Freeman rescues Judges in 86-82 win over Emory

WALTHAM, Mass. – Four different Brandeis University players scored in double figures, including a career-high 22 from junior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School), but it was a key 3-pointer and rebound from sophomore Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./St. Mark's School) that handed the Judges an 86-82 overtime victory over visiting Emory in a University Athletic Association contest tonight.

With the win, the Judges improve to 13-3, 3-3 in the UAA. Despite rallying from as many as 20 points down in the second half to force OT, the Eagles see their four-game Association winning streak snapped as they fall to 13-4, 4-2 in the UAA.

After a sluggish previous outing in a loss to Washington University, the Judges came out on fire in the first half tonight. They shot 56.3% (18-32) while holding the Eagles to just 36.4% (12-33) while establishing a 43-24 lead at the break. Brandeis held an Emory squad that was shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range to 0-for-9 from downtown. Owning a 32-22 edge with 4:02 left in the first, the Judges closed with an 11-2 spurt to take the 19-point lead into the locker room. Brandeis rookie Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrew's (R.I.) School) led all scorers with 10 points at the break on 5-of-5 shooting.

The Brandeis lead was at 20 points after a pair of Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) School) free throws med it 55-35 with 12:32 left. Emory scored the game's next 10 points, including five from the line and a 3-pointer by rookie Jake Davis (Cincinnati, Ohio/The Seven Hills School). Senior Julien Williams'  (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) freebie with 9:05 left got the Eagles within 10, while a trifecta from junior Justin Resnick (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho) at the 5:27 mark got the visitors within eight at 63-55.

It looked like Brandeis would hold off the charge after a pair of Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor (N.H.) Acad.) foul shots sent the lead back to 11 at 68-57. With 3:51 left, however, the Eagles' pressure helped them close the second half on a 13-2 run. Emory forced three Brandeis turnovers and benefited from a pair of missed free throws in that span. Meanwhile, the Eagles hit on their four foul shots and lay-ups from sophomore Alex Greven (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds), junior Austin Claunch (Cypress, Texas/Strake Jesuit Prep) and Williams. The last, after a Greven Steal and assist at the 1:16 mark got the visitors within two at 69-67.

On Brandeis's next possession, Hughes missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the shot clock wound down, but Dascy tied up the rebound with the possession arrow in the Judges' favor. Brandeis inbounded to rookie Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School), who was fouled with 20.5 seconds left. He only hit 1-of-2 from the line, giving Emory a shot to tie the game. Eagle junior Alex Gulotta (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff), the UAA leader in 3-pointers, took a feed from Greven and connected from the corner with 5.8 seconds, his first of the game, left to even the game at 70-70. The Judges had a chance at their third buzzer-beating victory of the season, but Hughes's jumper was long off the back iron as the horn sounded. Williams and Davis each had 10 points for the Eagles, offsetting 10 by Hughes. The Eagles climbed back in the game by earning a 15-3 advantage in turnovers and turning that into an 18-1 edge in points off those miscues.

In overtime, the teams traded buckets on their first two possessions, including dueling 3-pointers from Retos and Gulotta. After Dascy missed just his second shot of the night, Emory went ahead 77-75 on a fast-break lay-up by Williams with 3:37 left in OT, their first lead since the score was 4-2. Hughes answered from the line to tie the game at 77-77.

The game remained tied after the next three possessions, thanks in part to blocked shots by the Judges Dascy and sophomore Anthony Trapasso (Sterling, Mass./St. Johns Prep). Trapasso corralled a defensive rebound on a missed trifecta from Gullota with just over a minute-and-a-half left. Brandeis let the shot clock wind down on their ensuing possession, and Yemga found Freeman in the corner, where the sophomore buried a high, arcing shot to give the Judges the lead for good.

After Emory pushed the ball up the floor, Williams was able to get to rim and draw a foul. He missed a pair of free throws, however, and Freeman skied to haul in the second miss, allowing the Judges to get possession back. Retos hit twice from the line to make it a two possession game, and the Judges hit their last four foul shots to fend off the visitors.

For the game, Hughes led all players with a career-best 22 points, 14 coming in the second half and overtime. He hit 8-of-13 overall with a 3-pointer, and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Dascy recorded his second collegiate double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 6-of-8 from the field. Kriskus was solid from the free-throw line, hitting 7-of-10 to go with 2-of-4 from the floor and a trifecta to finish with 12, while rookie Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) added 11. Freeman set career-highs with nine points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. He hit 2-of-4 overall, including his big 3-pointer, and all four foul shots. Yemga tied for game-high honors with six assists. The Judges outshot Emory, 51.9% (28-54) to 40.8% (31-76) for the game and outrebounded them 40-36. Of Brandeis's 16 games, seven have been decided by three points or fewer or gone to overtime, and the Judges are 5-2 in those contests.

Emory also had four players in double figures, led by 16 each from Williams and Davis, 15 from Gulotta – who had eight of the Eagles' 12 points in overtime – and 14 from Claunch. Greven, the UAA's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, was held eight points below his average. Claunch matched game-high honors with six assists, while sophomore Michael Friedberg (Woodcliff Lake, N.J./Pascack Hills) topped the visitors with eight rebounds.

Brandeis will take on Rochester Sunday at noon in another UAA tilt, while Emory heads to NYU at the same time for a league contest.

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