Bench strength helps men knock #18 NYU from ranks unbeaten, 81-61

Dylan Lien dribbling the ball at his hip with a defender covering him
Dylan Lien '23 (photo by

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team got 50 points combined from reserves Dylan Lien (Northborough, Mass./Worcester Acad.) and Ethan Edwards (Brooklyn, N.Y./Woodstock Acad.) as the Judges defeated previously unbeaten and 18th-ranked NYU, 81-61, in the University Athletic Association opener for both teams.


  • Brandeis, 9-3, 1-0 UAA.
  • NYU, 11-1, 0-1 UAA, ranked 18th in Division III by


  • The early going saw two ties and five lead changes, with NYU's last advantage coming on a jumper by grad student Spencer Freedman that made it 14-13 in favor of the Violets with 12:43 left in the first.
  • Brandeis sophomore Toby Harris (Durham, N.C./Durham Academy) answered with a 3-pointer to give the Judges the lead for good. His trifecta sparked a 9-0 run that was capped by an Edwards four-point play to give Brandeis a 22-14 lead.
  • Brandeis's lead ballooned as large as 14 points in the first half on a Harris 3-pointer that made it 35-21 with just over five minutes to go.
  • The Violets responded by closing on a 17-7 run that got them within 42-38 at the break.
  • Lien led all players with 14 points at halftime, while Zay Freeney had 13 for the visitors and Quinn Clark had 10.
  • NYU was able to trim the deficit to two points on a Freeney put-back just under two minutes into the second half that got the visitors within 44-42.
  • Lien answered with a trifecta and junior Ryan Power (Waltham, Mass./Waltham) scored on the fast break to reestablish a seven-point margin.
  • NYU's Quinn completed a three-point play with just under eight minutes remaining to get NYU back within four at 58-54.
  • Brandeis held the Violets to just two field goals over the final 7:58, outscoring them 23-7 the rest of the way. The final push included the Judges scoring nine points in one 90-second span thanks an Edwards lay-up, followed by his second four-point play of the game, and a Lien trifecta.


  • Lien scored a career-high 28 points in 30 minutes off the bench, while Edwards finished with 22 points in 25 minutes.
  • The two combined to shoot 17-for-23 overall, 9-for-14 from -point range and 6-of-7 from the line.
  • The Judges were able to win despite a season-low 11 points from leading scorer Harris, who did finish with his second double-double of the season, adding a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • Brandeis had one other double-digit scorer in Power, who finished with 13 points.
  • Junior Sam Adusei (Worcester, Mass./St. George's School) led the Judges with five assists.
  • Freeney led NYU with 18 points, while Quinn had 15, but the two were held to just 10 points in the second half after combining for 23 in the first.
  • Clark also had seven rebounds to lead the visitors, while Spencer Freedman had a game-high six assists.
  • After both teams hit 50 percent from the field or better in the first half, Brandeis held NYU to just 25 percent overall (9-36) and 13 percent from 3-point range (2-16) in the second. The Judges connected on 54 percent from the field (14-26) and 56 percent from downtown (5-9) after the break.
  • Rebounding was tight, with Brandeis owning a 37-33 edge, while both teams committed eight turnovers.


  • Thanks to Lien and Edwards, the Brandeis bench outscored their NYU counterparts, 53-10.
  • Brandeis held NYU 31 points below their scoring average entering the game. The Violets had not scored fewer than 81 in a contest prior to today.
  • The Judges improved to 4-0 on the season when four players score in double figures.
  • Brandeis extended their winning streak over NYU to five in a row and seven of eight. This was the 72nd meeting with the Violets leading the series, 40-32.
  • NYU was one of the last seven unbeaten teams in Division III.


  • The Judges and Violets head out on their annual Midwest UAA road trips. The Judges are at Washington University next Friday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern (7:30 Central). The Violets will be at the University of Chicago at the same time.