and Rochester for another UAA road trip.