Men's basketball wins home opener, 89-60, over Newbury

Men's basketball wins home opener, 89-60, over Newbury

Waltham, Mass.-- The Brandeis University men's basketball team defeated Newbury College 89-60 in the opening game of the Judges Classic this evening in Auerbach Arena.

The Judges were led by junior forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School), with 19 points making five-of-eight 3-pointers. Rookie guard Ben Bartoldus (Hillborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) notched 14 points and four rebounds against the Nighthawks. Another rookie, guard Anthony Trapasso (Sterling, Mass./St. John's) had a fine night with 15 points, making three-of-three 3-pointers and four rebounds.  Rookie Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) also scored in double digits for the Judges, with 12 points.  Junior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) led the Judges with six assists.

For Newbury, sophomore guard Tim Young (Brockton, Mass./ Brockton) led the game in scoring with 20 points.  Another sophomore, forward Peterson Bernard (Boston, Mass./ Madison Park) had a big night, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor for 15 points and recording six rebounds.  Rookie guard Eric Watson also scored in double digits, with 13 points and a rebound.

In the first half, the Judges had a 55.2% (16-29) shooting percentage. Newbury was shooting at 50% (13-26) in the first half, falling to 41.9% (13-31) in the second half.  In a game of threes for Brandeis, the Judges finished the game shooting 16-for-28 on three-pointers and a three-point shooting percentage of 57.1%.

Bartoldus opened the game with back-to-back threes and a breakaway layup in the first two and a half minutes of play, bringing the score to 8-2.  Peterson answered back with a layup, before Kriskus sunk his first trifecta of the night. 

At 13:42, the Nighthawks were able to tie the score at 13-13 before Brandeis made a big run.  A foul on Newbury gave possession to the Judges and Retos hit his first shot from beyond the arc with an assist from senior forward Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/ Proctor Acad.).  Retos followed up with a steal and Kriskus put up yet another long ball for the Judges, putting them ahead 19-13.  The Nighthawks got back in the game with a layup from Bernard.  But Retos immediately fired back with back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Judges a 10 point lead at 25-15. 

Rookie forward Justin Franks (Mamaroneck, N.Y./ Rye Neck) hit a good jumper at 8:01 to bring the Nighthawks within eight points, with a score of 29-21, their smallest deficit for the rest of the game.  Outscoring the Nighthawks the rest of the half 15-8, the Judges closed the half with a 15 point lead.

Leading the Nighthawks, 46-31, at the start of the second half, the Judges continued their charge, shooting 57.7% from the floor.  Brandeis outscored their opponent 14-5 at the start of the half, to bring the score to 60-36.  The Judges cruised from there, never allowing their lead to dip bellow 19 points.

In the second half, Brandeis made another eight 3-pointers, shooting 8-for-15, with two coming from Kriskus in just under three minutes of play.  Trapasso scored 11 points in the second half, with nine of those points coming from downtown.

Brandeis advances to play Curry in tomorrow's Judges Classic championship game at 3 p.m. The Colonels knocked off Colby College, 73-71, in the second game of the doubleheader. Colby and Newbury will meet in the consolation game at 1 p.m.

In the nightcap, Curry junior Jarrell Jackson (Brockton, Mass./North Cambridge) hit a driving lay-up with 5.7 seconds left in the game to give the Colonels the two-point victory. Jackson scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the second half as Curry held off a furious charge by the Mules. Curry led for all but 20 seconds of the first half and stayed ahead of Colby for much of the second, leading by as many as nine points. The lead lasted until Mule senior forward Mike Russell (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) hit a nice back-door lay-up from junior Ben Foreman (Los Angeles, Calif./Brentwood) with 1:16 on the clock that gave Colby a 71-70 edge. Curry senior Mike Worrick (No. Grafton, Mass./Grafton) hit one-of-two from the line with 1:03 on the clock to knot the game, but made a big play on the other end of the floor, drawing a charge to get the ball back. That set up Jackson's heroics, as the Colonels led the clock run down. Jackson drove the lane and hit the winning bucket with just two seconds left on the shot clock and 5.7 on the game clock.

In addition to his game-high 21 points, which came on 10-of-22 shooting, Jackson also led all played with six assists and three steals. Junior guard Michael Connery (Narraganset, R.I./Narragansett) had 15 points – all in the first half as the Colonels built a 41-35 lead – while classmate Sedale Jones (Pittsfield, Mass./Pittsfield) scored 11 of his 14 in the second half. Curry forced 32 Colby turnovers and turned them into a 28-13 advantage in points off miscues.

For Colby, Russell led all players with 22 points and 15 rebounds. He also had four assists on the night. Russell's 15 rebounds were two shy of the entire Curry team, as the Mules owned a 39-17 edge on the boards. Also reaching double figures were senior guard Christian Van Loenen (Falmouth, Maine/Cheverus), who had 18 points and seven boards, while Foreman finished with  13 points on a perfect shooting night, hitting all three of his 3-pointers and all four free throws. Foreman also matched Jackson for game-high honors with six assists. Colby was able to overcome their turnovers and stay in the game with their rebounding edge and 61.5% shooting (24-39), including 6-of-8 from long distance (75%).