Small's career-high 18 lead Brandeis men past Emory, 65-54

Small's career-high 18 lead Brandeis men past Emory, 65-54

WALTHAM, Mass. - Brandeis University junior guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn./ Stratford) scored a career-high 18 points tonight as one of three Judges to score in double figures in a 65-54 victory over visiting Emory in a University Athletic Association contest. The Judges improve to 15-8, 8-4 in the UAA with the win, while Emory falls to 6-1, 1-11 UAA.

Small scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half and reached his career benchmark with a breakaway dunk in the final minute of the contest. He was joined in double figures by senior Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass./Rockport), who finished with 16 points, and graduate student Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack) who had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson) tied for game-high honors with four assists.

The key to the game for the Judges was free-throw shooting and turnovers. The Judges - who rank 18th among Division III's leaders in fewest fouls committed - got to the line 33 times compared to nine for Emory, leading to a 28-8 scoring margin from the charity stripe. The Judges forced 19 turnovers while committing just 10, outscoring the Eagles, 27-5, in points off miscues.

Emory was paced by junior Chad Hixon (Snellville, Ga./Berkmar), who had 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. The Eagles' bench, which outscored Brandeis by a 34-10 margin, produced three players with eight points each: junior Dan Curtin (Great Barrington, Mass./Deerfield Acad.), sophomore Julien Williams (Potomac, Md./Georgetown Prep) and junior Anthony Fernandez (Miami, Fla./Belen Jesuit). Williams also finished with seven boards, helping the Eagles to a 33-29 edge on the glass. The visitors also outshot Brandeis from the field, 42.0% to 34.7%, and held the nation's top 3-point shooting attack (44.6 percent) to a season-low 3-for-17 from beyond the arc (17.6%), but were unable to overcome the disadvantage at the line and because of turnovers.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that featured five ties and eight lead changes. Brandeis scored the first six points of the contest as Small was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit all three foul shots, followed by an Olson trifecta - the Judges' only make from deep in 10 tries in the first. The Eagles answered with nine of the next 11 points, taking their first lead at 9-8 on a Curtin jumper just over 6:30 into the game.

After trading leads for the next eight minutes, the Eagles rattled off a 6-1 run to take their biggest lead, 25-20, on an Alex Gulotta (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y./Briarcliff) trifecta with 3:42 left before the break. The Judges answered with 10 of the final 13 points of the stanza, as Small connected on two free throws with 19 seconds left to five the hosts a 30-28 lead at the intermission. Small led all players with 10 points in the first, while five different Emory players had either four or six points. Brandeis hit 11-of-13 from the line, while Emory was 3-of-4.

Brandeis led for the entire second half.  Emory got within one at 38-37 on a tradition three-point play by Hixon with 14:51 remaining, but the Judges answered with the game's next seven points. Olson got the ball rolling with a hoop and a foul of his own on a nice feed from junior forward Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass./ Longmeadow). Olson returned the favor to Hollins on the next possession, followed by a fast-break lay-up from Roberson to Small that pushed the lead to 45-37 with 13:34 remaining. The Judges got the lead to 12 points at 53-41 midway through the period by converting three-of-four from the line after a bench technical on the Eagles, and were able to stay at least nine points ahead the rest of the way.

The Judges close out the home portion of their schedule on Sunday afternoon when they host Case Western Reserve at noon for another UAA contest.