NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Brandeis men's basketball team lost a heartbreaker in their 2016 University Athletic Association (UAA) opener at NYU today, 69-67. The Judges led by seven points with just over five minutes to play, but the Violets closed the game on a 12-3 run to pick up the win after a good look at the buzzer fell just short. With the loss, the Judges fall to 6-6 overall, 0-1 in the UAA. NYU, ranked 14th in Division III by D3hoops.com, improves to 11-0, 1-0 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The game featured five ties and six lead changes.
- NYU were ahead for much of the first half. Their largest advantage was nine, and a Kade Karger trifecta with 2:54 on the clock made it 36-29 in favor of the hosts.
- Brandeis scored 11 unanswered points before the buzzer, the last seven of which came from sophomore Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School), who beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to give Brandeis a 40-36 lead at the break.
- The Violets started the second half with an 11-6 spurt over the first 6:32, reclaiming the lead after a Max Ralby 3-pointer and a Patrick Burns free throw at the 13:28 mark.
- The contest was tied at 54-all at the midpoint of the second half. After Brandeis hit 1-of-2 from the line, NYU's Costis Gontikas hit a layup and a free throw to put his team up 57-55.
- Brandeis looked to put the game away at that point by scoring the next nine points. Junior Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson School) kicked off the run with a 3-pointer that gave Brandeis the lead back at 58-57.
- Junior Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrew's School, R.I.) stole the ball and was fouled hitting a lay-up, converting the free throw to make it a four-point game.
- Senior Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover) got a rebound and hit a free throw after NYU's next possession, then had a steal and lay-in of his own at the 5:22 mark to make it a 64-57 lead for the Judges, their largest of the game.
- NYU's Patrick Burns responded with an offensive rebound and an and-one of his own on the other end, cutting the deficit to four, 64-60, with 5:04 left.
- The Judges struggled on offense, as the Violets forced five turnovers down the stretch.
- NYU's Evan Kupferberg scored a jumper and two free throws to tie the game at 64-all with 4:08 to go before Gontikas got a steal and lay-up on the other end to give NYU the lead back with 2:09 on the clock. Gontikas made the Judges pay for another turnover with a hoop with 1:21 left, making it a two-possession game at 68-64.
- NYU got another defensive stop, but couldn't convert on two free throws on the other end, allowing Brandeis's Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass./Rivers School) to hit a 3-pointer from straight away with 39.4 to go, making it a 68-67 game.
- After both teams called timeout, the Judges decided to go for the defensive stop. They forced NYU into a bad shot, but Gontikas got the big rebound.
- Brandeis was forced to foul with 7.2 seconds to, but the hosts hit just 1-of-2 from the line, giving the Judges a chance to win.
- Brandeis called time, drove the length of the floor and got a decent look for Haymon, but the rushed shot came up just short, giving NYU the two-point win.
- Brandeis had a season-high five players score in double figures. Cooper led the way with 13, while junior Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y./Suffield Acad.) had 11 points in just eight minutes of action.
- Finishing with 10 points each were Haymon, Reale and Vilmont. Vilmont also led the team with five assists and had six rebounds.
- Junior John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School) led the Judges with eight rebounds.
- Vilmont played 40 minutes for the third time in four games (including one OT contest) and has played at least 38 minutes in the last five contests. He leads the UAA in minutes played this season.
- The Judges outshot NYU, 50%-42% from the field and 44%-35% from 3-point range, but hit just 52% from the line compared to 67% for the hosts.
- NYU put four players in double-digits in scoring.
- Kupferberg led all players with a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.
- Gontikas added 14 points, while Burns and Tony Bai each had 12. Burns scored 10 points in the second half, while Bai's 12 off the bench all came from beyond the arc in the first half.
- Ross Udine led all players with eight assists
- Both squads continue UAA play next weekend, with the Judges meeting Rochester on Friday night at 8 p.m. and NYU taking on Emory at the same time.
- The teams will trade opponents on Sunday afternoon.
- NYU also has a non-conference meet-up with Hunter College on Monday at 7 p.m.