CLEVELAND – Senior guard Julien Person (Paris, France/Second Baptist, Texas) led a furious comeback with 17 points as the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team defeated Brandeis University (Mass.) in a physical overtime affair, 83-81, on Sunday at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans (12-2, 3-0 University Athletic Association) win their sixth in a row and remain tied atop the conference standings with the University of Chicago. The Judges (6-8, 1-2 UAA) led by 11 with just 6:47 left to play but lose their third in four games.
Person scored 15 of his points between the second half and overtime. He was also 6-for-6 from the free throw line with a pair tying the score at 72 with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.
Along with Person, senior forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) posted his sixth career double-double with 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Leading the Judges, Jordan Cooper tallied a game-high 27 points and eight boards. Robinson Vilmont added 19 points and five rebounds.
In a game played close in most statistical categories, the Spartans held a 33-7 advantage in bench points.
Brandeis led most of the way and didn't trail until the final 11 seconds of overtime. The opening minutes of the game saw the Judges shoot 60% from the field and 66.7% from behind the arc en route to building a 14-6 advantage as Cooper hit a three-pointer with 15:19 on the clock.
Trailing 44-38 after one half, the Spartans opened the second on a 6-0 run, tying the score for the first time after a McLoughlin jumper at 15:44. Brandeis then went on an 18-7 run over the next nine minutes of play for a 64-53 lead, but five minutes later, McLoughlin and Person hit three point shots on back-to-back possessions to pull the Spartans to within 72-70 with 1:09 left to play. With just 0:21 on the clock, Person would hit two free throws to tie the score at 72 and send the game into overtime.
With 1:46 left in extra time, the Judges led 78-74 after a jumper by Cooper. Two possessions later, the Spartans gained an 80-79 lead with 0:24 on the clock as Person converted a tough three-point play in the lane. A trio of free throws from McLoughlin and senior point guard Jordan Dean (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside) would seal the victory for the Spartans.
The Spartans are now on the road for back-to-back UAA weekends. The first opens in Atlanta on Friday, January 23 with an 8:00 p.m. matchup against Emory University. The team then heads north to play the University of Rochester (N.Y.) on Sunday, January 25 at 12:00 p.m.