Late Jones steal and free throw rally men past Colby, 69-68

Chandler Jones '22 (Photo by
Chandler Jones '22 (Photo by

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University senior forward Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) had a huge steal and hit what proved to be the game-winning free throw with 4.3 seconds left in regulation to give the Judges a come-from-behind win over visiting Colby College, 69-68, in non-conference men's basketball action this afternoon. With the win, the Judges improve to 7-2 on the season, while the Mules fall to 6-4.

The game featured eight ties and 12 lead changes, but Brandeis trailed Colby by seven points – their largest deficit of the game - with 3:05 left in regulation. The Judges were still down by five points at 68-63 with 1:13 on the clock. The Mules had a chance to extend their lead after a steal and a Brandeis foul, but the visitors missed the front end of a one-and-one, and never scored again. Brandeis first-year guard Toby Harris (Durham, N.C./Durham Academy) banked one off the glass with 44.2 seconds remaining to cut the home team's deficit to 68-65.

After the Judges called their final timeout, they forced the Mules into a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds play. They worked the ball around the perimeter to graduate student Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London), who misfired on a potential game-tying shot, but senior center Nolan Hagerty (Yarmouth, Maine/Yarmouth) got the rebound and immediately passed it to junior Dylan Lien (Northboro, Mass. / Worcester Academy), who connected from beyond the arc with 35.3 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 68-68.

On the ensuing possession, Colby brought the ball over the timeline and called timeout. Mule junior Will King, the team's leading scorer on the day, dribbled the ball near half-court, defended by Jones. With about seven seconds to play, King went to swing the ball to junior Noah Tyson, but Jones stepped in front and stole the ball. King fouled Jones with 4.3 seconds to go, preventing a lay-up. Jones hit the first free throw to make it 69-68 before Colby called their final timeout. Jones missed the second foul shot, and it was rebounded by the Mules' Tyson. He dribbled up the middle off the floor before passing to Will Lawson, whose game-winning attempt at a 3-pointer was released just after the buzzer sounded.

For the game, the Judges had a balanced scoring attack, with seven players scoring between six and 12 points. Sawyer led the way with 12 points, including two 3-pointers. He scored six points in each half. Jones added 11 points on 3-of-7 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 from the line. He also led all players with seven rebounds and had three steals, two assists, and a blocked shot.

Sophomore Ryan Power (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) had a huge stretch in the first half, scoring seven-straight points, en route to a career-high nine points on his birthday. Lien and Harris each scored eight points, Hagerty had seven and senior Sam Nassar (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) had six points and a game- and career-high-tying six assists. The Judges also had a season-high eight blocked shots, paced by four from sophomore Aedan Using (Old Lyme, Conn./Old Lyme). Brandeis also outrebounded Colby, 39-31, including 15-8 on the offensive glass, leading to a key 15-4 advantage in second-chance points, highlighted by Lien's late 3-pointer.

Colby was paced by King's game-high 17 points, 11 of which came in the first half. He hit 8-of-16 from the field and 1-of-3 from the line. King also tied for team-high honors with five rebounds and tied Nassar for game-high honors with six assists. David Basich netted 15 points off the bench for the visitors, hitting 6-of-9 overall and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Tyson and Lawson each scored 10 points for Colby. The Mules outshot Brandeis, 47% (26-58) to 42% (25-59), including 62% (8-13) to 32% (6-19) from beyond the arc.

The Judges have finished the semester and will return to action on December 30th with a home game against Union College at 3 p.m. Colby is at Salem State on December 29th at 4 p.m.