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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis stuns ninth ranked Amherst on the road, 73-58

Published: January 23, 2009
Section: Sports

It is easy to write off the Brandeis Judges men’s squad after their early season struggles, especially when the Judges hit the road on a Tuesday night to take on the team that ended their season last year, Amherst College. However, as noted by The Spinners – there’s always a chance a tiny spark remains, and sparks burst into flames. On Tuesday night, Amherst encountered an inferno as the Judges rallied behind Steve DeLuca’s ’08 second double-double of the season in the 73-58 upset.

The win at Amherst follows Brandeis’s 65-35 demolition of NYU back on January 17. The Judges converted 13-20 three point attempts in that game including Kevin Olson’s ’09 touch of perfection – five three point shots attempted, 15 points scored. Kenny Small ’10 had 13 points, and rookie Vytas Kryskus ’12 had 10 in the blowout.

“We took a lot of shots this week in practice,” Andre Roberson ’10 said after the NYU game. “We knew they were going to sag into the paint [and] take away our presence in the post because Terrell (Hollins ’10)… DeLuca is starting to go to the post more. You know they was going to sag so we just kick out, see who is` there, and knock down shots.”

Amherst started off as a tight affair, knotted up at 44 with 10:20 in the game but Brandeis responded with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes, capped off with a traditional three point play by forward Christian Yemga ’11. Amherst’s dreams of a come back were thwarted for good after DeLuca converted back to back three point attempts and followed up with a lay-up to give the Judges their largest lead of the night at the time. Giving a strong performance at the free throw line, Brandeis converted 21 of 25 shot attempts in the second half including going 9 for 10 from the line over the final two minutes.

DeLuca finished with game highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds on 8-16 shooting. Kevin Olson ’09 finished with 11 points on the back of three three-pointers. Brandeis was helped further with some very fine bench play as Kenny Small ’10 and Napoleon Lherisson ’11 combined for 19 points on 6-11 shooting as well as going 6-7 from the free throw line. Brian Baskaukas set the pace for the Lord Jeffs, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds. Steven Wheeler put in 10 points on 3-11 shooting.

With their third straight win, Brandeis is now 9-5 overall, 2-1 in conference play. The Judges look to improve on that as they continue their road trip, racking up the frequent flyer miles as they hop through Cleveland tonight to take on Case Western Reserve University and then to Atlanta to try to clip the Emory University Eagles.