WALTHAM, Mass. – In a contest full of storylines, the Brandeis University men's basketball team outlasted the visiting University of Chicago, 101-95, in a University Athletic Association contest today in Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges improve to 16-8, 8-5 in the UAA, while the Maroons fall to 11-13, 6-7 UAA.
For Brandeis, the game included a 1,000-point scorer, a 15-point deficit overtime, a seven-point lead lost in less than a minute, and heroic performance in the second overtime period.
- Senior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) reached the 1,000-point plateau with a jumper at the 15:38 remaining in the second half to become Brandeis's 33rd player to reach the plateau. He finished with 15 points for the contest and 1008 for his career.
- After D'Aguanno made his milestone basket, Brandeis was within 49-43 after trailing, 39-32, at halftime. The Maroons answered his hoop with a 9-0 run to take their biggest lead, 58-43, with 13:26 left in regulation on a Bryce Hopkins jumper.
- Brandeis responded by scoring 21 of the game's next 26 points, taking their first lead since early in the contest on a Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) 3-pointer with 5:58 in the second half at 64-63.
- The lead changed hands five times over the next four minutes. Brandeis junior Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) had a shot to make it six, but missed his and-one opportunity after drawing a foul to tie the game at 71-71 with 1:35 remaining.
- Chicago's Cole Schmitz responded by hitting a 3-pointer on the next possession, but Jones found Sawyer open on the left elbow with 54.8 seconds to go, tying the game again at 74-74.
- Brandeis got a stop with 23 seconds remaining when Schmitz missed a 3-pointer, but the Chicago defense held on for Brandeis's attempt to win in regulation.
- The teams traded buckets early in the first overtime session, but Brandeis got an off-balance 3-pointer from rookie Dylan Lien (Northborough, Mass./Worcester Academy) midway through the stanza, followed by a Jones lay-up that made it 83-78 with 1:42 on the clock. Jones couldn't convert an attempt at a three-point play, and after Chicago made 1-of-2 from the line, junior Lawrence Sabir (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Academy) made a driving lay-up to push the lead to six at 85-79 with 1:02 on the clock.
- With 38.1 seconds remaining, D'Aguanno went to the line to try to ice the game. He hit 1-of-2 to make it 86-79 in favor of the Judges.
- Chicago's Dominic Laravie answered with a 3-pointer, and the Maroons fouled Sabir, who missed both from the stripe with 26.4 seconds to go. Chicago pushed the ball and missed a 3-pointer but Laravie got the putback and was fouled, making it 86-84 with 16.6 left in the first overtime.
- Laravie missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds off of Brandeis, and UC's Schmitz scored on the ensuing in-bounds play, tying the game up with 8.9 ticks remaining. With no timeouts left, Brandeis pushed the ball up the floor but again missed a game-winner.
- In the second OT session, both teams missed their opening shots before D'Aguanno connected to put Brandeis ahead.
- Schmitz answered from the line, but Brandeis rookie Darrett Justice (Haymarket, Va./Highland School) drew a foul on a lay-up and converted to make it 91-88 with 3:12 to go.
- Chicago got the three points right back when Michael Brennan dialed long distance, but Brennan fouled Brandeis's Jones on the next possession. Jones drained both free throws to give the hosts the lead for good, 93-91. After he rebounded the next Maroon miss, Jones nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:15 to go to establish a two-possession lead, 96-91.
- The Judges kept the visitors at bay from there, with Jones hitting four free throws down the stretch to finish with nine points in the second OT period and 11 total after the end of regulation.
For the Judges, Sawyer led all scorers with a career-high 27 points. He hit 9-of-13 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 from the line in a career-best 38 minutes before fouling out in the first overtime. Jones finished with 21 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the campaign. He also had six assists and one blocked shot while playing 43 of 50 minutes. Lien added a career-best with 18 points, while D'Aguanno finished with 15. The Judges shot well, hitting 57.1% from the field (36-63) and 52.9% from beyond the arc (9-17). After hitting 44.8% from the field in the first half, they did not shoot below 60% in any period after, including 68.2% in the second half and 71.4% in the first OT period.
Chicago put four starters in double figures, led by 21 points from Schmitz and 20 fom Brennan McDaniel, who also had a game-high 14 rebounds. Laravie added 14 points, while Brandon Beckman and Bryce Hopkins each scored 11 – Hopkins' coming off the bench. Jordan Baum led all players with 10 assists in reserve.
Brandeis will return to action next Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. when they celebrate Senior Day against NYU.