Men kick off 2020 with a 65-62 win at Bowdoin

Nolan Hagerty '22 (photo by
Nolan Hagerty '22 (photo by

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Brandeis University men's basketball team scored 15 straight points early in the first half, then held off a couple of late charges to pick up a non-conference road win over Bowdoin College, 65-62. With the win, the Judges improve to 7-3 for the second season in a row. The Polar Bears fall to 4-5, suffering their third-straight home loss.

After the hosts scored the first two baskets of the game, Brandeis coach Jean Bain called a quick timeout. The Judges responded by holding Bowdoin scoreless over the next five minutes while hitting six of their next nine shots to take a 15-4 lead at the 13:38 mark. Five different Judges contributed during the key streak. The Judges led by as many as 16 points before taking a 42-29 lead at halftime.

A quick 4-1 burst to open the second half matched the Judges' largest lead 80 seconds in on a Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) layup. The lead was still at 13 midway through the stanza on a Brandeis free throw with 10:07 left, when Bowdoin made their first run of the game. The Polar Bears scored 11 unanswered points on three 3-pointers over the next three-and-a-half minutes. The last five points came from David Reynolds, whose trifecta with 6:32 to go trimmed the Brandeis lead to 52-50.

After another timeout, the Judges scored the next two buckets to push it back to a two-possession game, 56-50, on another hoop by Jones. A 3-pointer by rookie Dylan Lien (Northboro, Mass./Worcester Academy) and a Jones basket on a feed from Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) gave the Judges a 63-54 lead with 2:47 to go.

The Polar Bears wouldn't go away, scoring the next eight points, with Reynolds hitting a jumper and two free throws on a technical foul, followed by two Sam Grad lay-ups. The latter made it a 63-62 game with just 31 ticks remaining. Bowdoin committed a pair of fouls on the inbounds play, getting Brandeis to the line for a one-and-one. The Judges missed, but Chandler Jones grabbed the offensive rebound. Bowdoin fouled again, and the same scenario played out. Brandeis missed another front end with Jones cleaning up on the offensive glass. He drew a foul as he went for a put-back, hitting one-of-two to make it a two-point game, 64-62, with 22 seconds to go. Bowdoin still had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Sabir picked up a steal with just over a second to go, hitting one-of-two from the line to account for the final 65-62 score.

For the game, Brandeis put four players in double figures in scoring, led by Jones, who had 16 points, seven rebounds – including the two huge offensive boards – and three assists. Seniors Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) and Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) each scored 11 points. Sawyer had nine in the first half when he scored 3-of-5 from downtown, while D'Aguanno's 11 came off the bench and outscored the entire Bowdoin reserves. Sophomore Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth), playing in front of a hometown crowd, notched his second career double-double with 10 points and team-high 10 rebounds. Sabir led all players with five assists.

Bowdoin's Reynolds led all scorers with 22 points, 15 coming in the second half. Sam Grad had 17 points, including 12 in the first stanza, while also leading all players with 13 rebounds. He also topped the Polar Bears with four assists. Zavier Rucker added 10 points, but no other Bowdoin player had more than five points.

The teams both shot around 42 percent, but Brandeis owned a 38-31 advantage in rebounding, including 9-3 on the offensive glass. Though Bowdoin committed 12 turnovers to 11 for the Judges, the hosts had a 14-7 scored advantage off those miscues.

Both teams face CBB opponents in their next contests. Brandeis will wrap up its non-conference schedule at home next Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. against Bates College. The Judges will look to finish their out-of-league play with their best record since the 2013-14 campaign. Bowdoin is at Colby for a non-conference game on Sunday at 4 p.m.