SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A pair of late 3-pointers were the difference in both games this weekend as the Brandeis University men's basketball team won the consolation game at the 2016 James Naismith Classic at Springfield College. The Judges were on the wrong side of a trifecta with 10 seconds left in a 62-59 defeat at the hands of Bates College (6-5) on Saturday night in the semifinals, but got one with 0.9 on the clock in the consolation game against host Springfield (3-8) for a 72-69 victory. With the split, the Judges wrap up their non-conference schedule with a 6-5 mark headed into University Athletic Association play next weekend.
- Sophomore forward Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) scored the game-winning bucket with time winding down in regulation. He nailed his second trifecta of the game from the left wing on a feed from senior Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover).
- Brandeis trailed by as many as nine points with 1:15 in the first half, but cut the lead to 37-33 by the break. Junior Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) scored five of his 12 first-half points in the final 49 seconds to cut into the lead.
- The Pride pushed the lead back to eight on four different occasions in the second half, the latest coming at 56-48 with 10:47 left.
- Sophomore Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass. / Rivers School) sparked a 12-4 run with a traditional three-point play on the next possession, with two Cooper free throws tying the game at 60-all nearly five minutes later.
- The final five minutes of regulation featured five lead changes and four ties. A Cooper jumper and a Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews, R.I., School) back-door lay-up made it a 69-66 lead for the Judges with 2:52 on the clock, though Reale missed a chance to make it a four-point game.
- SC came down and Andy McNulty canned a 3-pointer from the right side to tie the game with 2:38 left. The Pride drew two offensive fouls to try to take the lead, but Brandeis got defensive stops thanks to big rebounds from junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School), setting up Cooper's heroics.
- Vilmont led the Judges in scoring with 20 points, hitting 7-of-15 from the field, 3-of-8 from downtown and 3-of-3 from the line. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season and fifth of his career.
- Cooper added 18 points, including 11 in the second half, while Smith scored a season-high 10 points and led the team with four assists.
- Powell led the team with eight rebounds and had a pair of blocked shots.
- Against Bates, it was the Bobcats who struck last, as Shawn Strickland connected from the left corner with 10 seconds to play to break a 59-59 tie. Vilmont had a chance to answer as time expired but was unable to get off a quality shot.
- The game featured six ties and 11 lead changes, with the advantage changing hands seven times in the second half alone.
- The Judges were ahead, 35-32, at halftime thanks to 11 points from Reale.
- The Bobcats scored the first hoop of the second half before Cooper connected from downtown to make it a four-point lead.
- Still up four, 41-37, with 17:38 on the clock, the Judges gave up an 11-0 run, with eight points coming from Marcus Delpeche. He hit two free throws with 13:50 on the clock to give Bates a 48-41 lead.
- Powell got the Judges back in the game with a pair of and-one plays on the team's next two possessions, plus two blocked shots. Brandeis reclaimed a 50-48 lead with 10:53 to go on a Vilmont triple.
- Over the next five minutes, the lead changed hands twice and was tied twice, but a Vilmont bucket with 4:58 remaining made it a 56-52 lead for Brandeis.
- The Judges would hit just one field goal the rest of the way, but it was a big one, a Cooper 3-pointer off a Reale offensive rebound at the 1:55 mark that made it 59-57 Brandeis.
- Bates got a key possession with just over a minute to play, as Malcolm Delpeche and his twin brother Marcus combined for a blocked shot, rebound and fast-break dunk that tied the game at 59-59, setting up Strickland's game-winner.
- Powell finished with team-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds. He also tied his career-high with four blocked shots for the third time this season.
- Cooper and Reale each scored 12 points, while Vilmont added 10, giving the Judges four starters in double figures. Brandeis's bench was outscored, 16-5, however.
For his efforts, Vilmont was named to the All-Tournament team . The Judges return to action next weekend with their University Athletic Association (UAA) opener at NYU on Saturday, January 9 at 3 p.m.