January 17, 2010

#20 Brandeis men complete Midwest sweep with 75-69 win at Chicago

CHICAGO, Ill. - Behind a game- and season-high 24 points and career-best eight rebounds from senior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Acad.), the 20th-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team defeated the host University of Chicago Maroons, 75-69, in University Athletic Association action. With the win, the Judges, who defeated Washington University on Friday evening, completed their first-ever road sweep of their Midwestern UAA foes. Brandeis improves to 11-2 overall, 2-1 in the UAA, while Chicago falls to 7-7, 1-2 UAA.

Roberson led all players with hot shooting, connecting on 8-of-10 from the field, 1-of-2 from 3-point range and 7-of-9 from the line. He was one of four Brandeis players to score in double figures. Sophomore Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) matched his career-best with 16 points while adding four assists, a game-high three steal and playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career. Senior guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) had 12 points, while sophomore forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) had 11 points off the bench.

Brandeis shot 49 percent from the floor for the game (24-of-49). After forcing just five turnovers in the first half, the Judges got 10 Maroon miscues in the second to help pull away. The win was Brandeis's second in seven meetings in Chicago's Ratner Center and first since 2005.

Chicago was paced by Tom Williams, who recorded a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. He had 15 points by halftime and finished with a fine shooting performance, connecting on 8-of-13 from the field, 3-of-6 from downtown and his only free-throw attempt. Steve Stefanou came off the bench to supply the Maroons with 13 points on 8-of-12 overall, including three of his four trifectas, leading a 30-13 edge in bench points for the hosts. Paul Riskus also reached double figures for UC, thanks in large part to a 7-for-7 performance on free throws. Jake Pancratz had eight assists to lead all players.

Chicago held an early two-point lead at 6-4 after Williams connected on his first two 3-point attempts. Brandeis answered with the next six points of the game and held the lead the rest of the stanza. The margin grew as large as nine in the first on lay-ups by Roberson and Hughes with just over four minutes remaining, but UC closed on a 7-3 run to cut the deficit to 36-32 at the intermission.

The Maroons scored the first five points of the second half, reclaiming a 37-36 lead on Riskus's traditional three-point play 35 seconds in. Brandeis answered with the next four points to go ahead 40-37 on a Small lay-up that forced a UC timeout with 90 seconds elapsed. The hosts came out with an 8-2 run that gave them their biggest lead, 45-42, on two more Riskus foul shots with 16:01 on the clock. The lead lasted about three minutes before Roberson returned the lead to the visitors from the line with 13:03 left. That was part of a 20-7 run over a span of 7:12 that pushed the lead back to double figures at 66-56 with 6:48 remaining. The Judges kept the Maroons at bay before a couple of late trifectas got Chicago back within six points at the end, 75-69.

Brandeis is next in action on Friday evening at 8 p.m. for their home UAA opener against Rochester.

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