December 30, 2011

Men scorch nets from long distance to defeat Bates, 86-72

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team used a lethal 3-point attack tonight to defeat visiting Bates College, 86-72, in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges connected on 15-of-20 overall for the game for 75 percent, including 10 of their 11 shots (91 percent) from downtown in the second half as they kept the Bobcats at bay. With the win, Brandeis heads into University Athletic Association play with a 6-5 record, while Bates falls to 5-4 with the loss.

Leading the 3-point barrage for the Judges were sophomore Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) and senior Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) Acad.). Bartoldus hit 5-of-7 from downtown and led all scorers with 23 points. He matched his career-high for the second game in a row, shooting 9-of-14 overall. Kriskus was perfect from long range, going 5-of-5, to finish with 17 points, as part of a tremendous all-around game. He registered his second double-double of the season with 11 rebounds, matching a career-high, and also set a career-best with seven assists, five more than his previous best.

Two other Brandeis starters scored in double figures, as sophomore center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) had 15 points and seven rebounds, hitting 6-of-7 from the field, while sophomore guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./No. Attleboro) had 11. Retos, who is ranked third in the nation in 3-pointers per game, hit 3-of-5 from deep, opening up the floor for his teammates. Senior Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) led all players with eight assists.

The Judges hit 59 percent overall from the field (33-56) for the game and never trailed. The 75 percent on 3-pointers (minimum 10 made) is tied for second-highest in NCAA Division III play this season and is the highest by a Brandeis team since at least 2004.

Bates also had four starters score in double figures. Juniors Mark Brust (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) and Ed Bogdonavich (Portland, Maine/Portland) led the way for the Bobcats with 15 points each. Brust was held scoreless in the first half but hit eight points in the first four minutes of the second to get his team within seven points at 44-37, their closest deficit of the second half. Brust also had a team-high six assists, three in each half.

Bogdonavich, meanwhile, turned in a double-double performance of his own with 15 points and 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. He had nine points and seven boards (six offensive) after the intermission.Senior forward John Squires (Swampscott, Mass./Phillips Exeter) added 11 points, while sophomore guard Luke Matazarro (Shelton, Conn./Choate) had 10. The Bobcats had the advantage in many secondary stats, winning the turnover battle, 11-3, for a 15-5 edge in points off those miscues, while outscoring Brandeis 21-6 in second-chance points thanks to a 17-5 margin on the offensive glass.

Brandeis jumped out to a quick 9-0 advantage, as Bates missed their first seven shots. The lead was as large as 12 early at 14-2 on a trifecta by junior Anthony Trapasso (Sterling, Mass./St. Johns Prep) with 13:35 on the clock. Bates was able creep within two points at 24-22 with just over four minutes left in the first half after rookie Graham Safford (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Acad.) dialed long distance.  Brandeis answered by connecting on three more 3-pointers before the break, taking a 37-29 lead into the locker room and never looking back.

The Judges return to action in 2012 when they head to the Big Apple for their UAA showdown with New York University on Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. Bates is next in action on Jan. 3 at the University of New England at 7 p.m.