WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team earned their first University Athletic Association victory of the season today as the Judges outlasted visiting Emory University, 76-68, in overtime. The Judges outscored the Eagles 15-7 in the extra session, hitting 13-of-15 from the free-throw line to clinch the win. Brandeis improves to 7-7 overall, 1-2 in the UAA. Emory falls to 9-5, 2-1 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED – FIRST HALF
- After Brandeis hit the first 3-pointer of the game, Emory scored the next 11 in a row.
- The Eagles were ahead, 18-9, with just over seven minutes gone in the game.
- The Judges scored the next 15 points in a row, starting with two Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) trifectas.
- Cooper assisted the go-ahead bucket, and a Robinson Vilmont (Cambridge, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson Acad.) long ball made it 24-18, Judges with 6:25 left.
- EU bounced back and retook the lead on an Adam Gigax lay-up with two-and-a-half minutes left in the first, but Vilmont and Cooper connected from deep again to give Brandeis a 34-31 lead at halftime.
- Gigax led all players with 17 points in the first, while Cooper had 13 and Vilmont 10.
HOW IT HAPPENED - SECOND HALF
- Brandeis opened the second half with a 10-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 44-33, on a Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) bucket with just over five minutes gone.
- The Judges were still ahead by 11 at 51-40 with 11:48 on the clock when Emory rallied. The Eagles went on an 18-4 run over the next eight-plus minutes.
- EU tied the game at 55-55 on a Davis Rao 3-pointer and took a 58-55 lead when Whit Rapp hit from downtown with 3:34 left.
- The Judges stopped the bleeding from the line with a John Powell (Ashland, Mass./Brimmer and May School) free throw, then reclaimed a 59-58 lead on another Vilmont 3-ball with 2:18 in regulation.
- Powell scored on a driving lay-up with 1:27 to go to make it a 3-point game, but Gigax answered with his third trifecta, tying the game at 61-61 with 1:17 remaining.
- Both teams played terrific defense down the stretch, as Emory's Austin Dague blocked Vilmont's driving lay-up with just under half a minute left.
- After the Eagles called timeout with 19.7 seconds remaining, they worked the clock down, but Judge junior captain Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio/St. Andrews School, R.I.) reached in and swiped the ball from an Eagle guard to get the ball back with 5.4 seconds on the clock.
- Vilmont dribbled up court and got a decent look from the right corner as the buzzer sounded, but couldn't get it to drop.
HOW IT HAPPENED – OVERTIME
- Emory won the opening tap of overtime but missed a 3-pointer. Cooper drew a foul on the other end and hit both freebies to give Brandeis an early lead in the extra session.
- Gigax answered with a lay-up, but on the next Brandeis possession, Vilmont got an offensive rebound and found a streaking Cooper for a go-ahead bucket and a foul, though he missed the ensuing free throw.
- The Judges scored the game's next five points from the line, eventually icing the contest with 13-of-15 from the charity stripe.
- Cooper led the Judges with 24 points on 8-of-13 from the field, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the line.
- It was his season-high in scoring and four off his career-best 28. It marked his third 20+ point game of the season and sixth of his career.
- Vilmont finished with 16 points, while Powell had 13 off the bench – more than the entire EU reserves combined.
- Vilmont and Powell tied for team-high honors with seven rebounds. Powell also had three blocked shots.
- Reale set a new career-high with seven assists.
- Gigax led all players with 25 points on 11-of-20 overall, 3-of-10 from 3-point range.
- Will Trawick also reached double digits with 18 points, seven of which came from the foul line.
- Jonathan Terry had a game-high eight rebounds off the bench for the Eagles, while Rapp matched Reale's game-high with seven assists.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Brandeis improved to 1-1 this season in overtime. Emory falls to 0-2.
- The Judges outscored the Eagles from the free throw line, 23-9, and hit 76.7% compared to just 60.0% for the visitors.
- Brandeis won the battle of the boards, 41-35.
- Brandeis had lost four in a row and eight of nine in the series with Emory.
- The Judges travel to Washington University for another UAA tilt next Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 Central.
- Emory hosts Carnegie Mellon next Friday at 8 p.m.
For more information on Brandeis Athletics, please visit brandeisjudges.com or follow us on Twitter or Instagram @brandeisjudges, or follow us on Facebook.
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