FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (taken from a Framingham State press release) - Senior guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) led all scorers with 20 points, including 4-of-8 from behind the arc to lift the 23rd-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team to a 76-73 come-from-behind win over the Framingham State Rams in non-conference action tonight at Framingham's Athletic Center. With the win, the Judges improve to 5-1 on the season and avenge one of their non-conference losses from 2008-08, while the Rams slide to 2-5 with the loss.
The Rams used an 18-6 run over the final 8:15 of the first half to open up a 43-32 lead at the break. Junior guard Royce Veal (Dorchester, Mass.) fueled the Rams run as he started it off with a three and then stole the ball in the back court and converted a fast break layup. Veal led all scorers with 12 first half points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor including 2-of-2 from behind the arc.
The Judges used a 15-4 run over the first five minutes of the second half to erase the Rams lead. Small fueled the run with back-to-back threes to start it and a three point play to end it with 15:31 left to tie the game at 47-47.
The game would go back and forth over the next seven minutes with neither team taking a lead larger than three points. The Judges took the lead for good on a layup from senior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) with 7:27 remaining.
Brandeis would lead by as many as six but the Rams were able to chip away and pulled within one at 74-73 on senior guard Darius Yarrell's (Brockton, Mass.) three point play with 17 seconds remaining. The Rams were forced to foul and Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) hit two free throws to put Brandeis up three.
After a near turnover, the Rams called timeout with nine seconds remaining. Senior guard Bill Carey had a clean look at a three coming out of the timeout, but his attempt rattled out. Yarrell grabbed the rebound and his shot at the buzzer fell short giving Brandeis the 76-73 win.
Brandeis had five players record double figures including Small's game-high 20 points. Roberson and forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lituania/Holderness School) chipped in 11 points apiece, while sophomore Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) and junior Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad.) recorded 10 points apiece. Hollins just missed his third double-double of the campaign with nine points and a game-high ten boards.
The Rams were led by Veal, who finished with 14 points on the night, and senior Josue Almodovar (Holyoke, Mass.) who had 13 points and six boards. Yarrell finished with 11 points, a team-high nine boards and seven assists, while center Roderick Jackson (Cambridge, Mass.) added ten points.
The Rams return to action on Saturday as the host Anna Maria at 2 p.m., while the Judges face Salem State at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Big Four Challenge hosted by Tufts.