Eastman leads #25 Judges to victory in Black Coaches Classic, 63-54, over UMass Boston

Tommy Eastman (Photo by Sportspix.com)
Tommy Eastman (Photo by Sportspix.com)

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Brandeis University men's basketball team got a terrific all-around performance from graduate student Tommy Eastman (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) tonight as the Judges defeated the host UMass Boston Beacons, 63-54, in the inaugural Black Coach Classic. With the win, the Judges - ranked 25th in Division III by D3hoops.com - improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Beacons fall to 3-2. 

Eastman led the Judges with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists tonight. The 21 points came on just 3-of-10 from the field, but he was 2-of-4 from 3-point range and 13-of-18 from the free-throw line, outscoring UMB from the line all by himself. Eastman's 21 points marked his high-scoring performance in a Brandeis uniform, while his 14 boards are the highest total for any team for the graduate transfer from Middlebury. 

The Judges had two other players score in double figures, as graduate student guard Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London), fresh off joining Brandeis's 1,000-point club on Tuesday evening, added 12 points, while senior Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) added 11 along with nine rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. Senior Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) came off the bench and contributed eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. 

The Judges were able to overcome a tough shooting night, as UMass Boston held them to just 29.6 percent (16-54) overall and 28.6 percent from 3-point range (4-14) by connecting on 75 percent from the line (27-36). Brandeis outscored the Beacons, 27-9, from the charity stripe, as UMB hit just 46 percent (9-20). The Judges also controlled the boards, 47-28, including 17-7 on the offensive glass and 26-11 overall in the second half. 

UMass Boston also had three players score in double digits. Guard Charles Mitchell led the Beacons with 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting, 2-of-8 from deep, and 1-of-2 from the line. He played all 40 minutes of the contest. Twin brother Charlie Mitchell added 12 points and a team-high four assists. Stephen Digregorio added 10 points. Forward Malik Lorquet stuffed the stat sheet with eight points and team-highs of nine rebounds and six blocked shots. 

The hosts led for much of the first half in this one, but Brandeis closed out the period with a 14-5 run over the final eight minutes that turned a 17-14 deficit into a 27-22 lead at the break. Sophomore Ryan Power (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) and Hagerty each had four points in the streak as five different players contributed. Brandeis then opened the second half by outscoring the Beacons, 15-4, over the first 5:44 of the second half to take a 42-28 lead on a Sawyer trifecta. Brandeis's biggest lead was 16 points after Eastman scored six points in a row to make it 49-33 midway through the second half. UMB would claw their way within six points with 5:24 to go on a Charlie Mitchell lay-up, but they would get no closer as the Judges hit their free throws down the stretch. 

Brandeis returns to action on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. when they play host to WPI.