Brandeis men fend off Lasell with balanced attack, 78-69

Alex Stoyle '14 (Photo by Sportspix/Mike Broglio)

WALTHAM, Mass. — The Brandeis University men's basketball team put four players in double figure tonight to defeat the visiting Lasell College Lasers, 78-69, in a non-conference contest. The Judges' attack offset a stat-stuffing performance from Laser senior Brandon Ganesh (West Palm Beach, Fla./American Heritage), who had 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The game was a tense affair that featured six ties and 18 lead changes. The largest margin of the game was nine, which Brandeis (4-1) established on a Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) lay-up at the 5:49 mark of the first half that made the score 28-19. Lasell (1-3) answered by scoring the next seven points to close within two on a Rob Watts (Lafayette, N.J./High Point) lay-up. The Judges went back ahead by five at 32-27 on a pair of Connor Arnold (Andover, Mass./Deerfield Acad.) foul shots at the 3:09 mark.

Watts sparked another run for the visitors with a lay-up, but the final stretch belonged to Ganesh. In the final two-plus minutes, he had a rebound, two assists and five points, including a long 3-pointer with about two seconds on the clock to give Lasell a 38-37 lead at the break. Ganesh scored 18 of his team's 38 points in the first half, while also dishing out five of their eight assists and pulling down four rebounds. Senior forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) led the Judges with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

Ganesh opened the second half with a back-door lay-up to put Lasell ahead, 40-37, but the Judges never let them get any further ahead than that. Brandeis reclaimed the lead with the next six points – four on Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) free throws and two on a Bartoldus lay-up – but the Judges were also unable to pull away. They were ahead by four less than five minutes in, but Lasell scored five in a row, taking a 48-47 lead on a Richard O'Brien (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Memorial) trifecta at the 14-minute mark.

From there, the lead changed hands seven times over the next 3:20. Bartoldus hit 1-of-2 from the line at the 10:40 mark to tie the game at 54-54. Senior center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrew's School, R.I.) converted a traditional three-point play after a couple of stops, and after rookie guard Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) hit two of his next four foul shots, Brandeis owned a 59-54 lead with 7:35 to go.

The hosts were still up five with just over six minutes to go when Lasell made one last push. Sophomore forward Logan Linerty (Duxbury, Vt./Harwood) hit a lay-up and junior guard Angel Ortiz canned a deep 3-pointer, knotting the game once more at 63-all with 5:23 remaining.

The Judges responded when Moton connected from downtown on a feed from Stoyle, and this time they were able to build on their lead. The big hoop sparked a 9-2 run over the next 2:20 and a 15-6 string to close out the game. Brandeis held Lasell to just 1-of-6 shooting over the endgame, while forcing the Lasers into four turnovers. Moton had six points in the final 5:13, while junior forward Ishmael Kalilou (Windsor, Conn./Taft School) had five.

For the game, Moton led the Judges in scoring with 15 points, 10 coming in the second half. Three other players had 13 points, with Bartoldus, Stoyle and Kalilou each reaching the mark. Stoyle had a terrific all-around performance, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. He also blocked a career-high four shots and tied for team-high honors with four assists. Vilmont also finished just shy of a double-double with a game- and career-high 11 rebounds to go with his four helpers.

Lasell was paced by Ganesh's stat-stuffing night, which included his third 30-point performance this season. He hit 10-of-24 from the field, 2-of-7 from deep and 8-of-11 from the line. He also had team- and season-highs with nine rebounds and seven assists. O'Brien was the only other Lasell player in double figures with 11 points. Sonny Mello (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) added eight rebounds, while Jeremy Daniel (Bridgeport, Conn./Bassick) had four assists.

Brandeis returns to action next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Becker College, while Lasell opens GNAC play the same day at home against Norwich at 7 p.m.