ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team rallied from nine points down in the second half and led by as many as four in the second half, but the host Emory University Eagles closed the game on a 12-4 run to take a 66-58 University Athletic Association (UAA) victory this afternoon. The Judges fall to 9-12 overall, 3-8 in the UAA, while the Eagles maintain a share of the league lead at 16-6, 9-2 UAA.
Brandeis also trailed by nine points in the first half, falling behind 23-14 after a Jonathan Terry 3-pointer at the 6:35 mark. The Judges rallied with a 14-4 run over the next 5:34, thanks to junior Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.), who had five points, three rebounds and two assists in the run. His traditional three-point play followed by a pair of free throws with 1:01 left in the first gave Brandeis a 28-27 lead. Emory closed the stanza with a free throw and a late 3-pointer by Adam Gigax to take a 31-28 advantage at the break.
The Eagles matched their largest lead of the contest when a Gigax lay-up at the 15:06 mark made it 41-32, but Brandeis responded again. Junior guard Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y. / Suffield Acad.) made back-to-back trifectas to cut the deficit to three points, and a free throw and a Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School, R.I.) lay-up knotted the game at 41-41 less than five minutes later. EU's Davis Rao stopped the bleeding with a hoop at the 10:52 mark.
Brandeis reclaimed the lead on a lay-up and a foul shot by sophomore Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Bedford Academy) at 10:08. The Judges got two more stops and extended the lead to four points at 47-43 on a Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) 3-pointer with 9:20 to go.
Gigax scored the game's next to hoops to tie it at 47-all, but Vilmont connected from downtown in response. Gigax added two more free throws, but Brandeis's Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) scored off a Vilmont steal to push the Brandeis advantage to 52-49. Emory's Austin Dague hit a lay-up, and the Eagles got a stop before Gigax connected from long distance to give the home team a 54-52 lead with 4:37 left.
The teams traded turnovers and missed shots before two Tim Reale foul shots knotted the game at 54-54 with 3:45 remaining. Unfortunately, the Judges were held to just one field goal the rest of the way, a Fay 3-pointer with just 15 seconds on the clock. Emory's Rao scored the go-ahead lay-up at 3:34. Brandeis had a chance to tie it on the next possession when Reale went to the line, but after he made the first, the Judges were whistled for a lane violation, negating his second. The Eagles made Brandeis pay with a Gigax 3-pointer as the hosts closed the game on a 12-4 run.
Cooper led Brandeis with 16 points, 11 coming in the first half. Fay scored nine of his 11 in the second stanza, while Vilmont scored five points in each half to finish with 10. Vilmont led Brandeis with five assists, his most since Jan. 9, while Smith topped the squad with eight rebounds, a season-high.
For Emory, Gigax led all players with 22 points, 15 coming in the second half, as he came off the bench on the Eagles' senior day. Will Trawick added 14 points and Rao finished with 11. Gigax tied Smith for game-high honors with eight rebounds, while Whit Rapp had five assists to match Vilmont.
Emory owned a 31-26 edge in rebounding and 19-15 margin in points off turnovers, but the Eagles turned 10 offensive rebounds into 12 points, while Brandeis had just three second-chance points on five offensive caroms.
The Judges will return home for the first time in three weeks to meet Washington University on Friday evening at 8 p.m. Emory will be at Carnegie Mellon at the same time.