Retos buzzer beater leads No. 14 men past NYU, 61-59

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University rookie guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) hit a 3-pointer from the corner as time expired to give the Judges a remarkable come-from-behind 61-59 victory over University Athletic Association rival New York University in Red Auerbach Arena today. With the win, Brandeis improves to 10-0 for just the second time in school history, joining the 1956-57 squad, for longest winning streak to start a season. NYU suffers its first loss and falls to 10-1.

The Judges trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half, at 56-38, 9:10 into the second half, before ending the game on a 23-3 run. They held the Violets without a field goal over the final 10:50, as the visitors missed their final nine shots from the floor and two of their last three free throw attempts. Meanwhile, the Judges hit nine of their last 15 shots and outrebounded NYU, 15-6, over the stretch.

Key to the run was rookie guard Ruben Kanya (Ottawa, Ont./Bridgton Acad.), who scored nine of his career-high 11 points. He scored seven Brandeis points in a row at one point, getting the hosts within seven at 58-51 with 4:58 remaining on a fast-break 3-pointer.

NYU scored their final point of the game on an Andy Stein (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) free throw that pushed the lead back to eight. Retos buried a trifecta from the corner with 2:39 on the clock off an in-bounds pass from junior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) to cut the lead to 59-54. Rookie Alex Schmidt (Dublin, Ireland/Fork Union Mil. Acad.) pulled down a missed 3-pointer as the shot clock expired on the other end. Kanya drove the lane and got to the line, hitting both free throws with 1:46 left to make it a one-possession game.

Another defensive stand and rebound by Schmidt led to a fast-break lay-in by rookie forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School). That made it a one-point game, 59-58, with 1:11 on the clock. NYU called timeout to avoid a five-second violation and eventually came up empty as the shot clock ran down again. With 37 seconds left, Kanya pulled down the rebound in a crowd, but stumbled to the ground and was called for traveling. The Violets ran 24 seconds off the clock before the Judges fouled NYU senior Derek Becker (Manalapan, N.J./Christian Brothers Acad.). Becker missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Stoyle pulled down the rebound.

As Hughes brought the ball into the front-court, the Violets fouled him the near sideline for their sixth foul of the half, giving Brandeis the ball near their bench with 2.1 seconds left on the clock. Brandeis head coach Brian Meehan called a timeout to draw up a play, and NYU's Joe Nesci responded after he saw the offensive formation.

Hughes called timeout after Stein denied the inbounds pass. On the second attempt, Hughes connected with Retos in the corner, and the off-balance shot was true for the Judges' second buzzer-beater of the season. On Nov. 30, Brandeis defeated Clark University, 67-65, in overtime, when Hughes drove the length of the floor in 5.9 seconds.

Retos finished as Brandeis's high scorer with 14 points. The nation's leading 3-point shooter (59.5%) entering the game, he connected on 4-of-6 from downtown, 5-of-8 overall and even had a career-high three rebounds. Kanya also had a career-high with 11, nine coming in the key second half run. Rookie forward Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrew's School) had a team-high six rebounds, and Hughes and rookie Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) each had four assists.

NYU, which scored the game's first eight points and led by as many as 15 points in the first half, was paced by senior Richie Polan (Tarzana, Calif./The Buckley School), who had game-highs with 16 points and nine rebounds, and tied for game-high with four assists. Polan is now seven points shy of 1,000 for his career. Stein finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. The Violets shot 53.3 percent from the floor in the first half (16-30) as they built a 38-28 lead, but connected on just 33.3 percent in the second (8-24).