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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s basketball defeated in final seconds

Published: November 21, 2014
Section: Sports

After a long, eight-month wait, the Brandeis men’s basketball team finally returned to action on Wednesday night at home against visiting UMass Dartmouth. Twelve ties and 18 lead changes constantly put the fans on their feet throughout the close game. The Judges took the lead in most of the statistics including rebounds, second-chance points and points in paint. But the first win of the season was unfortunately snatched away by a swift game-winning lay-up from the Corsairs’ Jordan Rezendes, whose sudden eruption of scoring in the second half led UMass Dartmouth to turn the game around in the last few minutes.

The Judges came out strong with six three-pointers in the first 20 minutes, including a wonderful buzzer beating three pointer from Carlin Haymon. His 12 points boosted the team over the Corsairs by 37 to 31 at the end of the first half. But what’s more astounding is that the Judges’ defense allowed no free throw attempts for the Corsairs through the entire first half. On the offensive end, the Judges’ starters stayed efficient for the first 20 minutes. Especially Samuel Dowden ’17, who knocked down his first two collegiate three-pointers and dominated the paint with three offensive rebounds. However, the Judges couldn’t maintain the energy off the bench, which left a hole the Corsairs took advantage of.

The Corsairs clearly capitalized on this loophole in the second half as three of the bench players combined with 10 points and eight rebounds which proved a huge contribution to the turnaround. The opponent started off more aggressively and scored eight points on the free throw line in nine attempts. The situation opposed that of the first half when the Corsairs seemed to suddenly find the touch, knocking down seven of nine three-pointers. While the Judges only managed to notch one three-pointer, it was Dowden who put it in from downtown when the team was down by three with less than two minutes left in the game. Dowden nearly became the hero when he scored a drifting layup plus a foul shot after his incredible three-pointer to gain the Judges a lead. And after missing a three from the Judges’ shooter, Dowden miraculously caught the ball in the air and banked it in with another foul called. However, the referee’s arbitration after the video review silenced the cheering fans as Dowden’s potential game winner with 8.7 seconds left turned out to have violated the shot clock, resulting in a turnover. Then the Judges paid for their slow adjustment to defense, when a simple pick and roll surprisingly freed Jordan Rezendes from three defenders to finally silence the home court cheers on Wednesday night with a layup to seal the win for UMass Dartmouth. The Judges lost 78-76.

Hopefully, the Judges players will sweep off the upset defeat and achieve their first win of the season on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. against Rhode Island College.