Men finish non-conference slate with 83-78 win over Bates

WALTHAM, Mass. — Four Brandeis University men's basketball players scored in double figures tonight, offsetting a career performance from Bates junior Graham Safford as the Judges defeated the Bobcats, 83-78, in a final non-conference tune-up for both squads in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. Brandeis winds up its non-league schedule with an 8-3 record, while Bates will carry a 7-4 mark into conference action.

      Four Brandeis seniors combined to score 59 of the team's 83 points. Leading the way was shooting guard Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May), who had 18 points, including 10 in the second half. Retos hit 4-of-9 from 3-point range, giving him 183 trifectas for his career. He is now four shy of catching Kevin Olson '09 for third place on Brandeis's career list. Retos also hit 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and is poised to surpass Olson as the University's top career foul shooter. He is 98-106 for his career (92.5%), needing to hit two more from the stripe to take over the career lead. Retos's 18 points off the bench was six more than the entire Bobcat reserve corps, as Brandeis owned a 32-12 edge in bench points.

      Also in double figures was Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.), who hit 5-of-10 overall with a 3-pointers, and 5-of-5 from the line. Bartoldus's team-high 12 first-half points included a pair of athletic dunks. Guard Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg) added 13 points, while forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./Tilton School) had 12, including the first seven of the game and five more to start the second half, for the Judges.

      Brandeis outrebounded Bates, 39-33, with senior center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrew's School, R.I.) coming off the bench with seven boards – including three on the offensive glass - in just 11 minutes.  Moton added six rebounds. Retos tied with rookie reserve Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrew's School, R.I.) with three assists, while sophomore forward Kevin Trotman (Bristol, Conn./Taft School) had three tremendous blocked shots.

      The Brandeis win overshadowed the fine performance from Safford, who scored a career-high 33 points, 18 coming in the second half. Safford hit 13-of-21 overall, 5-of-11 from downtown and 2-of-4 from the line. He also had a game-high six assists. Sophomore Mike Boornazian had a double-double – his fourth of the season - with 16 points and a game-high 10 assists, while junior guard Billy Selmon had 11 points and five steals for the visitors.

      The game featured six ties and 11 lead changes. Brandeis looked to take control early, when the Judges scored 14-straight points over a stretch of just over four minutes. Bartoldus's only 3-pointer of the game with 8:37 left put the hosts ahead 32-19. The teams traded free throws on their next two possessions, but the Bobcats caught fire from long distance over the final 7:46.

Selmon and Safford each connected on 3-pointers to get Bates back within seven. Brandeis scored next to slow the momentum, but successive turnovers saw Selmon take a steal and lay-up to the rack to answer back. Junior Adam Philpott was the third different visiting player to dial long distance in the stretch, getting Bates within 36-32 with under three-and-a-half minutes to go. After a Bartoldus lay-up made it a six-point lead for Brandeis, two Boornazian free throws cut into the lead. Safford looked to steal the show by connecting from deep twice after back-to-back Brandeis turnovers, giving the Bobcats a 40-38 lead with a minute to go. Bartoldus, not to be outdone, slammed home his second dunk, while Retos hit from 27 feet out as time expired to give Brandeis a 43-40 lead at the intermission.

In the second half, Stoyle hit a bomb to open the scoring and give the hosts a six-point edge. The Judges still led by five after a Moton trifecta at the 17:09 mark, but a Malcolm Delpeche put-back, a coast-to-coast drive by Safford and a Selmon steal that led to a Boornazian lay-up gave Bates a 52-51 edge just under four minutes into the second.

Retos answered with a 3-pointer, and the lead changed hands two more times. After a Safford lay-in put Bates ahead, 56-55, Dascy answered with a lay-up at the 11:36 mark that kicked off a 13-2 spurt over the next four minutes. Two Moton free throws at 8:34 gave Brandeis a 68-58 lead.

Safford wouldn't led the Bobcats go away quietly, leading the visitors to 13 of the next 16 points, scoring nine on his own and assisting the other four. His steal and lay-up at the 3:55 mark tied the game at 71-71, but Brandeis scored the next three points of the game from the line, and never trailed again. They hit 10 of their last 12 from the charity stripe, while getting defensive stops by Reale and big rebounds from Dascy to keep the Bobcats at bay.

Brandeis opens University Athletic Association play this Saturday at 4 p.m. at NYU, while Bates plays its NESCAC opener Friday night at 8 p.m. at Middlebury.