Men's Basketball Falls to Brandeis, 84-79

Box Score

WALTHAM, Mass. - The No. 12-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit with 9:22 left in regulation as the Judges defeated visiting Bridgewater State College, 84-79, as part of the Brandeis Tip-Off Classic. Tufts University defeated Kenyon College, 69-63, in the last game of the tournament.

Brandeis (2-0) outscored Bridgewater State (1-1), 24-6, over the last quarter of the game to escape with the win. The Bears led, 42-40, after a tight first half that featured four ties and six lead changes. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, but Bridgewater State came out even hotter in the second.

The Bears hit 12 of their first 14 from the floor, including five-for-five from 3-point range, coming out of the locker room. That enabled them to take a 71-60 lead, the largest of the game, after back-to-back jumpers by sophomore Tim Torney (Braintree, Mass.) with 9:22 on the clock. After the Judges missed a 3-pointer on their next possession, the Bears missed a pair of free throws, slowing their hot hands and giving Brandeis sophomore Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) a chance to shine.

Hollins hit a lay-up to cut the lead back under 10 points, then made a steal and an assist on a 3-pointer by junior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) that brought the Judges within 71-65. After two Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) free throws, BSC answered with a lay-up by rookie guard Judah Jackson (Everett. Mass.). Coppens found Hollins for a lay-up and then grabbed a Jackson missed 3-pointer to ignite a fast-break. Senior Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) missed the lay-up, but put back his own rebound, moving the Judges within 73-71 with 6:57 left in the contest.

The teams traded baskets on the next two possessions, then traded missed trifectas. After a bucket by Brandeis sophomore Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass.) cut the lead to 77-75 with 4:02 on the clock, the Judges forced a turnover. Grave-Fulgham then fed Hollins for the game-tying lay-up with 3:28 on the clock.

On Bridgewater State's next possession, Coppens blocked Bear senior Tom Cuddihy (Scituate, Mass.). The visitors got the rebound and called a time-out, but were unable to take advantage, as Grave-Fulgham made a steal and found Coppens on the fast break open at the top of the circle for a 3-pointer, which he buried for an 80-77 Judges lead. Hollins then stole the ball as BSC was coming across midcourt and converted the lay-up to give the hosts a five-point bulge that they were able to maintain the rest of the way. Both teams finished up with remarkable second-half shooting, as Bridgewater State hit 16-of-24 (66.7%), while Brandeis connected on 17-of-27 (63%).

Hollins led a host of players in double figures with a career-high 26 points. He connected on 11-of-15 from the field with four free throws. He also pulled down a game-high six rebounds and had career-bests with five assists and three steals. Coppens was the game's second-high scorer with 24 points, shooting eight-of-13 from the floor, including four-of-five from long range and four-of-four from the line. Coppens also had five rebounds and four assists. Olson rounded out the Judges in double figures with a fine shooting performance, hitting six-of-seven overall and three-of-four from long distance for 15 points. Graves-Fulgham had a fine all-around performance with eight points, five rebounds and game-highs of six assists and four steals.

Bridgewater State was led by Cuddihy for the second game in a row, with 20 points. He had 13 of his team-high 20 points in the first half. For the game, Cuddihy finished shooting eight-of-16 from the field and four-of-10 from 3-point distance. He also tied for team-high honors with five rebounds. Torney was the Bears' second-high scorer with 17 points off the bench, hitting eight-of-10. Rookie guard Cesar Oliveira (Taunton, Mass.) had 14 points and junior guard Deryk Largesse (Sutton, Mass.) hit all four of his trifectas for 12 points.