WALTHAM, Mass. – The 25th-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team never trailed today as the Judges defeated visiting Carnegie Mellon University, 87-68, in a University Athletic Association clash in Red Auerbach Arena. With the win, the Judges improve to 14-4 overall and 6-1 in the UAA, their best-ever standing at the midway point in the conference schedule. The Tartans fall to 9-9 overall, 2-5 UAA.
The Judges used a balanced attack to defeat CMU, putting five different players in double figures in scoring. Sophomore center Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) had a terrific all-around game, leading all players with 16 points, six assists and three blocked shots. He also finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. Hagerty hit 8-of-13 from the floor. Senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) came off the bench to score 15 points, including three 3-pointers to move within one of the Judges' career record of 231 trifectas.
Junior forward Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) added 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while rookie Dylan Lien (Northborough, Mass./Worcester Academy) also scored a career-best 14, including a team-high four 3-pointers. Senior guard Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) added 13 points.
The Judges' 87 points, their third-highest total of the season, came on 52.4% shooting from the floor (33-63) and 50% from 3-point range (12-24). It was their fifth game of the season connecting on at least half their shots from the field and fourth doing so from 3-point range. Brandeis also outrebounded CMU, 45-34, and held the Tartans to 39.1% from the floor (25-64) and 35% from downtown (7-20).
Carnegie Mellon was paced by 16 points by Zach Howarth and 13 from Daniel Weiss. The Tartans' Trent Suddeth also reached double figures with 10 points, just missing a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds. Suddeth also had four assists and three steals. CMU won the turnover battle, 15-9.
Brandeis jumped out to an 11-5 lead early on the in the contest and held the lead until Carnegie Mellon tied it at 22-all with 9:25 remaining. Hagerty answered with a lay-up and D'Aguanno dialed long distance on the next two Brandeis possessions, and the Judges never trailed again. The visitors stayed within two possessions for the rest of the half as Brandeis took a 38-35 lead into the locker room. The Judges then opened the second half with 13 unanswered points over the first three minutes, capped by back-to-back Lien trifectas that made it 51-35. The visitors would close to within six points with just over nine minutes to go, but would get no closer as the Judges won going away, finishing with their largest lead of the contest.
With the win, Brandeis is now off to their best 18-game start since 2012-13 at 14-4. With Emory's 80-67 win at Washington University today, Brandeis enters the second half of the conference season in a three-way tie for the UAA lead with #8 Emory and #11 WashU atop the league standings.
Brandeis and Carnegie Mellon will meet next Sunday in Pittsburgh at noon. The Judges first travel to Case Western Reserve University next Friday evening.