Men's hoops leads wire-to-wire in 83-63 win over Salem State in Big Four consolation game

SALEM, Mass. (courtesy Salem State sports information) – Junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School) poured in 18 points and added 14 rebounds while classmate Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) added 20 points for Brandeis, which led from start to finish, as the Judges defeated Salem State 83-63 in the consolation game of the New England Big 4 Classic on Sunday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium. Brandeis is now 5-3 on the season while Salem State slips to 4-4.

Brandeis raced out to an early 8-0 lead behind 3-pointers by Vilmont and Samuel Dowden (Andover, Mass./Andover); taking advantage of poor early shooting by Salem State 37.9% (11-29) which opened the game 0-6. Billy Muse (Salem, Mass.) knocked in two three-pointers to pull the Vikings to within 16-15. However, Brandies found success in the paint with Powell scoring 12 first half points to lead the Judges, who dominated the Vikings in the post with 20 points. 

Leading 22-16, the Judges went on a 14-0 run as Powell and Vilmont combined for seven points during the spurt, while Brandeis shot a sizzling 59.3% (16-27) from the field to push the lead to 40-22 with 1:39 remaining. A Powell tip-in made the lead 42-24 before Drew Healy (Lowell, Mass.) hit a jumper at the buzzer that made the halftime score 43-28 in favor of the Judges. Muse and Healy led Salem State with six points each.

Dowden scored seven straight Brandeis points to begin the second half as the Judges built a 50-28 lead. The Vikings cut the lead to 13 on a Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) layup, 54-41, but two three-pointers and a bucket by Vilmont, in between a basket by  Marcus Faison(Cambridge, Mass.) increased the margin back to 19, 62-43. Powell continued his dominance in the post and his free throw gave Brandeis its largest lead 79-56 with 3:54 remaining. Salem State had no answer for the Vilmont on the outside, who finished 5-for-6 from behind the arc and 7-of-11 from the field overall.

Dowden finished with 14 points and Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School) contributed with 10 points and four assists for the Judges, who finished the game shooting 55.4% (31-56). Muse and Healy led the Vikings with 11 points each, as Muse was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line.

Powell earned New England Big Four Challenge All-Tournament honors for his efforts. Tufts defeated #11 Babson, 83-80, in overtime to claim the title.