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Judges rebound with overtime victory at Chicago

Published: January 26, 2012
Section: Sports


This past Sunday, the Brandeis men’s basketball team defeated the University of Chicago, 97-89, in a thrilling overtime UAA conference matchup. The Judges endured a spectacular 44-point performance by Chicago senior guard Matt Johnson with two sensational games from guards Vytas Kriskus ’12 and Tyrone Hughes ’12 to go along with strong bench play. Kriskus led the Judges with 31 points while Hughes finished with a triple-double with 17 points and career-highs of 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Additionally, Hughes connected on a game-tying, buzzer-beater layup following the inbounds play with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime after Brandeis had trailed by 13 points with less than 5:30 remaining in the game. With the win, the Judges end their two-game UAA losing streak to improve their record to 9-7 (3-2 UAA) while the Chicago Maroons fall to 9-7 (2-3 UAA).

The two teams played an extremely tight first half with five lead changes and two ties, and the two teams entered halftime knotted at 42-42. Chicago raced out of the gates to open the game on a 9-0 run putting the Judges in an early hole. Trailing 17-9 with 13:42 to play in the first half, the Judges responded with a 12-0 run to take a 21-17 lead after a layup from forward Alex Stoyle ’14 with 10:52 remaining until the break. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half with Brandeis gaining a lead of six on three consecutive three-pointers from Kriskus; however, Chicago stayed in the game behind Johnson’s red-hot shooting including a buzzer beater from beyond the arc just before halftime.

The second half was a close contest as well. The Maroon took an early lead, but Brandeis was able to cut the deficit to four, at 59-55, after a Kriskus layup with 10:03 remaining in the game. Unfortunately, Chicago stretched their lead to 13, at 72-59, with 5:29 remaining in the game after a 13-4 run that featured nine points by Johnson; however, the Judges responded and clawed their way back into the game with tough defense and strong bench performances from Stoyle and guard Jay Freeman ’13, and tied the game at 80-80 at the end of regulation on a layup from Hughes.

Brandeis dominated the entire overtime, outscoring Chicago 17-9 in the extra period during which Hughes attained his triple-double. With the hard-fought win the Judges earned their first UAA road win of the season.

For the game, the Brandeis bench outscored their counterpart 37-17 behind a career-high 18 points from Freeman and 11 points from Stoyle. Furthermore, the Judges committed a season-low five turnovers compared to 17 turnovers from Chicago. Brandeis also held a 13-11 advantage on the offensive glass.

Earlier in the week, the Judges lost their second straight UAA contest 80-54 on the road to the Washington University in St. Louis Bears. For the game, the Bears shot a blistering 56 percent from the field, a season best, including 8-of-15 from beyond the arc. Guard Ben Bartoldus ’14 led the Judges with 15 points; however, no other Brandeis player reached double figures.

The Judges were able to stay within reach of the Bears in the first half despite shooting a paltry 2-of-12 from the three-point range. Even with 60 percent shooting from the Bears in the first half, the Judges faced just a 10-point deficit heading into the break after finishing the half with 9-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe and 10-of-26 shooting from the field. Brandeis’ largest lead of the game was five points just 1:11 into the game; however, the Bears responded with an 8-0 run after trailing 10-8 with 16:22 remaining in the first half.

Things quickly got out of hand for the Judges in the second half as they continued to struggle from beyond the arc, shooting just 2-of-8 in the second half. Complicating issues further, the Judges were only able to get to the free-throw line for six attempts in the second half. Meanwhile, the Bears continued their hot-shooting, going 17-of-32 from the field overall, including 5-of-7 from downtown. The typically reliable sharpshooter Derek Retos ’14 was just 0-of-5 from the three-point range while the Judges overall shot just 4-of-20. The Judges were outscored 39-23 in the second half as they went on to lose the game 80-54.

Kriskus led the team with seven rebounds and was tied for second-in-team scoring along with Hughes with nine points. Hughes and Kriskus also tied for the team lead with three assists.

Senior guard Dylan Richter led the Bears with 17 points and sophomore guard Alan Aboona contributed 16 points for the Bears.

The Judges return to action at home against Case Western Reserve on Friday as they continue UAA play.