BABSON PARK, Mass. (courtesy Babson College sports information) – Brandeis University first-year Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./Durfee School) and junior Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) each scored a game high 17 points each to lead the Judges to a 59-53 win over host Babson College in the second semifinal game of the second annual New England Big 4 Challenge. With the win, #19 ranked Brandeis remains perfect on the season at 7-0 and Babson dips to 3-3. Brandeis will take on Tufts University in the championship game on Sunday at 3pm while Babson will face Salem State in the 1pm consolation game.
Dascy shot 8-10 from the floor for a career-high 17 points while also grabbing four rebounds. Kriskus also had a great performance shooting 6-8 from the floor including 3-5 from three point range while also picking up five rebounds. Junior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) finished with a game high six assists.
Babson was led by first-year Matt Palazini (Franklin, Mass.) who finished with 11 points off the bench in just over 20 minutes of play. Sophomore guard Marcus McDermott (Milton, Mass.) followed with 10 points, a game high three steals and six rebounds. Sophomore Russ Braithwaite (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added eight points and junior forward Kris Noonan (Boothbay Harbor, Maine) chipped in with seven points and five rebounds.
After a 5-5 tie three minutes in, a three-pointer by Brandeis first-year Ben Bartoldus (Hillborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) put the Judges up for good with 16:26 remaining in the half. Babson was able to stay within six points over the next twelve minutes however Brandeis went on a 7-0 run to end the half and to take the 33-21 lead entering the break.
In the second half the Beavers were able to chip the lead to five with 14:46 remaining after a pair of free throws from Braithwaite and a layup by junior Matt Florio (Skillman, N.J.) however Brandeis went on a 13-4 run over the next seven minutes to take the 14 point lead, 51-37, with 7:31 remaining in the contest. Kriskus had seven of his 17 points during this span. A good three-pointer from Palazini followed by two successful free-throws from the rookie after a Brandeis intentional foul got the momentum going for the Beavers allowing them to go on a run of their own outscoring Brandeis 14-4 to make the score 55-51 in favor of the Judges with 2:11 left in the game. Brandeis went up by six, 57-51, with 25 seconds remaining when Hughes sank two free-throws and Florio answered with two free-throws of his own to come within four, 57-53, however that is as close as Babson would get as Brandeis went on to sink two more foul shots to earn the 59-53 victory.