Cooper paces men's basketball past Suffolk, 87-78, in season opener

Jordan Cooper '18 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)
Jordan Cooper '18 (photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) scored 21 points to lead four members of the Brandeis University men's basketball team in double digits in scoring as the Judges opened the 2016-17 season with an 87-78 victory over Suffolk University in Red Auerbach Arena.

Cooper had a quiet first half, scoring just four points as part of a balanced Brandeis (1-0) attack, before tallying 17 in the second half to finish with more than 21 points for the 12th time in his career. Cooper connected on 7-of-12 from the field overall, including 5-of-7 with a 3-pointer and 6-of-6 from the line in the second half.

Senior guard Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) stuffed the stat sheet for the Judges, recording his first career double-double in the process. Vilmont scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Only one other player in the contest had as many as seven caroms. VIlmont also dished out a game-high six assists.

Also scoring in double figures were junior Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) and senior Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School, R.I.), who both scored 15 points as they combined to go 8-9 from the field, 3-4 from 3-point range and 11-13 from the line.

Brandeis outrebounded Suffolk, 31-24, and connected on 52 percent from the field - 26-50 on 13-25 in each half.

The Rams (0-1) also put four players in double figures in scoring. Sophomore Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) led the visitors with 17 points, including a team-high three 3-pointers. Classmate Jim Djema (Greenwich, Conn./Green Farms) had 16 points, while rookie George Grillakis (Lowell, Mass./Central Catholic) led all bench scorers with 14 points. Sophomore Stephen DiPrizio (Medford, Mass./Medford) rounded out the evening's double-digit scorers with 13 points.

Rookie Thomas Duffy (Farifield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlow) led the Rams with seven rebounds, while four different players had two assists each. Suffolk improved their shooting from 40.7% in the first half (11-27) to 60% in the second (18-30), but it wasn't enough to erase the deficit.

Brandeis is off until Tuesday, Nov. 29, when they host UMass-Dartmouth at 7 p.m. Suffolk travels to Brandeis's UAA foe Rochester this weekend, where the Rams will meet Washington and Lee Univesity on Friday at 3 p.m.