FREDERICK, Md. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team shot a season-best 54% from the field today as the Judges advanced to their fourth ECAC Division III tournament in history with a 77-62 victory over Drew University on the campus of Hood College in Maryland.
With the win, the Judges improve to 17-11, and play in their first ECAC final since 2011. Drew's season comes to an end with a 23-7 mark.
HOW IT HAPPENED – FIRST HALF
- The first half went back-and-forth for the first 13 minutes or so, featuring three ties and three lead changes.
- Drew knotted the game at 21-21 with 6:10 on the clock when Cole Hanntz hit 1-of-2 at the line.
- Brandeis junior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) hit a 3-pointer on the next Judge possession to give his team a lead they would never relinquish.
- Hanntz hit a trifecta with 2:32 on the clock to get the Rangers back within two points at 30-28.
- D'Aguanno answered, dialing long distance for the third time in the half with 1:19 to go, grad student Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bedford Academy) put back a shot just before the end of the half to give Brandeis their largest lead of the stanza, 35-28.
- D'Aguanno finished with 11 first-half points, while Workman was a perfect 4-4 from the field for eight points. He also had a team-high four rebounds.
- Riley Collins led Drew with six points, while Jake Tarabojka and Sky Harris had five each off the bench.
HOW IT HAPPENED – SECOND HALF
- The Judges extended their run to 9-0 when sophomore Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) hit the first two buckets of the second half to make it 39-28.
- The Rangers bounced back with an 8-2 string of their own, climbing within four points on Collins' 3-pointer at the 16:22 mark that got his team within 40-36.
- Brandeis answered with another 9-0 run, with D'Aguanno scoring seven points in two-and-a-half minutes to expand the lead to 13 points, 49-36, less than seven minutes into the second.
- The Rangers would not get closer than eight points the rest of the way as Brandeis pushed their margin as high as 19 points on a Jones put-back with 3:09 to go before the final 15-point margin of victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- For the second night in a row, the Judges put four players in double figures in scoring.
- D'Aguanno was the star tonight, finishing with 25 points on 10-of-15 from the field, 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
- D'Aguanno's 25 points eclipsed his career-high of 24 set in his rookie season, and this is the 12th time in his career he has hit five or more 3-pointers in a game.
- His 188 career 3-pointers are fourth all-time, passing Kevin Olson '09 on the career list tonight, while his 83 trifectas on the season are tied for the third-best single-season in program history.
- Joining D'Aguanno in double figures in scoring was Jones, who had 17 points on 8-of-13 from the field with a free throw.
- Jones, who had 18 points in the second half last night, scored 13 after the intermission tonight.
- Senior Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion) added 12 points, all in the second half, while Workman finished with 11 points.
- Workman led the Judges with seven rebounds as Brandeis won despite being edged on the boards, 31-30.
- Brandeis had eight different players record assists, including five with multiple helpers, led by three each from sophomore guard Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) and rookie center Nolan Hagerty (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook).
- Brandeis hit better than 50 percent from the field in both halves (53.6% in the first, 54.5% in the second) to finish a season-best 54.1% (33-61).
- The Judges also won the turnover battle, 13-9, and outscored Drew, 18-8, in points off miscues.
- Drew's Riley Collins finished with 20 points to lead the Rangers, hitting 9-of-14 with a 3-pointer and a free throw. Sky Harris added 12 points off the bench.
- Nate Aldrich of the Rangers led all players with eight rebounds. Drew had just eight assists, with no player registering more than two.
- The Judges are 3-0 in their previous three trips to the ECAC Tournament Finals. They won the title in 1974, 1992 and 2011.
- They won the title on the road in 1992 and 2011 and at a neutral site in 1974.
- Head coach Jean Bain would be the fourth different coach to lead Brandeis to an ECAC title.
- Brandeis will meet Rutgers-Newark tomorrow at noon at Hood. The game time is moved up from the originally-scheduled 1 p.m. start because of expected inclement weather in Maryland.
- Tomorrow's game will be the third-ever game between the Brandeis men's basketball team and an opponent from New Jersey. Before today's contest with Drew, the Judges defeated Rutgers-New Brunswick (the main campus), 95-90, in 1954.