WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team had four players score in double figures today as the Judges defeated Salem State University, 77-69, in the opening round of the New England Big Four Challenge held at Babson College. The Judges improve to 4-1 on the season and advance to the Big Four championship game for the first time since 2012. The Vikings fall to 2-5.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a first half that featured seven ties and six lead changes, the Judges took control of the game early in the second.
- Trailing 32-29 at the break, Brandeis scored the first eight points of the second half and never trailed again.
- Sophomore Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy), making his first appearance since the season opener, put the Judges ahead for good with a 3-pointer that made it 34-32, while senior and high scorer Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) did the same on the next possession to make it a two-possession game.
- Brandeis answered every threat from SSU after that. The Vikings managed to tie the game at 41-41 with 12:29 to go, but another 8-0 run, this time featuring trifectas from juniors Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) and Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./Saint Andrews School), put the game back out of reach.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Sherman led the Judges with 24 points, 14 coming in the second half. He hit 8-of-11 overall from the field, 1-of-3 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 from the line.
- Sawyer added 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half. He connected on 6-of-10 overall, 2-of-4 from deep and 4-of-4 from the line.
- Also reaching double digits in scoring were D'Aguanno, whose 12 points came on four 3-pointers, and sophomore forward Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy), who registered a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
- Jones and Sabir tied for team-high honors with four assists.
- For Salem State, Sean Bryan scored a game-high 27 points, hitting 7-of-21 from the field, 5-of-11 from downtown and 8-of-10 from the line. Twenty of his 27 points came in the second half.
- Hakeem Animashaun added 19 points, 13 coming in the first 20 minutes. He also led the team with nine rebounds.
- Brandeis outshot SSU, 48.1% to 36.9%, from the field and hit 84.2% of their free throws compared to 65.2% for the Vikings.
- The Judges also had a 31-17 advantage in bench points, with D'Aguanno and Jones combining to outscore the Salem State reserves on their own.
- Brandeis will meet host Babson tomorrow at 4 p.m. in search of their first Big Four title since that 2012 campaign.
- Salem State takes on Tufts in the consolation game at 2 p.m.
- Babson defeated the Jumbos, 93-74, in today's second semifinal.