WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team saw its six-game winning streak come to a halt today at the hands of visiting Emory University, 95-58. The Eagles, ranked fourth in the nation by D3hoops.com, bounced back from their first loss of the season. The Judges fall to 8-6 overall, 2-1 in the UAA, while the Eagles improve to 13-1, 2-1 UAA.
The key to the Eagles' victory was a hot-shooting first half. In the opening 20 minutes, Emory connected on 60 percent from the field (21-35), 90 percent from beyond the arc (9-10) and 91 percent from the line (10-11) as they took a 61-34 lead into the locker room. All four players for Emory who scored in double figures for the game did so by halftime. Rookie Alex Foster (Portland, Ore./Catlin Gabel) scored 15 of his career-high 20 in the first half. Foster shot 5-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 from the line in the first and was 7-of-9 overall and 4-of-4 from downtown for the game.
Sophomore Jake Davis (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seven Hills School) added 14 of his 19 before the break, when he hit just 4-of-10 from the field but added 6-of-7 from the line. Davis also had a game-high eight rebounds. Junior Michael Friedberg (Woodcliff Lake, N.J./Pascack Hills) and senior Austin Claunch (Cypress, Texas/Strake Jesuit Prep) and each had 11 in the first half en route to 17 and 14 points, respectively. Claunch also finished with game-highs of eight assists and three steals. The Eagles were able to take advantage of 18 Brandeis turnovers, turning them into 27 points, while committing just six miscues of their own.
The Judges had three players tie for team-high honors with 12 points each: sophomores Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) and Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) and senior Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School). In 18 minutes off the bench, Stoyle recorded a career-high in scoring on 5-of-8 shooting overall, including 2-of-3 from downtown, while his team-best seven rebounds tied a career-high. Bartoldus scored six points in each half, while nine of Kriskus's 12 points came in the first. A day after shooting 61 percent in the second half of a win over Rochester, Brandeis was held to 38.9 percent (21-54) for the game today. The Judges did outrebound Emory, 34-30, while finishing with five blocked shots to one, but it wasn't enough to overcome season-lows of three 3-pointers and 21.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc (3-14) for the nation's top 3-point shooting team (46.4%).
Brandeis returns to UAA action next weekend when they head on their annual midwest trip. Tied with three other teams - Emory, NYU and Chicago - for second place in the conference at 2-1, the Judges will take on conference leader Washington University next Friday night in St. Louis at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 Central, followed by a 1 p.m. Eastern/12 Central game on Sunday at the University of Chicago.