WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team lost a heartbreaker tonight to Case Western Reserve University, 84-80. The Judges cut a 12-point deficit to three with less than a minute to go, but were whistled for an offensive foul with a chance to get even closer as the Spartans escaped with the University Athletic Association victory. Brandeis falls to 8-9 overall, 2-4 in the UAA, while CWRU improves to 9-8, 2-4 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED – FIRST HALF
- The lead changed hands seven times in the first half and the score was tied four times.
- After the teams traded early buckets, Case's full-court pressure spurred a 15-4 run that gave them a 21-12 lead on an Eric Black dunk with 12:26 to play.
- Brandeis responded with a 10-1 run of their own, tying the game at 22-22 on a Brandon Lagos (Chino Hills, Calif./Damien) lay-up.
- The Spartans scored five of the next six points, but Lagos converted a traditional three-point play at the 6:34 mark to keep the Spartans within reach.
- The Judges eventually went back on top when junior Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) drove to the hoop for a lay-up as the shot clock expired, giving Brandeis a 40-38 lead with 2:22 remaining.
- Case's Matt Clark answered with a lay-up and 1-of-2 from the line to put the visitors back ahead, 41-40.
- Brandeis's Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass./Rivers School) connected from downtown, but Clark answered from beyond the arc.
- The squads traded single free throws in the last 20 seconds to make the score 45-44 in favor of the visitors at the break.
HOW IT HAPPENED - SECOND HALF
- Case used a 15-7 run midway through the second half to take their biggest lead of the game at 12 points, 71-59, with 9:53 to go after a Colin Zucker 3-pointer.
- The Spartans were still ahead by 10, 78-68, with 4:50 on the clock after a Clark jumper.
- Brandeis junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May) cut into the CWRU lead with back-to-back lay-ups and an assist on a Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) jumper that got Brandeis within 78-74 with 3:02 to go.
- Clark and Cooper traded buckets to keep it a four-point game, and Haymon came up with a steal and called timeout with exactly 2:00 remaining.
- The Spartans looked to put the game away when they stole a Brandeis entry pass and saw Javier Alvarez hit a corner 3-pointer with 1:37 to go to make it a seven-point game.
- The Judges weren't done, however, as senior Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) converted a lay-up and Powell got a steal as Case tried to drive the lane on the other end.
- Vilmont drew a foul with 57 seconds left and hit both free throws to make it an 83-80 Brandeis deficit.
- The Judges used pressure on the ensuing Case possession, and Vilmont came up with a steal, but David Black was able to draw a charge as Vilmont went to the hoop. The call erased a bucket and potentially a three-point play that could have tied the game. The Spartans hit 1-of-2 from the line with just over 21 seconds left to secure the victory.
- All five starters scored in double figures for the Judges.
- Powell led the way with 16 points on 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. He also pulled down eight rebounds – four offensive.
- Vilmont added 15 points, giving him double-digit scoring in 15 of 17 games this season.
- Cooper and juniors Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School, R.I.) and Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y. / Suffield Acad.) each finished with 11 points.
- Cooper led the Judges with nine rebounds and four assists and added three steals.
- Fay had all 11 of his points in the first half, while Reale scored nine in the second.
FOR CASE WESTERN RESERVE
- Eric Black and Matt Clark tied for game-high honors with 17 points each.
- They combined to hit 14-of-20 from the field. Clark was 7-for-9 overall and 2-for-2 from deep.
- Black finished with a double-double as he led all players with 10 rebounds.
- Clark also had game-highs with six assists and five steals while finishing second on the team with six boards.
- Zucker added 12 points, mostly coming on three 3-pointers.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- The Judges shot 54% (28-52), while the Spartans were at 49% (33-67) for the game.
- After shooting just 44% (17-39) in the first, CWRU hit on 57% (16-28) in the second.
- Brandeis outscored the visitors 20-7 from the free-throw line.
- Case connected 11 times from 3-point range compared to just 4 for the Judges.
- The Spartans' pressure converted 21 Brandeis turnovers into 26 points, while Brandeis had 15 points on 18 Spartan miscues.
- The Judges take on Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday at 12 p.m., while Case Western Reserve is at NYU at the same time. CMU defeated the Violets, 85-80, tonight in New York.
For more information on Brandeis Athletics, please visit brandeisjudges.com or follow us on Twitter or Instagram @brandeisjudges, or follow us on Facebook.
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