ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team struggled to contain the host University of Rochester offense tonight, as the Yellowjackets shot nearly 60 percent from the field, including 67 percent in the second half, as the hosts took an 80-65 University Athletic Association decision. With the loss, the Judges fall to 15-6 overall, 7-3 in the UAA, while UR improves to 14-7, 5-5 UAA.
The first half saw three ties and four lead changes. Brandeis owned a 26-23 lead with just over five minutes to go after a pair of Austin Clamage (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) free throws. UR held the Judges to just one basket the rest of the half, a 3-pointer from rookie Dylan Lien (Northborough, Mass./Worcester Academy) that tied the game at 29 with just over a minute left before the break. Rochester's Brian Ambalino Perez gave the Yellowjackets the lead for good, while Ryan Algier had a tip-in at the buzzer to give the hosts a 33-29 lead at the half.
Brandeis stayed within shouting distance early in the second thanks to two early buckets by sophomore Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth), the second of which made it 36-33 with just under a minute elapsed. UR then scored 10 of the next 11 points and the hosts kept Brandeis from getting within single digits the rest of the way. UR missed just eight shots in the entire second half, going 16-of-24 from the field (66.7%) and 4-of-8 from 3-point range (50%). They also outrebounded, Brandeis, 19-10, after the Judges had taken a 17-10 advantage on the glass at halftime.
Brandeis was paced by 15 points from Hagerty, 11 coming in the second half. He hit 7-of-8 from the field with a free throw. Senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) tossed in 12 points off the bench, nine coming before the intermission. Rookie guard Darret Justice (Haymarket, Va./Highland School) led the Judges with five assists, while junior Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) had a team-high five assists.
UR had a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring in double figures. Trent Noordsij scored a game-high 17 points, while Amabilino Perez and Algier each scored 14. Ross Gang had 13 points, a game-high nine rebounds, and team-best four assists, and Kailan Lee had 11 points, three assists, and two steals.
Brandeis will look to bounce back on Sunday afternoon at noon at #9-ranked Emory. The Judges defeated the Eagles, 75-73, earlier this season in Waltham, when EU was ranked #2 in Division III.