January 9, 2010

Cold shooting dooms #8 men at NYU

NEW YORK, N.Y - The Brandeis University men's basketball team saw winning streaks of six games overall and seven in a row against rival NYU today as the Judges dropped their University Athletic Association (UAA) opener, 62-50, at the Coles Sports Center. The Judges, ranked eighth in the nation by D3hoops.com, shot season-lows 24.6 percent from the floor and 14.8 percent from 3-point range against the Violets.

Brandeis (8-2, 0-1 UAA) connected on just 15-of-61 from the field and 4-of-27 from beyond the arc as they scored a season low in points. Senior Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) led the Judges with 14 points, hitting 6-of-8 from the field, but only one other Brandeis player had more than two field goals. Sophomore Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) hit just four of his 12 attempts, including just one-of-eight from downtown for nine points, while senior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) reached double figures with 12 points, but connected on just 2-of-15 overall and 2-of-10 from range. He used 6-of-7 from the line to get to double figures. Senior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) led the Judges with seven rebounds, one shy of a career-high, a game- and career-high five steals and three assists. Brandeis was able to keep the hosts from pulling away by winning the turnover battle, 21-9, turning that into an 18-6 edge in points off those miscues.

NYU (9-2, 1-0 UAA) won its sixth in a row thanks to the play of big men Keith Jensen and Richie Polan. Jensen had a game-high 16 points, nine of which came after the intermission, while Polan had 15 points - 13 in the first half - and a game-high 13 rebounds off the bench. He also led the Violets with four assists. New York connected on 51.4% overall for the game (19-for-37), including 59.1% in the first half (13-22) as they built a 34-24 advantage before the break. Their big first half was buoyed by a 20-11 edge on the glass, though Brandeis won the battle of the boards in the second, 21-19.

Brandeis jumped out to an early 9-5 lead, and were ahead, 11-10, on a pair of Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) free throws with 13:55 left before intermission. The Judges hit just two of their next seven shots, however, while the Violets connected on seven of their next eight, including four 3-pointers, to go on an 18-4 run over a six-minute stretch. Jensen had 10 of NYU's points, including the trifecta at the 13:37 mark that gave them the lead for good Watertown, Mass., native Kyle Stockmal's long ball at the 8:13 mark capped the run with the hosts ahead, 28-15.

Brandeis bounced back with a mini-run, scoring six in a row, but the Violets closed the half with a 34-24 lead. The Judges opened the second stanza by scoring seven of the first 10 points, as a Hughes trifecta from the corner got the Judges within six at 37-31 with just over three minutes gone. NYU senior Omar Meziab answered with a traditional three-point play, and the Judges could only get closer than seven the rest of the way.