Second-half surge lifts #9 Emory past men's basketball, 93-65

Lawrence Sabir '21 (photo by
Lawrence Sabir '21 (photo by

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team played terrific defense in the first half and held a 37-32 lead, but host and ninth-ranked Emory University caught fire in the second, hitting 71 percent from the floor (20-28) as the Eagles defeated the Judges, 93-65, in a University Athletic Association contest today in Atlanta. With the loss, the Judges fall to 15-7 overall, 7-4 in the UAA, two games behind the Eagles and Washington University in the conference standings. The Eagles improve to 19-3, 9-2 UAA, and avenge one of their three losses this season.

The Brandeis defense was outstanding in the first half, holding Emory to just 36 percent shooting (12-33) from the field, 29 percent from 3-point range (4-14). The Judges connected on 46% (15-33) overall and 43% from deep (6-14) in building a 37-32 lead at the half. The Judges were paced by rookie Matan Zucker (Manalapan, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep), who had eight points and four rebounds at the break. Emory's Romin Williams (10 points) and Mason Johnson (7 points) accounted for half of the Eagles offense.

Emory was not held down for long in the second half. The hosts hit back-to-back 3-pointers from Johnson and Lawrence Rowley to reclaim the lead. The Eagles scored the first 14 points of the stanza, with Williams and Rowley both connecting from downtown to give Emory a 46-37 lead four minutes into the half.

Brandeis called timeout and looked to stop the EU momentum on a three-point play by junior Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy), but Williams dialed long distance again and the Eagles didn't let Brandeis get closer than nine points again the rest of the way. The Eagles missed just eight shots from the field and were 10-of-14 from 3-point range as they became just the fourth team to score more than 80 points against the Judges – three of which have come within the last four games.

Brandeis was paced by 14 points from senior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London), who scored seven in each half. Sawyer needed 3-of-17 shooting to get to his point total, hitting just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Junior Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) added 10 points, while Sabir had nine points and a team-high four assists off the bench in his second game back from injury. Zucker finished with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds, also off the bench.

Emory put four players in double figures in scoring. Williams led all players with 25 points, while Rowley finished with 21. The pair combined for 32 of their 46 points in the second half. Johnson and Matt Davet added 16 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench. Emory ended up shooting 53% from the field for the game (32-61) and 50% from 3-point range (14-28), while outrebounding Brandeis, 41-37.

Brandeis will start its regular-season-ending three-game homestand next Friday evening at 8 p.m. against #16-ranked Washington University in a must-win contest for the team's postseason chances.