Men's hoops suffers first defeat of season to Lasell 59-52

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow start tonight as the Judges fell to local rival Lasell College, 59-52, in a non-conference contest in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges fall to 3-1 on the season, while the Lasers improve to 1-3.

      A flat start to both halves proved too much for Brandeis tonight. The Judges hit just two of their first 12 shots from the floor in falling behind, 14-6, after 7:45 of action. The Lasers led by as many as 11 in the first half before eventually taking a 26-20 lead into halftime.

      Brandeis fell into a big hole early in the second half, going 1-for-7 with three turnovers in the first 5:12 to trail 39-22. Lasell got five points each from Pat Marchand (Cranston, R.I./Cranston East) and Scott Arsenault (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) in the run to open up their 17-point advantage.

      The Judges clawed their way back into the contest, however, by scoring the game's next 12 points in a row. Sophomore Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) opened the string at the 14:00 mark with a 3-pointer – Brandeis's first of the game. Classmate Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) hit back-to-back buckets in the run, and a Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) three-point play at the 11:12 mark got Brandeis within 39-34.

      Lasell bounced back with the next seven points, four coming from Logan Liberty (Duxbury, Vt./Harwood), sandwiched around an Arsenault trifecta. Vilmont rallied the Judges again, getting an assist, a fast-break bucket and a hoop from beyond the arc to cut the deficit back to five. Two Cooper free throws at the 5:56 mark made it a one-possession game at 46-43, Lasell. The Lasers' Armin Omanivic (Wilkesboro, N.C. / Wilkes Central) hit the next three points from the line, but Meehan dialed long distance and Cooper hit a jumper to get Brandeis within one at 49-48 with just over four minutes remaining.

Brandeis junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School) got a steal on the next LC possession, but the Judges couldn't convert, and their momentum was halted. Brandeis committed a foul on the rebound, and after Lasell hit two free throws with 3:15, the visitors connected from downtown on their next possession as they ended the game on a 10-4 run to take the victory.

Vilmont led all players with 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field with a 3-pointer and two free throws. Powell tied for game-high honors with 10 rebounds, while sophomore Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass. / Rivers School) led the Judges with three assists and three steals. Brandeis outrebounded Lasell, 48-40, including 18-6 on the offensive glass.

Lasell put three players in double figures, with Liberty picking up a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Arsenault had 12 points and seven boards, while Marchand had 10 points and a game-high four assists. The Lasers hit 39% from the field (20-52), while holding Brandeis to 29% (20-69).

Brandeis is off until next Tuesday, Dec. 1, when they face Becker College at 5:30 p.m. Lasell hosts Rivier College in a GNAC contest the same day at 7 p.m.