The men’s basketball team had a tough week, dropping both of its University Athletic Association conference games at home. The struggling squad dropped to a 4-12 record as it is still figuring things out as a cohesive unit.

Judges 57, Emory 90

The Judges ended their week with a tough loss at the hands of Emory University by a final score of 90-57. Emory improved to an impressive 14-2 overall record, while its conference record remained a perfect 5-0. 

Emory simply outplayed Brandeis this week in all major facets of the game. The Eagles shot 53.8 percent from the field compared to the Judges’ 41.3 percent. Furthermore, the Judges had a lower three-point shooting percentage (30.0 to 38.7), fewer rebounds (28 to 32) and fewer assists (nine to 26). The biggest difference between the two squads in this one, however, was depth coming off the bench. Emory had a remarkable 49 bench points compared to Brandeis’ 15. 

Judges 66, Rochester 75

The Judges were defeated on Friday by the University of Rochester by a final score of 75-66. The loss was the 11th of the season for Brandeis as their conference record fell to 0-4 on the season. Rochester improved to 12-3 overall with a 3-1 record in the conference. 

Guard Collin Sawyer ’20 led the way offensively for Brandeis with 14 points on 5-12 shooting. Guard Lawrence Sabir ’21 was a menace for the team as well, totaling 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds for the day. Forward Chandler Jones ’21 also reached double-digits with 10 points for the Judges. 

This game came down to rebounding, free throws and bench points. Rochester dominated down low, outrebounding Brandeis 41-28. Furthermore, Rochester had twice as many free throws as the Judges, 26-13. The biggest point of difference between the two teams came at the charity stripe — Rochester shot 14-19 from the line while Brandeis put up a 6-14 mark, ultimately a huge difference down the stretch in close games like this. While the Judges had a better three-point shooting percentage than Rochester, as well as fewer turnovers, it was not enough to overcome their fellow UAA competitor.

There is still plenty of time for this team to turn things around with nine games left in the season. Next week will be a continuation of the Judges’ UAA home stand as the team plays Case Western Reserve University on Friday and Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday. Last season, the Judges finished 1-1 on the year against Case Western. Their first game was at home and the Judges came out on top by a score of 83-66. The team then lost their second matchup at Case Western by a score of 88-66. The keys to the Judges’ victory were bench points and capitalizing on Case Western’s mistakes. Brandeis had 38 bench points compared to Case Western’s 14 points, and the squad scored 31 points off turnovers besting Case Western’s seven.

Against Carnegie Mellon, Brandeis lost both games last season by scores of 70-66 and 78-64. While the first game was very close, the biggest keys to the second game were rebounding and points off turnovers. Carnegie Mellon outrebounded Brandeis 42-31 and they scored 11 more points off turnovers. If the Judges can create more of a presence down low and be more cautious with the ball, they definitely stand a chance to come out on top in this year’s matchup.

The Judges are a very talented team with a lot of potential, but they are also a very young team. With six first-years currently on the roster, these rookies are just starting to get used to collegiate play. With plenty of time and depth to get in a groove, fans should be excited to watch the Judges grow into an impressive crew.