WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team bounced back from their season-opening loss in a big way, defeating visiting Emerson College, 78-50, behind 17 points from sophomore guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May) and 58.7 percent shooting as a team. The Judges even their record at 1-1, while the Lions fall to 0-2.
Brandeis never trailed as they snapped out of their shooting woes from Tuesday night, connecting on 50 percent in the first half (12-of-24) and improving to 68.2 percent (15-of-22) in the second. After taking a 31-22 lead into the locker room, the Judges opened the second stanza on a 20-4 run over the first 5:28. On their first 10 possessions of the second half, the Judges scored three points six times, including three traditional three-point plays – one by senior Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) on a steal and lay-up to start the run and two by sophomore Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) – two trifectas by Retos and one by senior Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School). With a 51-26 lead, the rout was on, increasing to as many as 29 before the contest was over.
Brandeis had two players score in double figures and three others with nine each. Retos fell one point short of his career-best with a game-high 17 points in just 19 minutes. He shot 6-for-9 overall, 4-for-6 from downtown, and hit his only free throw. Sophomore Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor) added 10 points, six in the first, while Hughes, Kriskus and junior Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./St. Mark's School) each had nine.
Dascy led all players with seven rebounds, pacing the Judges to a 37-24 advantage on the boards, while Hughes's three assists led all players.
Emerson put three starters in double figures, led by senior Nathan Firn (Wadesboro, N.C./Joseph A. Foran) with 13 points, 11 coming in the second half. Junior Bilali Kalilou-Mack (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) added 12 points, while rookie Eli Kell-Abrams (Berkeley, Calif./Westtown School) kept his squad in the game with all 10 of his points in the first half.
The shortest player on the floor, Kell-Abrams also had five of his team-high six rebounds in the first half. He played all 20 minutes of the first half before being limited to eight minutes in the second before fouling out. Firn and junior reserve Eric Wahl (Seattle, Wash./University Prep) tied for team-high honors with two assists. The Lions shot just 35.2 percent for the game (19-of-54).
Brandeis closes out a three-game home-stand Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Becker College, while Emerson hosts Wheaton College next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.