February 9, 2010

Hollins hot streak continues as #21 men down Amherst, 71-55

WALTHAM, Mass. - Senior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) continued his inspired play tonight, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his seventh-consecutive double-double as the host Brandeis University men's basketball team defeated the visiting Amherst College Lord Jeffs, 71-55, in a non-conference match-up in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, Brandeis improves to 16-4 overall, while Amherst falls to 14-8.

Hollins connected on 10-of-14 from the floor and hit one of his two free throws. Over his last seven contests, Hollins has averaged 16 points and 13.6 rebounds while shooting 59.6 percent from the field. Tonight, he also tied for the team lead with five assists, putting him one shy of 200 for his career. His next assist will make Hollins the third player in school history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 dimes in his career.

Three other Judges reached double figures. Senior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) had 16 points on 6-of-13 from the field, including two 3-pointers, while classmate Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) and sophomore Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) had 11 each. Hughes matched Hollins with five assists, while Roberson led all players with three steals.

As a team, Brandeis shot 51.8 percent from the floor (29-56), their best performance in the last 13 games. They outscored Amherst, 32-18, in points in the paint and 20-2 in points off turnovers, forcing 16 Lord Jeff miscues while committing only eight of their own - including an 8-0 margin the second half.

Amherst had two players in double figures. Senior guard Steven Wheeler (Bloomington, Minn./Thomas Jefferson) and rookie guard Allen Williamson (Saugus, Mass./Pingree School) had 14 points each. Wheeler had a game-high four 3-pointers, while Williamson's scoring off the bench led the Lord Jeff to a 29-5 edge by the reserves. Sophomore Jeff Holmes (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Raphael Acad.) topped Amherst with eight rebounds, while rookie Spencer Noon (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) had a game-high six assists off the pine.

After Wheeler opened the game with a 3-pointer, Small answered from beyond the arc on the next possession, sparking a 9-0 run, and Brandeis never trailed again. The Lord Jeffs closed within one at 9-8 after five-straight points by Holmes, but Brandeis answered again with a 6-0 run, going up 15-8 at the 11:25 mark on a Hughes lay-up.

The lead bounced between four and eight points over the next five minutes before Hollins scored back-to-back lay-ups off Amherst turnovers, pushing the lead to 27-17 with just under seven minutes before the break. Hollins also hit two late buckets that gave Brandeis a pair of 11-point leads before a traditional three-point play by Williamson and Peter Kaasila (Plaistow, N.H./St. Marks) free throws got the visitors back within six. Roberson connected on a late jumper to give the Judges a 35-27 lead at the break. Hollins finished with 14 points and six rebounds in the first half as the Judges enjoyed a 21-11 rebounding advantage.

Brandeis opened the second half with a full-court press that blew the game open. The Judges outscored Amherst, 13-2, over the first 3:54 by forcing five Lord Jeff turnovers and hitting six of their first seven shot to take a 48-29 lead. Roberson was key with two steals, two assists and two points, while senior Richard Magee (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) - who was playing in his first game with a mask after missing three straight due to a facial injury - had five points in the stretch.

Still trailing by 19 at the 14:38 mark, Amherst found their range from beyond the arc to cut into the lead. Wheeler opened an eight-minute stretch with his third trifecta of the game, and the Lord Jeffs connected four more times in a 16-6 run, capped by a David Waller (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Prep) bomb that got the visitors within 58-49 with 6:490 on the clock. The Jeffs missed from deep on their next shot, ending the run, and Brandeis scored the next five points, keeping the margin above double figures for the final 5:19 of the contest.

Brandeis is next in action on Friday night when they return to UAA action against conference leader and third-ranked Washington University at 8 p.m., while Amherst faces arch-rival and second-ranked Williams at the same time.

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