Men knock NYU from ranks of unbeatens, 52-49, in UAA opener

Wouter van der Eng '13 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)
Wouter van der Eng '13 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Brandeis men's basketball team held host New York University to just two field goals over a nine-minute stretch of the second half as the Judges knocked the Violets from the ranks of the unbeatens, 52-49, in the University Athletic Association opener for both teams. With their fifth-straight win, Brandeis moves to 7-5 on the season, 1-0 in the UAA, while NYU, one of 10 unbeaten teams in NCAA Division III play entering the day, falls to 9-1, 0-1 UAA.

Brandeis  didn't trail in the contest after the first 6:15, taking the lead for good on a fast-break lay-up by senior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) with 13:45 left in the first half. That hoop sparked an 11-1 run over a span of just over three minutes. Junior center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union Acad.) contributed a pair of hoops to the run, one on a nice move under the net and another on an offensive put-back. The streak was capped by a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) that made the score 16-7 at the midpoint of the first half. NYU closed to within four at one point, but a late 5-2 run gave Brandeis a 28-21 lead at the intermission. Bartoldus had eight points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes, while van der Eng reached career-highs with six points, five boards and 14 minutes played. NYU's Andy Stein was his team's top option with 13 of the Violets' 21 points.

The lead ballooned to 12 at 33-21 after a Derek Retos (No. Attleboro, Mass./Brimmer and May School) trifecta and two Bartoldus foul shots to open the second half. Two more Bartoldus freebies at the 15:17 mark made it an 11-point game when the hosts made a run to get back into it. NYU outscored Brandeis, 12-3 over the next four-plus minutes, with a Stein jumper and two foul shots sparking the streak.  Van der Eng had the only three points for the Judges, but  it was a Ryan Tana trifecta that got the hosts within one possession, 40-38, with 9:36 left. The Brandeis defense was outstanding over the next nine minutes, keeping the Violets to just two field goals in that time.  Brandeis went on a 9-3 string, with back-to-back lay-ups by Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness School) around a trifecta by NYU's Zeve Anderson putting the score at  49-42 with 5:06 left.

At that point, neither team was able to find their range for more than four minutes, as 10 possessions went by before the score changed. With 41 seconds left, Stein finally got free for a layup, cutting the NYU deficit to 49-44. After Brandeis missed the front end of a one-and-one with 38 seconds remaining, the Violets got an unlikely two points. Stein surprisingly missed twice from the charity stripe, but Carl Yaffe swooped in to tip in the second miss and get the Violets two with 49-46. The hosts had a chance to get even closer after they triple-teamed Bartoldus in the corner on the ensuing inbounds play with 25 seconds on the clock. Brandeis escaped further damage when Hughes intercepted an entry pass intended for Stein, and he and Retos hit 3-of-4 from the line to ice the game before Yaffe's traditional three-point play with six-tenths of a second closed the scoring.

The Brandeis scoring was paced by Bartoldus, who finished with 12 points. He hit 3-of-9 from the floor, 2-of-4 from deep, and 4-of-4 from the line. Hughes added nine points on 3-of-6 overall, 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and a free throw. He also had three assists. Van der Eng finished with career-bests off the bench with nine points and seven rebounds as the Brandeis reserves outscored NYU's, 13-6, and outrebounded them by a 14-6 margin. Retos and Kriskus both finished with eight points, wile Krikus matching sophomore center Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) for team-high honors with eight rebounds. Seven of Dascy's boards came in the second half after he was limited to just two minutes in the first because of foul trouble, giving van der Eng his chance to shine.

Stein led all players for NYU with 19 points on 8-of-13 from the field, leaving him  three shy of 1,000 for his career. Yaffe had 11 rebounds (six offensive) to top all players, while Watertown, Mass., native Kyle Stockmal had nine points and game-highs of five assists and three steals.