Brandeis Men's Basketball defeats Chicago University 97-89 in Overtime Thriller

This lay-up by Tyrone Hughes '12 at the buzzer helped the Judges force overtime, erasing a 12-point deficit (photo courtesy University of Chicago sports information)
This lay-up by Tyrone Hughes '12 at the buzzer helped the Judges force overtime, erasing a 12-point deficit (photo courtesy University of Chicago sports information)

CHICAGO, Ill.- The Brandeis Men's basketball team pulled out a hard fought overtime victory 97-89 on the road against Chicago University in an University Athletic Association contest. The Judges countered a spectacular 44 point performance by senior guard Matt Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./ Pioneer) with two outstanding performances by senior guards Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/ Holderness School (N.H.)) and Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./ Taft School) as well as great bench play. Kriskus led Brandeis with 31 points while Hughes completed the vaunted triple-double with 17 points, and career-highs of 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Hughes also hit a game-tying, buzzer-beating lay-up after Brandeis inbounded the ball with 1.4 seconds left in regulation to rally the visitors from 13 points down with lessthan 5:30 left and force overtime. The Judges halt their two game UAA skid and improve to 9-7 (3-2 UAA), remaining one game behind WashU, NYU and Emory in the conference standings, while the Maroons fall to 9-7 (2-3 UAA).   

A tightly contested first half between the Judges and Maroons saw five lead changes and two ties as the teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked at 42-42. Chicago opened the game with a 9-0 run that put Brandeis in an early hole. However, down 17-9 with 13:42 to play, the Judges went on a 12-0 run to take a 21-17 lead on a layup by sophomore forward Alex Stoyle (Goffstown, N.H./ Tilton School) with 10:52 remaining in the half. The rest of the period was a see saw battle that saw the Brandeis lead climb to as many as six points keyed by three consecutive trifectas from Kriskus. Still, the Maroons remained in the contest and senior guard Matt Johnson tied the game at 42 with a buzzer beating three-pointer.
The second half was a similarly close affair. The Judges kept the game close by cutting Chicago's lead to 59-55 on Kriskus layup with 10:03 remaining in the game. However, a 13-4 run by the Maroons featuring nine points from Johnson to give Chicago a 72-59 advantage with just 5:29 left to play. Still, the Judges fought back led by tough defense and terrific bench play from Stoyle and junior guard Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./ St. Mark's School) to tie the game at the buzzer on a Hughes tip in and send it to overtime all knotted up at 80.
Brandeis went on to dominate the overtime period, outscoring Chicago 17-9 as Hughes completed his triple-double and the Judges earned a crucial road UAA victory. The Brandeis bench outscored the Maroons 37-17 thanks to a career-high of 18 points by Freeman and 11 by Stoyle and the Judges also earned advantages in turnovers (a season-low 5 for Brandeis, 17 for Chicago) and offensive rebounds (13-11). Brandeis' next game is at home against Case Western Reserve on January 27th as the Judges continue UAA play. The Maroons next contest is also at home on the 27th as they continue their UAA schedule against Emory.