Brandeis men win, 73-70, over Fitchburg State in tune-up for UAA

Chandler Jones '21 (photo by / Mike Tureski)
Chandler Jones '21 (photo by / Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – In a game that featured 15 lead changes and 10 ties, the Brandeis University men's basketball scored the game's final seven points to emerge with a 73-70 win over visiting Fitchburg State University in non-conference action. The Judges improve to 4-6 on the season, while the Falcons fall to 4-8.

Neither team was able to gain a ton of momentum in the contest, with the largest leads being seven points on either side of the slate. FSU jumped out to a 9-2 lead early on, while Brandeis owned a 33-26 lead with 2:46 to go in the first half on a dunk by senior Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy). FSU ended up scoring the final eight points of the stanza, including five from Brandon Harris, to take a 36-35 lead into the locker room. Brandeis sophomore Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) led Brandeis with nine points on three 3-pointers in the first half, while Jonathan Perez had nine for the Falcons.

 After the game of runs in the first half, the second was an especially back-and-forth affair, featuring 13 of the game's 15 lead changes. The largest lead was four points, achieved by Fitchburg on several occasions. Brandeis looked to establish some momentum when Sawyer dialed long distance with 5:27 to go to give Brandeis a 65-62 lead, but FSU's Troy Dacosta converted an and-one play on the ensuing possession and Perez hit a trifecta to put the visitors up 69-65 with 4:19 to go.

The Brandeis defense got stingy from there, allowing just one free throw the rest of the way. After FSU's Troy Bosworth hit 1-of-2 with 3:03 on the clock , Brandeis held the visitors to 0-for-6 from the floor with a turnover the rest of the way. Workman connected twice from the line with 2:15 left to get Brandeis within 70-68, while junior transfer Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) hit a floating jumper with 1:48 remaining to tie the game at 70.

After another defensive stop and a huge rebound by rookie Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Acad.), classmate Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Acad.) calmly knocked down two more freebies with 1:04 to go to give the Judges the lead for good. Both teams missed from long range before Jones grabbed another carom and hit 1-of-2 from the line with 4.3 seconds left to finish off the game.

Brandeis was led by the trio of Chandler Jones, Collin Sawyer and Corey Sherman. Jones registered his first collegiate double-double with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. He had nine points and seven caroms in the second half, and five of his 10 boards were on the offensive glass. Jones' nine second-half points came on 3-of-3 from the field and 3-of-4 from the line.

Sawyer, the hero of Sunday's win over Bates with a buzzer-beater, led the team in scoring for the second time this season with 17 points, a career-high. He connected on 6-of-11 overall and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Sherman came up huge in the second half, scoring 10 of his career-best 12 points.

Brandeis also got a 10-rebound performance from Workman, his fifth of the season, and eight assists from Sabir, one shy of his career-best. The Judges outscored FSU, 17-9, from the free throw line in the game, helping overcome 39 percent shooting from the floor (25-64) and a 42-39 rebounding deficit.

FSU's Jonathan Perez led all scorers with 24 points, 15 coming in the second half. He hit 10-of-20 overall from the field, 3-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 1-of-2 from the line. Joshua Bosworth added 11 points and tied with Nicholas Tracy with a team-high six rebounds. Brandon Harris came off the bench to lead the visitors with six assists. 

Brandeis returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to New York for their University Athletic Association season opener against NYU at Hunter College for a 3 p.m. tipoff. FSU opens MASCAC play Saturday at 1:30 at home against Framingham State.