WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team never trailed tonight as the Judges earned a 76-54 victory over the University of Rochester in the Judges' University Athletic Association home opener in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges improve to 10-3 overall, 2-0 in the UAA, with the win. The Yellowjackets fall to 9-4, 0-2 UAA.
The Judges wasted little time jumping out to a big lead, as they hit their first five 3-point attempts – from five different players – to take a 19-11 advantage less than eight minutes into the contest. Brandeis wouldn't let up, taking their largest lead of the first half into the locker room at 43-20. The Judge shot 55 percent overall (16-29) in the first half and 67 percent from 3-point range (8-12) in taking their 23-point lead, while holding UR to 32 percent overall (8-25) and 30 percent from downtown (3-10). Senior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) led all player with 15 first-half points, including three 3-pointers, while sophomore center Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) added seven, including a backboard-rattling dunk midway through the stanza.
Rochester got off to a quick start in the second half, as Ryan Algier scored the first six points of the stanza, but Hagerty answered with three straight lay-ups of his own. After Algier got the visitors back on the board, Sawyer hit a 3-pointer and another jumper, sparking a 9-0 run that made it 58-30 on a lay-up by rookie Matan Zucker (Manalapan, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep). The 28-point bulge was Brandeis's largest of the game, and the Judges cruised to the 22-point victory, their largest ever in their series with Rochester.
For the game, Sawyer netted a game-high 24 points, with 15 coming in the first half. He hit 7-of-13 overall, 4-of-7 from 3-point range, and 6-of-6 from the line. Hagerty added a career-high 18 points and tied for game-high honors with five assists, one shy of a career-best. Sophomore Sam Nassar (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) also had five helpers, while junior Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) and senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saundertown, R.I./St. James School) added four each as the Judges finished with 20 assists on 27 baskets. Jones added nine points and tied with Zucker for game-high honors with seven rebounds. Brandeis shot 54 percent from the field (27-50), their fifth time shooting above 50 percent, and 50 percent from downtown (9-18). The Judges outrebounded Rochester, 31-28, and had an 18-11 advantage in points off turnovers despite both sides committing 12 miscues.
Rochester put three starters in double figures in scoring, with Ross Gang tallying 16 points, Algier finishing with 15 and Kailan Lee adding 10. Gang also led the Yellowjackets with six rebounds and four assists. The visitors hit just 38 percent from the floor (20-53) and 36 percent from downtown (5-14).
The Judges will try to open their conference season with three straight UAA wins for the first time since 2013 when they meet #3-ranked Emory on Sunday at 12 noon.