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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Men’s Baketball downed by WashU

Published: February 1, 2008
Section: Sports

02010809.jpgBrandeis Men’s Basketball entered the weekend ranked second in Div. III hoops, and a two game homestand was a possible chance to move up. Instead, Joe Coppens’ ‘08 missed three secured a win 71-69 for visiting Washington University Sunday. It was the Judges second straight defeat, and now they must look to snap a three game losing streak on the road.

“We should have won our last game,” Terrell Hollins ‘10 stated clearly. “We just got to get back to doing what we do.”

Taking on number four ranked Washington University was never going to be easy, which was very apparent, as there were 14 lead changes in the first 15 minutes. The Bears went on a little run, but Brandeis managed to cut the lead to four by halftime.

In the second half, after another tight beginning, the tide looked to be in the Judges’ favor. Two Kwame Graves-Fulgham ‘08 free throws gave Brandeis the 69-62 lead with 1:39 left to play. Those would be the last points Brandeis would score. Turnovers and fouls plagued the Judges as Washington converted three straight three-point plays to walk away with the two point victory.

“Little mistakes,” Hollins explained. “Coach [Brian Meehan] always tells us, ‘if you foul someone, don’t let them get the shot off.’”

Fulgham led a balanced Judges’ attack with 18 points and five rebounds on 6 of 9 shooting from the field. Kevin Olson ‘09 and Coppens had 12 and 11 points respectively and Hollins had 10 of his own, but foul trouble held him to only 17 minutes of action. Christian Yemga ‘11 provided some inspired play off the bench, with seven points and a team leading six rebounds, before fouling out in the second half.

Troy Ruths was the dominant force for the Bears, with 25 points and 12 rebounds, both of which were game highs. Tyler Nading provided 16 points for Washington, while Danny O’Boyle had 14 points off the bench thanks to four three pointers.

The game was largely even statistically, with Brandeis shooting 40 percent to Washington’s 49 percent. The Judges also out-rebounded the Bears 36 to 28. Fouls, however, proved to be the problem, with Coach Brian Meehan left with no big men to use in the final seconds as Yemga, Stephen Hill ‘08 and Rich Magee ‘10 all fouled out.

At least the defeat came at the hands of the number four, now number one ranked opponent. Their loss back on the 25th to Chicago University had no such cold comfort, as the packed Gosman crowd was left stunned by the Maroon’s 79-77 upset of Brandeis.

Joe Coppens’ fiery performance of 27 points including six three pointers and Hollins’ added 18 points of his own, but they were not enough for the Judges to keep up with Maroons guard Matt Corning, who had 27 points, including seven straight in the second half that put Chicago ahead for good.

“He (Meehan) was upset Friday night,” Hollins said, “Some guys couldn’t make their shots. It was a bad loss.”

The Judges will hit the road to find the salve for their wounds as they travel to Cleveland to take Case Western tonight at 8 p.m., and then to Atlanta on Super Bowl Sunday to grapple with the Emory Eagles, who managed to stun formerly number one Rochester last week.

“A couple of good losses keeps us humble, keeps us fighting toward our goal of advancing farther in the NCAA tournament…We’ve had a pretty solid week of practice, we’ve got to come in prepared,” said Hollins.