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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Not quite 300, Judges swamp Spartans

Published: February 27, 2009
Section: Sports

What ever happens, this Brandeis Judges squad has if nothing else lived up to lyrics of one of my favorite songs from The Clash, “I’m Not Down.” They’ve been beat up, they’ve been shown up but they are not down, no they are not down yet.

If everything breaks right for Brian Meehan’s squad after this coming weekend, I may have to rev up a deep fryer and develop a taste for crow. It would be an impressive comeback for the squad, losing their three games of the season, ending non-conference play with five losses, the disastrous Midwest road trip and falling all the way out of the top 25 after being ranked ninth before the season. Now though, the Judges could manage to elbow their way into NCAA postseason play.

It will be necessary to at least think about preparing the crow after the seeing Judges extended their win streak to four thanks to a record setting 73.1 percent field goal rate to pummel visiting Case Western Reserve University 108-78. The win comes at the heels of a harder fought win over Emory and key victories over Carnegie Mellon and Rochester over the break.

The Senior Day Massacre of the Spartans began with a bang as Kevin Olson ’09 opened up the Brandeis offense with a three and then followed with another three by Steve DeLuca (GRAD). Kenny Small ’10 then converted a three point play when Olson made two straight three pointers and DeLuca responded with two more of his own. The Judges were simply unstoppable, every shot they took would go in. Hand in the face? No problems for the Judges who would convert on 20-25 shot attempts, an 80 percent clip including 9 three pointers in the half. By the time Case Western burned a second time out with 3:23 in the first half, Brandeis was up 55-30.

Olson finished his last regular season home game of his career with 23 points on 8-9 shooting and was perfect on all five of his three point attempts. Also making his last regular season home game was DeLuca who left the court with 22 points and seven rebounds. All in all, both players finished their last regular season home game of their careers on a perfect note, receiving a standing ovation after they were subbed out with around three minutes left in the game.

It was Kenny Small though who led all scorers with a career high 24 points on 9-10 shooting. All three combined to account for 13 of Brandeis’s 16 three pointers. Vytas Kryskus ’12 provided 10 points in 14 minutes of action while Terrell Hollins ’10 finished with nine. Case Western had three players reach double digits, with Colin Mulholland leading with 12 points off the bench. Steve Young followed with 11 and Eric Duerr rounded out the double digit scorers with 10. The Spartans shot 45 percent in the game and actually finished with more bench points but had no answer for the sharp-shooting barrage they faced.

The 108 points scored was the most reached under squad coached by Coach Meehan, topping a 102 point effort against Emerson back in 2002.

The record setting shooting precession comes at the heels of an ugly 65-54 victory over Emory last Friday as the Judges overcame a poor shooting performance, outshot by Emory 42 percent to the Judges 34.7. However Brandeis was able to utilize their opportunities at the free throw line, making 28 out of 33 and converted 19 Emory turnovers into 27 points while surrendering only 10 turnovers of their own.

Small set what was then a career high of 18 points followed by Olson and DeLuca with 16 and 11 points respectively. Emory only had one player reach double figures in scoring, Chad Hixon who finished with a double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds.

What ever playoff chances the Judges have will be strengthened with a victory at New York University on Feb. 28, where they will wrap up the regular season. The last time the two squads faced each other, Brandeis swept them out of Red Auerbach Arena 65-35 thanks in large part to 13 three pointers made including five from Kevin Olson.

A win in the Big Apple would give Brandeis their second straight 10 win performance in conference play. However, any postseason bid will ultimately rest on the mercy of the NCAA and since last year’s tournament saw no teams entering with eight losses so loss number nine would likely end all chances.

With hopefully a win and a prayer, I would hope to have my crow next week. Preferably medium.