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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

MBasketball Notebook

Published: December 2, 2005
Section: Sports

In the championship game of the tip-off tournament, the inevitable happened: The Judges suspect shot selection and free throw-shooting caught up with them.

On Sunday, Nov. 20 the Lasell Lasers defeated the Judges 67-64 at Gosman to win the annual tournament and improve to 2-0 on the young season. The Judges meanwhile fell to 1-1 and, for the second straight season, came up short of winning the tournament.

No one was bigger for Lasell than point guard Maxwell Perez 07 who finished with a game-high 21 points on 7 for 11 field goal shooting. It was the foul line where he had his biggest offensive contribution, sealing the Lasers win with 4 free throws over the games final 9 seconds. This performance, along with his 23 points in the first round, earned the star point guard tournament MVP honors.

The Judges did not go down without a fight. The Brandeis bench erupted in joy after Steve DeLuca 08 nailed a trifecta with 17.1 seconds remaining, giving the Judges a temporary 64-63 lead. Only minutes later that joy turned into dejection as the Judges committed a foolish foul, permitting Perez to get to the line where he was flawless. The ensuing play was also embarrassing, as the Judges could not get off a quality shot on the inbound pass. Two more Perez foul shots later and Lasell was headed back to Newton in good holiday spirits.

While the Judges shot poorly from the foul line in the second half, Lasell did not waste any of their opportunities at the line, converting all nine of their second-half free throws. Brandeis continued to play a smaller lineup in the second half, with big men Stephen Hill 06 and John Saucier 06 seeing limited action. While this allowed the Judges to run a full court press and fast break more, they were forced to heave up many ill-advised long range shots, making only 36.1% of them.

While Brandeis led 47-37 with 12:57 remaining, the Lasers went on a 22-4 run behind 9 consecutive points by Michael Urwin 06.

Perimeter shooting was the Judges Achilles heel from the get go, as they missed all 6 3 point attempts in the first half. The normally reliable Rexhepi had a difficult afternoon, missing all of his three-pointers. Despite the woeful 3-point shooting the Judges headed to intermission with a 31-29 lead.

Overall there were some encouraging things for the Judges, such as their work on the offensive glass (17 rebounds) and their relatively low amount of turnovers (16). Four Judges scored in double digits, including the aforementioned Rexhepi and Kwame Graves-Fulgham, 08 who had 17 and 11 respectively. Steve DeLuca had 18 points to go along with his 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and reserve guard Joe Coppens 08 contributed 10 points.