Sawyer banks home buzzer beater to beat Bates, 76-73

Collin Sawyer '20 (Photo by / Mike Tureski)
Collin Sawyer '20 (Photo by / Mike Tureski)


LEWISTON, Maine – Brandeis University sophomore Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) hit a 3-pointer from the left wing as time expired today to give the Judges a thrilling 76-73 win on the road at Bates College. The Judges improve to 3-6 on the season, while the Bobcats fall to 7-4.

The Judges led for nearly the entire first half thanks to a hot start from 3-point range. Brandeis hit 5-of-11 from downtown in the first 30 minutes, while holding the hosts to 1-of-9, as the Judges established a 32-23 lead at the break.

Brandeis was ahead by 10 points at 40-30 with 16:40 to go in the game after rookie Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) converted a traditional three-point play. Bates embarked on a 19-8 run over the next four minutes, reclaiming their first lead since 3-0 on a Max Hummel 3-pointer that made it 49-48. Hummel scored on the Bobcats' next possession to push the lead to three points.

The Bobcats were able to extend their lead to a game-high eight points when Tom Coyne converted a three-point play of his own at the 6:33 mark to make it 60-52. It was still a seven-point deficit for the Judges with 4:33 to go when Hummel canned another trifecta to make it 66-59.

Sawyer answered from downtown, sparking a run of 12 unanswered points by the Judges. Rookie guard Lawrence Sabir (Pawtucket, R.I. / LaSalle Academy) gave Brandeis the lead back with 2:44 to go with a tremendous offensive rebound put-back, drawing a foul in the process and converting to make it a 69-66 lead for the Judges. Jones hit a pair from the line on Brandeis's next possession to give Brandeis a five-point lead at 71-66 with 2:22 on the clock.

Not to be denied on their Alumni Gymnasium home court, Coyne netted a 3-pointer and Spellman had a put-back of his own with 1:19 to go tying the game at 71-71. After both teams got defensive stops on their next possessions, Sabir put Brandeis ahead with a driving lay-up with 9.2 seconds on the clock. Spellman again responded with 2.9 ticks remaining, knotting the game at 73-73.

Brandeis inbounded the ball and got it across midcourt, calling a timeout with seven-tenths of a second on the scoreboards. Junior Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa, / Lower Merion) inbounded the ball from the far sideline. Sawyer came off a screen at the top of the key set by senior Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) at the left wing and banked home the game-winner to send the Judges home happy.

For the game, Sabir and Jones tied for team-high honors with 18 points each. Both had seven points in the first half and 11 in the second.  Jones hit 6-of-10 from the field with a 3-pointer and 5-of-6 from the line to set a new career-high in scoring for the third time in four games. Sabir had a terrific all-around game, with eight rebounds and a game-high five assists. Sawyer joined the two in double figures in scoring with 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers. It was his fourth-straight game scoring in double figures. Workman finished just shy of a double-double, with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Bates's Tom Coyne was the game-high scorer with 24 points, while Spellman added 17. The two combined to shoot 18-for-36 from the field. Coyne also had six rebounds and a team-high four assists. Hummel added 13 points off the bench, all in the second half, thanks to 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Nick Lynch led the home team with eight rebounds.

Brandeis held a 13-7 scoring advantage from the free-throw line, as the Judges committed just 11 fouls to 17 for the Bobcats. They also had a 14-6 edge in points off turnovers for the contest, helping offset a 36-30 rebounding edge for Bates.

Brandeis returns to action in 2018 with a home game on January 3 against Fitchburg State University at 6 p.m.  Bates hosts St. Joseph's College as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday, January 2, with an 8 p.m. tipoff.