Judges break out of offensive slump with 80-63 win over CMU

Anthony Trapasso '14 (courtesy Sportspix)
Anthony Trapasso '14 (courtesy Sportspix)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team led wire-to-wire tonight, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process, as the Judges defeated Carnegie Mellon University, 80-63, in a University Athletic Association contest. Brandeis earns a season-split with the Tartans and improves to 14-7, 4-6 UAA, while CMU falls to 6-14, 3-7 UAA.

Brandeis had its highest regulation scoring output and best shooting night (30-52, 57.7%) since November in the victory. Four different players reached double figures in points for the Judges. Sophomore Anthony Trapasso (Sterling, Mass./St. Johns Prep) and rookie Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) tied for game-high honors with 16 points each. Trapasso notched 11 points in the first half en route to a career-high in scoring. He shot 5-of-10 overall, 4-of-6 from downtown and 2-of-2 from the line. Thanks to first-half foul trouble, Dascy scored his 16 points in just 20 minutes. He had eight points in each half, and shot 8-of-9 from the field.

Rookie guard Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) added 14 points, nine coming in the first half. Classmate Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) scored 10 of his 13 bench points in the second half, when he connected on 3-of-6 from downtown. Senior forward Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor Acad.) stuffed the stat sheet for the Judges with nine points, a game-high six rebounds, five assists and a game- and career-best four blocked shots.

CMU put three players in double figures. Senior center Matthew Pettit (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) had 14 points to lead the Tartans, sinking 6-of-12 overall with a pair of free throws. He scored eight of those points in the first half. Pettit also led the visitors with six rebounds. Classmate Shane Rife (Mercersburg, Pa./James Buchanan) had 10 first-half points en route to 13 for the game, while rookie Rashaun Riley (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) added 12 points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers.

Brandeis jumped out to a quick lead thanks to Dascy, who scored the game's first two baskets and the Judges' first six points overall as they took a 6-3 edge less than two minutes in. The hosts maintained a two- or three-possession lead for much of the first half. A pair of Riley foul shots at the 8:04 mark got the lead down to five at 20-15, but the Judges held CMU to just two field goals the rest of the half. They outscored the Tartans, 24-13, in the process. Trapasso contributed eight points in the run, while Yemga had five. In all, the Judges shot 60% in the first half, both overall (18-30) and from  beyond the arc (6-10), while holding CMU to 26.7% (8-30) overall and 25% from deep (3-12).

In the second half, the lead never got below double digits. The Tartans did close to within 10 points at 60-50 with 9:04 left on a Pettit lay-up, but Retos answered with a four-point play to put the margin back to 14, and the Judges cruised from there.

Brandeis closes out the home portion of the regular season on Sunday afternoon at noon against Case Western Reserve University, looking to avenge another UAA loss. Carnegie Mellon will be at NYU at the same time in league action.