BOSTON, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team got 19 points from Monday night's hero senior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London), but the Judges couldn't duplicate their hot shooting as they dropped a road contest at Suffolk tonight, 72-57. The loss drops Brandeis to 2-2 on the season, while the Rams improve to 3-1.
Brandeis trailed for the entire first half after Suffolk scored the first eight points of the game. The Judges were held scoreless until Sawyer hit a 3-pointer 4:41 into the contest. The Rams went ahead by as many as 11 after two George Grillakis free throws with 8:43 left. Brandeis still trailed by nine, 32-23, after Suffolk's Nate Hale hit a 3-pointer, but Judge junior guard Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) converted a traditional three-point play on the next possession and Sawyer dialed long distance again to cut the deficit to just three at halftime, 32-29.
Brandeis extended their run in the second half, with Sabir and Sawyer scoring the first two buckets to give the visitors their first lead of the contest, 33-32, with 1:06 gone in the second. Unfortunately for the Judges, the Rams' Max Bonney-Liles hit a 3-pointer in response, giving the home team the lead back for good. Brandeis would get back within one on a trifecta from rookie Dylan Lien (Northboro, Mass. / Worcester Academy) that made it 39-38 with 16:34 left, but Suffolk answered with the game's next 10 points to put the game away. The Rams led by as many as 17 points with 6:06 to go before the final 15-point margin.
Brandeis was paced by Sawyer's game-high 19 points. He hit 6-of-15 overall, 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and 3-of-4 from the line. Sabir added 10 points, three rebounds and three assists. Senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrew's School) netted seven points off the bench, including the 200th 3-pointer of his career, but it was his only one of the game. He becomes the fourth player in school history to reach the plateau, tying Mark Peabody '89. Junior forward Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) led the Judges with seven rebounds and four assists.
Suffolk had three players score in double figures, highlighted by Hale's 18 points off the bench. He his 6-of-8 overall and all three of his 3-point attempts and three free throws. William Rowe led the home team with five rebounds in addition to scoring 16 points, while Thomas Duffy scored 10 points and had a game-high five assists.
Brandeis was hampered by its slow start. Two nights after shooting 54.5% in the first half, the Judges were just 32.3% (10-31) from the field in the first 20 minutes, including just 29.4% (5-17) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile Suffolk hit 46.2% (12-26) in the first, including 42.9% (3-7) from downtown, then improved to 52.0% (13-25) and 62.5% (5-8) in the second. Brandeis won the battle of the boards, 35-29, and though they committed more turnovers, 22-14, the Judges converted the Ram miscues into 20 points to just 16 for the home team.
Brandeis will return to action on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. against Rhode Island College.