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Judges defeat Maroons 67-36, stand strong in second place in UAA

Published: February 6, 2009
Section: Sports


Gallery Link: Men’s Basketball loss vs. Wash. U.

Brandeis’ Kenny Small ‘10 (#25, right) lays the ball up over Wash. U’s Ross Kelley ‘10 (#10, lower-right) during Brandeis’ 80-75 loss last Friday.<br /><br /><i>PHOTO by Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

Brandeis’ Kenny Small ‘10 (#25, right) lays the ball up over Wash. U’s Ross Kelley ‘10 (#10, lower-right) during Brandeis’ 80-75 loss last Friday.

PHOTO by Max Shay/The Hoot

Brandeis coach Brian Meehan had to wait a little longer than he would have liked, but he was able to pick his 250th career win with authority as the Judges washed out the Maroons 67-36. The win places the Judges in sole possession of second place in the UAA, with Friday’s 75-80 loss to defending champion Washington University keeping them out of first.

“We are where we are and we can’t do anything about that,” Steve DeLuca (GRAD) explained in an email. “I think we can beat anyone though so that is how we are going to go into each game; confident that we can win.”

Chicago was initially able to hold the game close but would be undone by turnovers and fast breaks. A 14-2 run in the final six minutes of the first half gave the Judges a daunting 27-12 lead. A 19-5 run in the first eight minutes of the second half put the game out of reach which included four steals by the Judges. Brandeis made Chicago pay for not taking care of the ball, converting 19 Maroon turnovers for 22 points. Chicago was unable to convert any offense from the 10 turnovers forced from Brandeis.

Brandeis saw nine different players contribute to the offensive side of the ledger, led by the Lethal Lithuanian Vytas Kryskas ’12, who scored a career high 15 points in only 18 minutes of action. Kevin Olson ’09 continued his sharp shooting, with an accuracy matched only by Simo Hayha as he was perfect on all three of his three point attempts, finishing with 11. Steve DeLuca (GRAD) chipped in 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Rich Magee ’10 made his first start of the season count, pulling in a career high of 10 rebounds. The visiting Maroons were held to a 27 percent field goal percentage for the day with John Kinsella leading Chicago with 10 points.

The demolition follows a heartbreaking end to their four game conference winning streak at the hands of Washington University. In a very evenly fought match, the Judges 52.8 percent field goal shooting (28-53) was topped by Washington’s 53.7 percent on the strength of one more converted field goal attempt (29-54).

Each team also made 18 trips to the free throw line, Washington making 16 of them to Brandeis’s 13.

The biggest discrepancy, though, came in the turnover battle, with the Judges committing 11 turnovers to Washington’s eight and seeing the Bears turn those miscues into 16 points over the Judges’s 8.

Brandeis guard Kenny Small ‘10 (#25, left) attempts to pass the ball over Washington U’s John Wolf ‘10 (#22, right).<br /><br /><i>PHOTO by Danielle Wolfson/The Hoot</i>

Brandeis guard Kenny Small ‘10 (#25, left) attempts to pass the ball over Washington U’s John Wolf ‘10 (#22, right).

PHOTO by Danielle Wolfson/The Hoot

Kenny Small ’10 led the offense for Brandeis with 17 points off the bench. Andre Roberson ’10 enjoyed one of his best games of the season with 16 points, 13 in the second half alone and a team eight assists. DeLuca put in 13 points and pulled in 7 rebounds and front court mate Terrell Hollins ’10 had 14 points and six rebounds. Sean Wallis ’09 had a double-double for Washington with 12 points and 11 assists. Aaron Thompson led the scoring with 18 points and five rebounds while Cameron Smith put in 15. Tyler Nading also put in 12 points and Alex Toth provided 11 points off the bench to round out the double-digit scorers.

The Judges hit the road with rematches against Chicago and Washington starting with Chicago on Friday evening followed by a Sunday matinee at Washington University. DeLuca expressed confidence that the Judges are ready to fulfill the challenges and quite possibly squeeze their way into a postseason tournament.

“I think we are very prepared. We just played both teams last weekend and we feel like we can get two wins this weekend. Both games are going to be tough, it’s going to come down to who executes better and I think we can do that. I think we’ll make the necessary adjustments so we can take advantage of both teams weaknesses.”

However, the road swing will be made even tougher with budget cuts necessitating the Judges traveling with only 12 players for Coach Meehan to cycle through for two tough games, especially at Washington Sunday.

“Obviously we would love to travel all of the players on the team,” DeLuca explained, “but in cases like this it just can’t be done. We had some players last year stay home while we traveled so it is not something new, but there is a different feel on the road when you only have 12 players there.”

Coach Meehan’s 250th career win was also his 90th win as head coach of the Judges. Brandeis is now 12-6 on the season, 5-2 in conference play.