Sawyer trifecta gives men thrilling 72-71 OT win over Chicago

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University men's basketball junior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) scored the Judges' last five points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left on the clock, to give the Judges a 72-71 victory over the University of Chicago in a University Athletic Association contest in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, Brandeis improves to 10-5 and climbs into a three-way tie for first in the UAA at 3-1. Under first-year head coach Jean Bain, the Judges reach the 10-win plateau for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Chicago suffered its first conference loss and also sits at 10-5, 3-1 UAA.

HOW IT HAPPENED - VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brandeis led by as many as 11 points in first half and were ahead by 31-21 with time running out in the first half, but Chicago scored twice in the final five seconds to cut the lead to 31-25 at the break.
  • Brandeis shot 54.2% in the first half (13-24) while holding Chicago to 34.5% (10-29). Sophomore guard Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) led all scorers with nine points in the first.
  • The Judges opened the second half on a 9-2 run to take their largest lead at 40-27 on a Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) 3-pointer just 3:09 into the second half.
  • Brandeis was still up eight when Sherman's jumper at the 9:36 mark made it 49-41.
  • From that point on, Chicago outscored Brandeis 18-10 for the remainder of regulation. The Maroons' Dominic Laravie scored seven points in a row for his team, giving them their first lead since early in the contest with two free throws at the 5:23 mark that made it 52-51 in favor of the visitors.
  • Sabir answered with a traditional three-point play and Sherman tried to do the same, but missed the free throw, as Brandeis went back on top, 56-52, with 4:15 in regulation.
  • Laravie answered on the next possession, and after nearly two scoreless minutes, tied the game at 56-all with 2:15 to go out of a UC timeout.
  • Brandeis sophomore Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) answered with a pair of free throws, but Chicago's Jordan Baum hit a 3-pointer – just the Maroons' third of the game – with 1:27 to go to give UC a 59-58 lead.
  • After a Brandeis turnover, the Judges got a defensive stop and called timeout with 34.8 seconds to go in regulation. At that point, the game was delayed several minutes when the lights went dim.
  • Out of the delay, Sabir got to the line, but hit one of two with 28.1 on the clock. The Judges played tight defense and got a stop on defense, forcing OT tied at 59-59.
  • In the extra session, Brandeis took an early lead on a Jones 3-pointer.
  • Chicago rallied to tie it at 66-66, and after Sherman hit a free throw, the visitors went ahead, 69-67, on a Laravie 3-pointer with 1:53 remaining. The Maroons got a stop and had a chance to build a two-possession lead, but a Jones steal led to a fast-break bucket by Sawyer that tied the game at 69-69 with 49.8 seconds to go.
  • Chicago's Ryan Jacobsen slipped free on a back-door cut with 24.5 seconds on the clock, and the Maroons called timeout with a 71-69 lead, setting up Sawyer's heroics.
  • On the winning play, Sabir penetrated into the lane and found an open Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St Andrews School) in the left corner. He swung the ball to Sawyer at the left wing, and the shot swished the bottom of the net with 10.1 on the clock.
  • Chicago brought the ball up quickly for the last possession, but Jordan Baum's jumper was off-target, and Max Jacobs' attempt at an offensive rebound was contested enough to not drop, sending the Brandeis fans home happy.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Brandeis put four starters in double figures in scoring. Sherman led the Judges with 19 points, while Jones had 18. Both scored 11 points in the second half, with Jones added five more in overtime.
  • Sabir scored 15 points and led Brandeis with six rebounds and five assists. Sawyer added 13 points – including his five huge points in OT – and also grabbed six boards.
  • The winning 3-pointer for Sawyer was the second of his career in a late-game situation. He also hit a buzzer-beater to defeat Bates last year on December 31 in Lewiston, Maine.
  • Chicago's Laravie finished with a game-high 22 points, 16 coming in the second half and overtime.
  • Jacobsen and Cole Schmitz each scored 12 for the visitors. Schmitz added seven rebounds, a game-high, while Jordan Baum dished out four assists for UC.
  • For the game, Brandeis outshot Chicago, 54% (27-50) to 42.6% (26-61), including 47.4% (9-19) to 26.7% (4-15) from 3-point range.
  • That shooting edge enabled the Judges to overcome a 35-30 advantage on the boards for Chicago and an 18-12 turnover margin for the visitors.  

UP NEXT

  • The Judges face Washington University on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in another UAA contest. The Bears defeated NYU, 91-70, tonight in New York.