WALTHAM, Mass. - The nationally-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team used a 29-4 run that bridged halftime to overcome a 10-point deficit and pull away for an 81-57 victory against Bates College on Tuesday evening in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges, who are ranked 20th nationally by D3hoops.com, improved to 9-2. The Bobcats, who had lost four times by eight points or less, slipped to 6-6.
Sophomore forward/guard Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) led the Judges with 19 points off the bench, while senior guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) and sophomore guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) added 16 points apiece. Small went 10-of-11 on free-throw tries, while Hughes set a career high in scoring and provided seven assists and four steals. Senior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Academy) totaled 10 points, while junior forward Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Academy) completed a balanced scoring effort with eight points and six caroms. Senior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) hauled down seven boards for Brandeis, which committed only nine turnovers while forcing 23 and picking up 10 steals.
Junior forward Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) paced the Bobcats with 18 points, going 7-of-11 at the charity stripe, and six rebounds, while junior forward Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass./Boston College High) tallied 13 points. After shooting 63.2 percent in the opening half, Bates hit on 34.8-percent of its second-period attempts.
The visitors jumped on top quickly, as an Ellis hoop nine seconds into the contest gave the Bobcats the lead, and 68.8-percent shooting - an 11-of-16 effort - helped them push their advantage to as many as 10, at 29-19, when Ellis canned a pair of freebies with 5:12 remaining in the half.
Brandeis quickly regrouped, as Kriskus scored five points and Small four during an 11-0 run, which Small capped with a steal and breakaway lay-up that made it 30-29 at 2:30 and gave the Judges their first lead. During the run, which took only 2:20 to elapse, Brandeis held Bates without a shot and forced five turnovers.
Schmiemann's offensive board and put-back at 2:05 briefly put the visitors back on top, but Hollins' pair of free throws 14 seconds later gave Brandeis the lead for good during a 29-4 run that ended on a Hughes bucket with 15:14 left in regulation, making the score 48-33. The Judges eventually led by as many as 27.
The Judges head back into University Athletic Association (UAA) play with a two-game Midwest road trip this weekend, beginning by squaring off with No. 3 Washington (Mo.) University, the two-time defending national champion, on Friday at 9 p.m. EST. Bates continues a 10-game road swing at No. 10 Middlebury College on Friday at 8 p.m.