WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team produced their best offensive output of the season today as the Judges defeated visiting Carnegie Mellon University, 87-79, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena today. With the win, Brandeis improves to 5-13, 1-6 in the UAA, while CMU falls to 4-14, 0-7 UAA.
The Judges put five players in double figures in scoring. Rookie Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) led the way with his first career double-double, scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds, both tying his career-highs. Jones had 12 points and six boards in the second half. Senior Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) also tied his career-best with 17 points, 11 in the first half. Junior Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) and sophomores Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) and Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St Andrews School) each finished with 14 points, with the trio combining for 33 points in the second half. Brandeis also got a terrific all-around performance from rookie guard Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy), who had eight points, 10 rebounds – a career-high and tied with Jones for game-high honors – and a game-best six assists.
Carnegie Mellon put four players in double digits in scoring. Sophomore Zack Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) led all players with 26 points, 15 coming in the first half. He also led the Tartans with four assists. Rookie Zach Watson (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) had 19 points, while sophomore Cooper Williams (Meriden, N.H./Kimball Union Academy) added 14. Sophomore Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) joined Jones with a double-double, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Behind Howarth's hot start, CMU owned a 36-30 lead at halftime. The Tartans scored the first two buckets of the second half to take their largest lead of 10 points at 40-30. Brandeis answered with nine-straight points, the first seven coming from Workman, to get within one on a Jones jumper at the 16:49 mark. The Judges finally tied the game on a Sawyer 3-pointer at 13:53, but CMU's Daniel Weiss answered from downtown.
Brandeis finally took the second-half lead on a D'Aguanno trifecta with 11:39 to go that made it 51-49, their first since the 7:07 mark of the first half. After a defensive stop, Sawyer dialed long distance to make it a five-point game, 54-49.
CMU scored the game's next six points from the line, including four on one possession when Brandeis coach Brian Meehan was called for a pair of technical fouls. Brandeis's Sherman answered with two more free throws, sparking the decisive run of the game. Though Howarth scored a bucket at the exact midpoint of the half to make it 57-56 in favor of the visitors, Brandeis answered with a 14-3 run over the next 4:52 to go ahead, 69-60, on a Jones foul shot with 5:08 on the clock. The Tartans' Watson hit a 3-pointer to briefly halt the momentum, but a D'Aguanno deep ball with just under four minutes to go made it 73-63. CMU would get within four points on three different occasions, but Brandeis answered each time to keep the visitors at bay.
For the game, the team stats were relatively close. Brandeis outshot CMU, 49% to 42%, but the Tartans hit 48% to 36% from beyond the arc. Rebounds were even at 40-40, and though the Judges forced 13 turnovers and committed 12, they were able to convert those miscues into 18 points to just 12 for the visitors.
Brandeis returns to action next Friday evening at Case Western Reserve at 8 p.m. as they start the second half of the UAA season. They will meet Carnegie Mellon in one week in Pittsburgh with another noon start.