WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University men's basketball team, ranked 22nd in the nation in Division III, bounced back from their first loss of the season by shooting a season-high 59.6 percent from the floor (31-of-52) in a 79-52 rout of the Vassar College Brewers this afternoon in Red Auerbach Arena.
Brandeis (3-1) were paced by their fourth different leading scorer in as many games, senior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./Longmeadow). Hollins scored a season-high 19 points, including 12 in the second half. Sophomore guard/forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) added 16 points in 24 points off the bench, while classmate Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) chipped in 10 points and had a game-high four steals.
Senior forward Richard Magee (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) added nine points, all coming in the first half, as the Judges' starting frontcourt outscored the Brewers' by a 28-7 margin. Senior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) led all players with six assists and tied for game-high honors with six rebounds. Overall, Brandeis outscored Vassar, 38-10, in points in the paint and 14-6 in second-chance points despite getting outrebounded, 11-7, on the offensive glass.
Vassar (2-3) dropped its third-straight contest despite a game-high 31 points from sophomore guard Caleb McGraw (Sitka, Alaska/Mount Edgecumbe). McGraw connected for 17 points in the first half and 14 in the second, shooting 11-of-24 overall, three-of-10 from 3-point land and six-of-seven from the line. Unfortunately for the Brewers, McGraw's teammates only had combined for nine points in the first half as the Judges jumped out to a 38-26 lead. No other Brewer player finished with more than six points or two field goals. Rookie forward John Donnelly (Williston, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) tied for game-high with six rebounds, while classmate Jon Herzog (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) led Vassar with three assists.
After the teams traded buckets on the first five possessions of the game, Hollins hit a pair of free throws that gave Brandeis an 8-5 lead that they never relinquished. The Brewers climbed within one point on three more occasions and were within two at 21-19 on a McGraw fast-break lay-up off a steal by sophomore forward David de la Torre (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) with 8:55 left in the first. The Judges answered with 13-2 run over the next five minutes. Magee had five points in the run, while a 3-pointer by senior guard John Weldon (Freehold, N.J./Freehold) capped the streak, giving the Judges a 34-21 lead with 4:03 on the clock. They took a 12-point lead into the locker room, 38-36, as Magee and Hollins combined for 17 points, offsetting the 17 by McGraw. In the second half, held the Brewers to just two field goals over the first 12-plus minutes of action as they pushed the lead to as large as 31 points before taking the 27-point win.
The Judges are next in action on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., when head coach Brian Meehan will go for his 100th victory on the Brandeis sideline against his alma mater, Clark University, while Vassar travels to SUNY-New Paltz at the same time.