No. 20 men knock off No. 3 WashU, 58-55, in OT

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (information taken from a Washington U press release) -- The backcourt combination of senior Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Acad.) and sophomore Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) combined for 28 points, including six of the squad's nine points in overtime as the #20 Judges defeated #3 Washington University, the two-time defending NCAA champions, 58-55, in St. Louis tonight. With the win, the Judges improve to 10-2, 1-1 in the University Athletic Association, while Washington falls to 11-2, 1-1 UAA.

The Bears, who led by as many as six points in the first, took an 18-14 lead as graduate student Sean Wallis found senior Cameron Smith underneath the basket for a wide-open lay-up at the 10:34 mark.

However, Brandeis countered with a 14-1 scoring run over the next 8:54 to stake claim to a 28-19 lead. Washington University missed seven-consecutive field goals and turned the ball over five times during that stretch. WU turned the ball over 11 times over the first 20 minutes of action, and Brandeis ended the half with a 15-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Senior Aaron Thompson made a lay-up with 1:40 showing on the clock to bring the Bears’ scoreless stretch to an end and just 31 seconds later Thompson found Smith in the corner for a three that cut WU’s deficit to just four, 30-26. Roberson, Hughes and sophomore Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) tied for team-high honors at the break with six points each, offsetting 10 from Wallis eight from Aaron Thompson and seven from Smith. Seven different Brandeis players scored points before the break, compared to just four for the Bears.

Brandeis matched its largest lead of the game by pulling ahead by nine points to start the second half. Junior Spencer Gay kept Washington U. in the game by scoring eight-straight points for the Red and Green, who trailed just 37-34 on Gay’s fourth field goal of the first four minutes of the half.

The Judges pulled back ahead by seven points and maintained their lead until Thompson went coast-to-coast for a lay-up and Wallis found sophomore Alex Toth under the basket for a lay-up on back-to-back possession to tie the score at 43-43. From that point both teams struggled offensively, combining to score six points over the next 8:34 until Brandeis’ Kriskus  drilled a 3-pointer to give the Judges a 49-46 lead with under four minutes to play.

The Bears went 9:20 between field goals until Wallis found Gay under the basket for a lay-up with just 12 second remaining to knot the score at 49-49. On Brandeis’ ensuing possession Roberson missed a jumper in the lane as the clock neared expiration and the game went into overtime.

Brandeis took a four-point lead in the extra period, 53-49, when Hughes drove through the lane to lay it in with 3:10 remaining. WU tied the score once again, 53-53, when Thompson drained a pair of free-throws at the 1:28 mark. But Brandeis was 4-of-4 from the line down the stretch to hold on for the victory.

For the game, Roberson led the Judges with 15 points, while Hughes had 13. Senior forward Richard Magee (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) had a game- and season-high nine rebounds. Hughes was also instrumental in shutting down WashU's Wallis. The NCAA leader in assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.3, Wallis was forced into eight miscues to offset his eight assists. As a team, the Judges forced 21 Bear turnovers - 10 more than their season average - and allowed them just 12 assists, an 0.57 ratio, well below their NCAA-best 1.7 margin. Brandeis was able to exploit those turnover margins to the tune of 28 points, while WashU converted 15 Brandeis mistakes into just 11 points.

Thompson led Washington U. in scoring with 19 points, while Wallis scored 10 points to go along with eight assists. WU also struggled from the free-throw line, where they shot 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) as a team. The loss was Washington's first in 86 games when they held an opponent below 60 points.