WALTHAM, Mass. - In a game that featured seven ties, 13 lead changes and several big momentum swings, the visiting Emory University Eagles saved their best shot for the end, defeating the 15th-ranked Brandeis University Judges, 77-64, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest today.
After trailing, 36-30, at halftime, Brandeis (12-3, 3-2 UAA) came out of the locker room and outscored Emory (12-4, 4-1 UAA) by a 25-7 margin over the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Judges held the Eagles to just two field goals over that span and took their biggest lead of the contest at 55-45 on a pair of Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) free throws with 9:41 on the clock.
The Brandeis shooters went cold from the field for the rest of the game, hitting just two of their final 13 shots. Meanwhile, Emory clawed back into the game by hitting the boards, outrebounding Brandeis 11-2, forcing four turnovers and clicking from the field. The Eagles tied the game at 58-58 on a jumper by senior Dan Curtin (Great Barrington, Mass./Deerfield Acad.) and reclaimed a 60-58 lead on a pair of Anthony Fernandez (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit) free throws with 3:58 left.
Brandeis answered with a Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad.) jumper to tie the game again at 60. The biggest hoops of the game came from EU rookie Alex Greven (Winston Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds), who connected from deep on each of the Eagles' next two possessions to give the Eagles a 66-60 lead that the Judges were unable to overcome. Emory connected on 11-of-12 free throws down the stretch to keep the hosts at bay.
Brandeis trailed at the half for just the fifth time in 15 games this season as Emory again clamped down their defense. After the Judges hit 9-of-15 from the floor over the game's first 10 minutes to take a 19-16 lead, they hit just two of their final 14. Emory closed the first half on a 20-11 to take a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
The Judges had a trio of double-figure scorers. Senior Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) registered his second-straight double-double with 15 points and a game-high with 13 rebounds. He also had a game-high six assists, one shy of his career-best. Classmate Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Acad.) added 15 points, nine in the second half, and matched his career-best with eight rebounds. Senior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) added 10 points, eight coming in the first half. The Judges struggled from long range, connecting on just one 3-pointer and shooting a season-low 5.9 percent (1-for-17).
Emory was paced by Greven's 16 points, 11 of which came in the final 10 minutes of the contest. He connected on four-of-seven overall, including three-of-four from downtown, and five-of-six from the line. Sophomore Austin Claunch (Cypress, Texas/Strake Jesuit Prep) finished 11 points and a team-high five assists. Three other Eagles finished with nine points, including Curtin, Fernandez and senior Chad Hixon (Snellville, Ga./Berkmar). Hixon also led Emory with nine rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
After getting outrebounded, 20-11, in the first half, the Eagles were able to win the battle of the boards in the second half, 16-11. They also committed just 10 turnovers for the game, 9.5 fewer than Brandeis's season-average for turnovers forced this season and just the fourth time this season the Judges had more miscues (13) than their opponents. With the win, Emory snaps a 12-game losing streak against Brandeis, dating to the 2003-04 season.
Brandeis returns to Red Auerbach Arena next Friday for another UAA contest at 8:00 p.m. against Case Western Reserve University, while Emory plays host the University of Chicago at the same time.