CHICAGO, Ill. – For the second Sunday in a row, Brandeis University men's basketball senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) hit a game-winning basket, as his 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left in regulation to defeat host University of Chicago, 63-60, in a University Athletic Association contest. With the win, the Judges' fourth in a row in the series, #24 Brandeis improves to 12-4 overall, 4-1 in the UAA, while the Maroons fall to 7-9, 2-3 UAA.
Brandeis trailed by four points at halftime, 32-28, but rallied to lead by as many as nine points in the second half. The Judges took their largest lead at the 10:55 mark on a D'Aguanno jumper that made it 51-42. Chicago was able to close within two points with just under three minutes to go, but junior forward Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) converted a traditional three-point play with 2:14 to go that made it 65-60. It was his third and-one of the second half.
After both teams got stops, Chicago's Cole Schmitz converted a lay-up to make it a one-possession game. After the Judges called timeout, they missed a 3-pointer, and UC's Brennan McDaniel dialed long distance with just over 29 seconds remaining to knot the game at 60-60, setting up the Judges' final possession. They inbounded the ball and got it to Jones, who dribbled to the top of the key, finding D'Aguanno open at the left elbow for the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left. Chicago called a couple of timeouts to try to set up a shot to force overtime but they were unable to get a good look.
D'Aguanno finished with a team-high 15 points in just 18 minutes off the bench. He hit 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He now has 226 career 3-pointers, five shy of the school career record. After scoring just five points in the first half, he tallied 10 in the second, including the game-winner. D'Aguanno's 15 points off the bench were two more than the entire UC reserve corps, as Brandeis subs outscored their counterparts, 28-13, providing a big difference in the game. Jones was the only other Judge to score in double figures with 12 points – nine in the second half – and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and first since the second game of the campaign. Sophomore center Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) had a fine all-around game with six points, seven rebounds, and team-high three assists.
In all, the game featured four ties and seven lead changes. Chicago led by as many as five points in the first half but they were never able to expand their lead any further. The Maroons' McDaniel led all players with 20 points, scoring 10 in each half. He also tied Jones for game-high honors with 10 rebounds. Schmitz added 13 points and Brandon Beckman had 11. Schmitz, Beckman and Brandon Baum each had three assists.
The teams were evenly matched, with Brandeis outrebounding Chicago by one, 34-33. The game featured just 12 turnovers, seven for Brandeis and five for UC, and just nine points scored off those miscues. The Judges outshot the Maroons, 43% (25-58) to 37% (22-59), but UC hit eight 3-pointers to six for the visitors, and had a slim 8-7 edge from the free-throw line.
Brandeis returns home next weekend when they play host to Case Western Reserve on Friday evening at 8 p.m. Chicago hosts Emory at 8 p.m. Central the same day.