The men’s basketball team tipped off its 2017 to 2018 campaign this past week, opening the season with two consecutive losses. The squad dropped a close contest in its season opener at Suffolk University on Wednesday, its comeback bid falling short despite a stellar performance from star guard Eric D’Aguanno ’20. The team followed that loss with another close defeat, blowing a six-point halftime lead en route to a loss at the hands of Becker College on Saturday. The new-look Judges should expect early trials this season, as the squad strives to build chemistry on a team that features nine underclassmen.

Judges 83, Becker 84

The Judges ended their first week of play with a nail-biting home loss to Becker College. Brandeis and Becker opened the game with exciting back-and-forth action, with the Judges creating some separation by the end of the first half. The Judges — leading by as many as nine points before the break — took a 42-36 lead into the half, carried by D’Aguanno’s eight first-half points. The squad was unable to capitalize on their half-time lead, however, losing momentum in the game’s waning minutes. Becker College reeled off 13 straight points to take an 84-80 lead in the game’s final seconds, ultimately staving off the Judges’ comeback bid for the road victory. The Judges’ inability to preserve a big lead in crunch time is a result of the squad’s youth, as holding on in close games often comes with a calm and collected attitude developed through veteran experience. 

D’Aguanno led the way for the Judges, finishing the game with 24 points on 6-16 shooting from the field. Each of D’Aguanno’s shot attempts came from beyond the arc. The sophomore star added six points from the free throw line, finishing the game shooting 6-7 from the stripe. Forward Latye Workman ’18 finished the game with nine points and seven rebounds. Guard Nate Meehan ’18 contributed a solid 13 points for the team, nailing three 3-pointers by game’s end. 

Becker was led by junior guard Kareem Davis, who led all scorers with 26 points. Davis also notched seven rebounds and dished out two assists. Senior forward Samuel Durodola packed a punch in the post, finishing the game with 24 points and four rebounds. 

The loss dropped the Judges to 0-2 on the season. The victory brought the Hawks to 1-1.

Judges 67, Suffolk 75

The Judges kicked off their season with a road loss to cross-town foe Suffolk University. The Judges played catch-up from the start of play, as Suffolk sophomore guard Thomas Duffy broke out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Duffy finished the contest with a game-high 25 points, including four big three-pointers. Though the final score indicates a degree of closeness in the match, the Judges were never able to generate enough stops on the defensive end to get back into the game. 

The squad was led in scoring by D’Aguanno, who finished the game with 18 points — 10 of which came in the first half. D’Aguanno shot significantly better in this game, finishing 6-13 from the field and 4-9 from the 3-point line. The Judges were also led by Workman, who finished the contest with 16 points of his own. Meehan added 11 points, going a perfect 3-3 from distance. Despite shooting a solid 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from three, the Judges’ 19 turnovers proved critical in the team’s inability to complete its comeback effort. 

In addition to Duffy, Suffolk put two others in double-digits. Junior guard Michael Hagopian finished the game with 14 points, going 4-5 from 3-point territory. Sophomore guard George Grillakis added 13 points off the bench, single-handedly outscoring all of Brandeis’ bench. The Rams capitalized on the Judges’ miscues, scoring a total of 22 points off Brandeis turnovers.

The team will next play on Nov. 28 at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth as it looks to pick up its first win.