February 19, 2012

Senior guard Vytas Kriskus joins the 1,000 point club but Brandeis Men's basketball falls to Chicago 80-66

WALTHAM, Mass.- In a University Athletic Association (UAA) matchup between the Brandeis Men's basketball team and the University of Chicago Maroons, senior guard Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/ Holderness School (N.H.) scored 19 points to become the 30th player in Brandeis history to reach the 1,000 point plateau. Unfortunately, the Judges could not slow an onslaught of 3's as they fell 80-66 at Red Auerbach Arena. Despite strong efforts from Kriskus and sophomore forward Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./ St. Andrew's School (R.I.), Brandeis could not overcome a 29 point effort from Chicago's senior guard Matt Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./ Pioneer).  The Judges fell to 13-11 (7-6 UAA) while the Maroons improved to 14-10 (7-6 UAA).

Kriskus reached his 1,000th point on a jumper 14:31 to play in the game as he was being fouled. He converted the free throw for the traditional three point play and his 1,001st point tied him for 29th on the all-time list. He soon moved into sole possession of 29th place with a jumper just a minute and a half later. Kriskus finished the game with 19 points on 8-11 shooting including two from downtown to give him 1,008 career points, one point back of #28 on the list. He also moved into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time 3-pointers list with 155 for his career.

A back and forth first half featured nine lead changes and one tie. Brandeis claimed their biggest lead with 14:20 remaining in the half at 12-6 on a Kriskus jumper. The Maroons recovered quickly embarking on a 19-8 run to gain a 25-20 advantage at the 8:19 mark. After trading baskets for a couple of minutes, the Judges' senior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./ Taft School) cut Chicago's lead to 34-28 with a pair of free throws. However, over the last four minutes of the half, the Maroons had a 6-2 spurt that put them up double-digits at 40-30 headed into the break. Johnson led all scorers with 12 points coming on 4-10 shooting while Brandeis was led by Dascy and Kriskus who had eight and seven points respectively.

The Judges looked like they were ready to mount a serious comeback as they opened the half on a 7-2 run to make it 42-37, capped by a little turn-around bank shot from Dascy. Unfortunately, Brandeis never came within five points again as Chicago began a run that gave them a 12-point cushion bookended by a traditional three-point play from Johnson and a 3-pointer from senior forward Tom Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio/ St. Xavier). The Maroons built a lead as large as 19 at 80-61 with 1:27 to play on another trey from Williams. The Judges' reserves scored the last five points of the game for the 80-66 final tally.

Brandeis finished with two players in double figures led by Kriskus. Kriskus finished with a team leading 19 points and 8 rebounds to go with a block and a steal. Dascy was the other scorer in double figures with 15 points on 6-10 shooting as well as five rebounds that tied for second on the squad with junior guard Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./ St. Mark's School). Hughes led the Judges with five assists and rookie forward Ishmael Kalilou (Windsor, Conn./ Taft School) led the way off the bench with seven points.

Chicago put three players in double figures as Johnson had 29, Williams had 18, and sophomore forward Charlie Hughes (Perrysburg, Ohio/ Perrysburg) finished with 11. Williams led the squad's assault from behind the arc with 6-8 shooting from downtown. Hughes led the Maroons with five rebounds while Johnson and two others pulled down four caroms. Johnson also led the squad with four assists and two steals.

The Judges will complete their season on Senior Day next Sunday, February 26th at Red Auerbach Arena against the rival NYU Violets with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off. Chicago closes out their season at home against Washington University in St. Louis also on the 26th with a 3:00 p.m. t