January 22, 2010

#15 Brandeis men run past Rochester, 70-63, into four-way tie atop UAA

WALTHAM, Mass. - Sophomore guard Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) scored 18 points in 25 minutes off the bench and senior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow) had his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds tonight as the 15th-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team defeated the visiting University of Rochester Yellowjackets, 70-63, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest. With the win, Brandeis improves to 12-2 on the season, while Rochester moves to 12-3. Both teams are now 3-1 in the UAA, tied with Washington University and Emory atop the conference standings.

Brandeis put four players in double figures, topped by Kriskus's 18, nine points coming in each half. He finished the night shooting six-for-15 from the field with three 3-pointers. Hollins's 14 points came on seven-of-10 from the floor, while five of his eight rebounds came on the offensive glass. The double-double was the 12th of his career.

Sophomore guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) added 13 points - seven after the break - and four assists, while senior Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./Stratford) had 12 points. The Judges forced Rochester into 17 turnovers, while committing only 10 of their own, turning the miscues into a 26-10 edge in points off turnovers.

Rochester put three players in double figures, two coming off the bench. Sophomore Bill Serle (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./Father Lopez) scored a team-high 15 points in 16 minutes, with 10 coming in the second half. Rookie forward Milan Moncrief (Lynnewood, Wash./Western Reserve Acad.) just missed a double-double off the bench with 10 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Nate Novosel (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) got the line 12 times, hitting eight, and went three-for-four from the floor to finish with 14 points, tops among Rochester starters. UR owned a 32-31 rebounding advantage and outshot Brandeis, 49% (23-47) to 44% (24-55), but were unable to overcome their turnovers and a 17-10 Judge edge on second-chance points.

The early part of the contest was a back-and-forth affair. Brandeis took a 9-8 lead on a nice Hollins feed from junior forward Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad). The Judges were ahead, 20-16, with just under nine minutes left when they went on a 9-3 run, highlighted by three UR turnovers and a Kriskus trifecta that gave them a 29-19 with 5:24 left. Not to be deterred, Rochester answered with a 13-6 string of their own that got them within 35-32 on a Novosel lay-up with 1:05 left. The 'Jackets had a chance to draw even closer after Brandeis's Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) was called for an offensive foul, but they couldn't capitalize, and Hollins found Kriskus for a wide-open three as time expired to give the Judges a 38-32 lead at the break.

Rochester came out of the locker room energized, as the Yellowjackets held Brandeis without a field goal over the first three-plus minutes of the second half. The visitors used a pair of Brandeis turnovers and a Hollins miss to put together a 9-2 run to open the stanza, taking their first lead since the 14:06 mark of the first half at 41-40 on a Marcus Roberson (Howell, N.J./Freehold Township) lay-up. Rookie guard John DiBartolomeo (Westport, Conn./Staples) was big in the run, contributing a steal, a fast-break lay-up and an assist on a big 3-pointer by rookie guard David Gould (Philadelphia, Pa./Germantown Friends).

Brandeis answered with a pair of Hughes free throws to reclaim the lead for good. Those freebies sparked an 8-0 Judges run over the next 2:10, with four points coming on Hollins put-backs on the offensive glass. The Judges pushed their lead to as many as 11 at 58-47 with 8:49 left in regulation before UR made another run. Two more Moncrief buckets followed by a deep DiBartolomeo trifecta got the 'Jackets back within three, 58-55, with 6:34 left. Rochester again had a chance to tie the game, but Andre Roberson was able to draw a charge on DiBartolomeo, and Hughes followed on the offensive end, feeding Hollins for a lay-up and connecting from downtown to push the lead back to eight points with 4:43 remaining. Brandeis was able to keep it a two-possession game the rest of the way.

Brandeis is next in action on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m. against Emory in another UAA contest, while Rochester travels to NYU at the same time.

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