Hughes tallies 22, but Judges can't complete comeback at WashU

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Brandeis men's basketball team got a career-high-tying 22 points from junior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School), but the Judges could not quite erase a 12-point deficit as they fell at Washington University, 77-75, in a University Athletic Association contest today. The Judges fall to 16-8, 6-7 in the UAA, while the Bears improve to 13-11, 7-6 UAA.

Brandeis and Washington scorched the nets in the first half, with each team hitting better than 50 percent from the floor. The Judges connected on 13-of-24 (54.2%) and 7-of-11 (63.6%) from 3-point range, while WashU hit 14-of-27 (51.9%) overall and 5-of-11 (45.5%) from deep. Hughes and the Bears' Caleb Knepper were the individual stars of the half. Hughes scored 13 on 5-of-5 overall, including 4-of-4 from downtown, while Knepper tossed in 17 points on 6-of-8 overall and 5-of-7 from deep.

The Judges took a 37-36 lead into the locker room thanks to a late 12-5 run, with Hughes talling five points and sophomore Anthony Trapasso (Sterling, Mass./St. Johns Prep) scoring just before the buzzer to give the visitors the lead. Brandeis's 37 points at the break were more than they had scored in the entire game when the teams met for the first time this season in Waltham.

Neither team was able to gain traction early in the second half, with the lead changing hands nine times over the first 10 minutes. The Judges led 57-56 on a Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) trifecta with 10:15 on the clock when Washington went on what proved to be the game-winning run. The Bears scored the game's next 13 points over a five-plus minute span, retaking the lead on a Knepper put-back. Dylan Richter contributed five points to the run for the Bears, including an alley-oop dunk and a traditional three-point play. Rookie Kevin Bischoff capped the run for the hosts with a left-handed lay-up in the lane to make it 69-57, Washington, with just 4:48 remaining.

The Judges weren't done yet, however. Junior guard Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) School) hit a trifecta to stop the run, and sophomore Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) did the same on the following possession  after three Brandeis offensive rebounds, cutting the lead in half at 69-63 with 3:11 on the clock.

The next play ended up being crucial to the outcome, as Hughes stole the ensuing in-bounds pass. He was fouled from behind, and while the foul was called intentional, Hughes's lay-up was not counted. Hughes hit one of the two free throws, cutting the lead to five, but on the following possession, Bartoldus's 3-point try from the elbow rattled in and out, and the Bears got the rebound.

The teams traded two free throws on the next two possessions, and after WashU connected twice more the stripe, Brandeis senior Christian Yemga (Yaounde, Cameroon/Proctor (N.H.) Acad.) drove for a lay-up that made it 73-68 with 1:38 left. Brandeis rookie Alex Schmidt (Dublin, Ireland/Fork Union (Va.) Military Acad.) picked off WashU's long inbounds attempt, and Bartoldus connected from deep to make it a one-possession game, 73-71. The next three trips, two by Washington and one by Brandeis, saw each team get to the line and hit just 1-of-2, so when Brandeis sophomore Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./St. Marks School) went up-and-under with 38 seconds left, the visitors were within one, 75-74.

WashU's Bischoff again made just one of his two foul shots, giving the Judges a chance to tie, and Hughes got the chance when he was fouled with 11 seconds left, but again, one of the foul shots came up short. When the Bears' Ben Hoehner again made only one ofhis two from the charity stripe with under seven seconds left, the door was still open for a Brandeis comeback, but Hughes's driving lay-up was swatted away by the Bears' Tim Cooney, giving the hosts a 77-75 win.

Brandeis was paced by Hughes, who finished with 22 to tie his career-best. He hit 6-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from deep, but just 6-of-12 from the line. Hughes tied for game-high honors with seven assists and added three steals to lead all players. Brandeis rookie forward Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) just missed his third double-double of the season with 14 points and nine rebounds, a game-high. Bartoldus, with 11 points, was the third Brandeis player in double figures.The Judges hit a season-high 13 3-pointers and outrebounded WashU, 36-26, but the Bears turned a 14-5 edge in turnovers into a 19-6 scoring advantage off those miscues. The game was Brandeis's eighth this season decided by three points or fewer, and they fall to 5-3 in those contests.

For Washingon, Knepper led all players with a career-high 28 points, while Richter tallied 19 of his 21 points in the second half. Spencer Gay added 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Hoener tied with Hughes for game-high honors with seven assists.

Brandeis wraps up  its regular season next Saturday afternoon at rival NYU with a 4 p.m. tip-off, while Washington hosts Chicago Saturday as well.