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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s basketball begins season undefeated

Published: November 22, 2013
Section: Sports

The men’s basketball team began the season with a few non-conference wins. They started with a blowout against Curry College on Saturday and a come-from-behind win against UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday.

On Saturday, the Judges faced Curry College for an at-home win of 111-59. The Colonels’ largest lead of the game was two, which they held for only a few minutes into the game. The Judges’ 52-point victory margin is the largest that the program has had since the 1954-55 season, and the score of 111 points is the highest score since the 1994-95 season. The Colonels had no chance of keeping this game close, as Brandeis went on a 17-0 run in the first half, reaching a 28-8 lead eight minutes into the game. The team had a 62-31 lead at the break as guards Derek Retos ’14, Ben Bartoldus ’14 and Robinson Vilmont ’17 each scored in double figures during the half. Retos managed to get 15 points overall in only 14 minutes of play. He shot 4-8 from the three-point range.

The game continued to be a blowout even as the Judges’ reserves received more playing time. In addition to the three double-digit scorers in the first, guard Gabriel Moton ’14, forward Ishmael Kalilou ’15 and forward Alex Stoyle ’14 contributed double figure points. Kalilou had 11 points in 10 minutes. Moton led the game with 12 rebounds and was tied for the lead with five assists. Guard Colby Smith ’16 also had five assists as well as three steals. Guards Ruben Kanya ’14 and Connor Arnold ’14 contributed off the bench with five rebounds each. The Colonels’ Kenneth Ramos led all with 17 points and four steals while Lambros Papalambros and Stephen O’Neal added another 14 points apiece. Papalambros led the team in the paint with six rebounds and two blocks.

Brandeis shot an impressive 50.6 percent from the floor, holding Curry to 27.7 percent. The Judges had command in all facets of the game out, marking the Colonels by 20 rebounds, 17 assists, 16 points off turnovers, 13 second chance points and 18 bench points. They also shot well from beyond the arc, converting 12 of 33 threes. The Judges’ early lead allowed 15 players to receive playing time in the season opener.

Brandeis’ second game of the season was a 96-90 win against the previously undefeated UMass-Dartmouth. It was not as easy as the team’s first game but did have some dominating individual performances. Moton had a career-high 32 points on 10-14 shooting and 11-14 from the free throw line. The Corsairs Jake Laga had 20 points in the first half, including 12 consecutive during an 18-4 run. UMass-Dartmouth led 30-16 with seven minutes left to go in the first. Moton responded with 21 first-half points of his own, 20 of which came after the 14 point deficit. This helped the Judges embark on a 29-9 run that left them with a 45-39 halftime lead.

Brandeis had better command in the second half, leading throughout. The Judges led by only four with about five minutes left but manufactured some insurance points to eventually seal the game.

Moton, Bartoldus and Retos made free throws in the last two minutes to end the game. Moton was five for six from the line in the last 56 seconds. He was 10-14 overall, 11-14 on free throws and led the team with four assists. Other double-digit scorers included Bartoldus with 17, Stoyle with 13 and Vilmont with 13. Vilmont led the game with eight rebounds. Laga, who nearly pulled his team ahead of Brandeis for good, finished with 33 points including 11-15 from the floor, 6-7 from three and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. He led with five assists. Abi Akanni shot well making 7-10 from the floor for 16 points. Wale Abraham led the team with seven rebounds.

Both teams shot more than 53 percent, but the difference came from the free throw line, where Brandeis was 26-34 and UMass-Dartmouth was only eight for 10. The first half success by Moton put the game out of reach for the Corsairs, as each team had 51 points in the second half. Brandeis out-rebounded their opponents 34-25 and had all nine second chance points of the game. The home team led in assists 19-11 and bench points 23-12. They were also astounding from beyond the arc, shooting 14-23.

Brandeis has three more upcoming non-conference home games: Thursday against Framingham State, another on Saturday against Rhode Island College and a third one on Tuesday against Lasell College.