Eastman nets career-high 35, but #20 Emory rallies for 86-80 OT win

Tommy Eastman MS '23 (Photo by Cayla Fernandes)
Tommy Eastman MS '23 (Photo by Cayla Fernandes)

WALTHAM, Mass. – Brandeis University graduate student Tommy Eastman (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) scored a career-high 35 points, but 20th-ranked Emory University got the last laugh, erasing a 19-point deficit with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to escape with an 86-80 overtime win in University Athletic Association play tonight. With the loss, the Judges fall to 9-5, 2-3 UAA, while the Eagles improve to 14-4, 7-1 UAA.

The Judges got off to a slow start as the Eagles scored eight of the first ten points in the game. The Judges responded in a big way, using a 13-0 run late in the first half to take a 36-27 lead. A Sawyer three from the wing as time expired gave the Judges a 42-31 halftime lead. The Judges expanded their lead to as many as 19 points on a 3-pointer by sophomore Ryan Power (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) that made it 58-39 with 12:22 to go.

But after shooting 58% in the first half, the Judges had a dry spell in the second, shooting just 28%. Eastman scored 19 of the team's 28 points in the period, while Nick Stuck and Matthew Schner combined for 25 of Emory's 39 points.

The play of the game occurred to end regulation. Graduate student Tommy Eastman (Honeoye Falls, N.Y. / Honeoye Falls-Lima) made a foul shot to give the Judges a 70-67 lead with four seconds remaining. The Eagles, who had no timeouts left, inbounded the ball to Nick Stuck. Stuck weaved his way through several Brandeis defenders and pulled up above the top of the key to knock down the game-tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

The teams' big guns, Schner and Eastman, traded buckets to start the overtime. Emory answered with a 3-pointer from Albert Fallas and they never trailed again. Brandeis grad student Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) hit two free throws, but EU's Logan Shanahan hit a trifecta to make it a two-possession game at 78-74. Sawyer hit two free throws on the next possession, and Brandeis got a stop. With under 2:30 to play in overtime, the Judges got a rebound off a missed shot from Emory's Logan Shanahan. Sawyer had a pair of open looks to give his team the lead, but couldn't connect.

On Emory's next possession, Schner made a tough turnaround jumper with 1:35 left to give Emory a four-point cushion and the Judges could not claw their way back into the game.

Eastman had a game-high 35 points along with eight rebounds and two steals. Sawyer added 13 points and went 8-of-8 from the foul line. Sawyer added 13 points, while Power finished with a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds in 34 minutes, all of which were career-highs. Power also drew several charges. Junior guard Dylan Lien (Northboro, Mass. / Worcester Academy), who missed Brandeis' previous game against Emory on January 28, set a career-high with seven assists.

For Emory, Schner, the co-UAA Player Of The Year in 2019-2020, played the entire game and scored a team-high 25 points. In addition, Stuck scored 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and Shanahan chipped in 12 points off the bench.

The Judges will take on the University of Rochester this Sunday at noon at Red Auerbach Arena. Brandeis will seek to complete the season sweep of the Yellowjackets after the Judges beat them on January 30, 66-59.

-by Jesse Lieberman '22