WALTHAM, Mass. – A strong second-half surge by UMass Dartmouth fell just short, as free throws proved to be the difference-maker in the game that saw the Brandeis Judges lead wire-to-wire for a65-60 final score at Red Auberbach Arena on Tuesday evening.
Score: Brandeis 65, UMass Dartmouth 60
Records: Brandeis (2-1) | UMass Dartmouth (2-2)
How it Happened
After Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) hit the opening bucket of the contest, Brandeis reeled off a 15-2 run in the next six minutes to give the hosts an early 11-point lead. After exchanging a few baskets, the Judges would expand their advantage to 37-22 lead in the opening 20 minutes. Brandeis converted 10 UMass Dartmouth turnovers into 15 points heading into the break.
The Judges kept on the gas, expanding the lead to18 to start the second half. After Brandeis' lead reached its apex, Robinson attacked the basket by scoring seven-straight UMass Dartmouth points to bring the deficit back down.
The Judges would hold the margin until Josh Nelson (Providence, R.I.) connected on a jumper with 5:14 remaining, giving UMass Dartmouth a full head of steam down the stretch. A quick five points by Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) cut the gap three with fewer than two minutes to go. A fast break dunk for Brandeis was followed up with a clutch 3-pointer by Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.), but the hosts hit all four of their foul shot opportunites down the stretch to seal the game.
Inside the Numbers
- In the first half the Corsairs shot a mere 38.1 percent (8-for-21) from the field but improved significantly in the second stanza, hitting 51.6 percent (16-for-31) of their shots.
- UMass Dartmouth maintains the all-time series against Brandeis at 16-11, but has dropped the last two games to the Judges.
- Only three players reached double-figures on the game, as Mendes led the way with 12 points on the day for the Corsairs. Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio) and Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla.) both also sunk 12 points to lead Brandeis.
- At just 44 percent from the foul line, the Corsairs mustered their lowest free-throw percentage since last year's Little East Conference semifinal at Eastern Connecticut, when UMass Dartmouth shot 40.7 percent at the stripe.
UMass Dartmouth remains on the road as they head to Bridgewater State on Thursday, meeting the Bears for a 7 p.m. tip-off.