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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

MBasketball upset No. 24 NYU, end two game skid

Published: January 19, 2007
Section: Sports

The new year has not been especially kind to Brandeis but for their miscues, they quickly follow up with moments of inspired play. This is especially true of Brandeis mens basketball performance as they snapped a two game losing skid to upset formerly 24th ranked New York University 52-48.

After a pedestrian first half which saw Brandeis down 16-24 at the half and shooting a measly 24% from the floor, the team managed to turn it around and nudged out NYU despite being out-rebounded (25-35) and out-shot for the game (37%-43%). Fueled by a 17-3 run in the second half and timely put backs by Terrell Hollins 10 and Kwame Graves-Fulgham 08, the Judges sealed the come from behind win.

Steve DeLuca 08 scored 19 of his season high 26 points in the second half alone and almost single-handedly pushed Brandeis into the position needed to achieve victory. DeLuca also had a team high nine rebounds. Joe Coppens 08 and Graves-Fulgham each had three assists and guard Florian Rexhepi 08 had three steals. The victory was Brandeiss first UAA victory this season.

Brandeis opened up 2007 with an 81-73 over Curry College, their last non-conference opponent. DeLuca had 19 points, Graves-Fulgham had 17 points and five assists, rookie Rich Magee 10 had 12 points and six rebounds and Rexhepi had 11 points. Coppens had a team leading seven rebounds. The Judges were also aided by superior free throw shooting, nailing 11-12 from the charity stripe and out rebounded Curry 37-32. The victory moved Brandeis into the top 25 for the first time, ranked 23rd in the poll.

That didnt last as Brandeis fell on January 5 to Rochester 65-83. Rochester at one point had a 9-33 lead and never looked back even as Brandeis made a furious yet futile comeback. Rookie Kenny Small 10 led the scoring with 15 points and added three steals in 17 minutes off the bench. Fellow rookie Andre Roberson 10 provided 13 points off the bench. Both totals were career highs for both players.

This, in turn, was followed with their second straight loss two days later, bowing to Carnegie-Mellon on the road 68-75. Brandeis opened up with a 28-19 lead thanks to a Rexhepi three with nearly seven minutes to go. However, Carnegie-Mellon went on a 17-4 run and finished the first half with a four point lead over Brandeis. The second half saw four lead changes with Brandeis at one point having a six point lead but Carnegie-Mellon went on an 11-4 run and in the end, the fat lady reached that high c.

DeLuca led with 14 points and Rexhepi and Hollins each had 11 points in the losing effort. Rexhepi also had seven rebounds. Brandeis out shot Carnegie-Mellon 43%-41% but the key statistical difference was rebounds, with the Tartans grabbing 45 to Brandeiss 35. The loss dropped Brandeis out of the top 25.

Brandeis takes on Case Western Reserve University at home tonight at 8 p.m. followed by a 12 p.m. match against Emory at home on January 21.