Men become 2019 ECAC Champions
The Brandeis men’s basketball team has concluded their season as Eastern College Athletic Conference champions, winning their fourth crown in the Brandeis University program’s history, according to the Brandeis Athletics website. The Judges finished their season with an impressive record of 18–11 overall and 7–7 in the University Athletic Association.
According to the ECAC, this was the Judges’ first postseason trip since 2011, and they defeated the Rutgers-Newark College Scarlet Raiders by a score of 72–60. During the first half of play, neither team won decisively. There were a total of ten ties and eight lead changes throughout the game. The largest lead of the first half came from senior Corey Sherman when he made a layup at 14:11, bringing the score to 11–7, still only a four point difference. At halftime, the Judges had a small lead of 31–29, representative of the even match between the teams. In that first half, however, Chandler Jones ’21 put on an impressive performance. He scored 12 points in the first half and played for all 20 minutes. In addition, he contributed seven rebounds to the first half.
The second half began similarly to the first with two more ties, but after going behind to the Judges by three points — 34–31 — the Scarlet Raiders scored the game’s next six points. This gave the Raiders their largest lead. While the score was 37–34, the Judges called a time out, after which they scored the game’s next ten points, putting them back in the lead. After Sherman scored four free throws on fouls from Rutgers-Newark, the Judges were up 44–37 with 16:25 left in the game.
Pushing back against the Judges, the Scarlet Raiders scored the game’s next four points, but two more free throws from Sherman brought the score to 46–41. Again pressing for points, Rutgers-Newark scored the next seven game points, putting them ahead at 48–46 with the last two points scored after a foul from the Judges. Rutgers-Newark followed with a foul of their own, and Collin Sawyer ’20 made a three-point shot that put Brandeis ahead for the rest of the game. The Judges’ defense proved to be a force that the Scarlet-Raiders could not overcome. The final score was 72–60.
Jones led the Judges’ to victory with a total of 17 points. Jones also led with 10 rebounds, and Lawrence Sabir ’21 led with three assists.
Leading up to this game, the Judges beat John Jay College, Marywood College and Drew University while they worked to reach the finals. The Judges are now 4–0 in ECAC Tournament title games. They also won in 1974, 1992 and 2011, according to ECAC. Additionally, the Judges’ 18 wins in a season are the most that the Judges have seen since 2011, when the team won the ECAC finals, giving them 19 victories. This record shows how far the team has come and how much they improved this season. Under new head coach Jean Bain, the team won 11 more games than last season. The team has worked together and persevered to make this season a success, and there is no limit to what the team will be able to accomplish in the 2019-2020 season.
In an interview with the Justice, Clamage explained, "One thing that myself and everyone else on the team has been so thankful for is the support we’ve gotten from everyone. Talking to some of the upperclassmen on the team, they told me that this year we’ve been getting some of the best fan turnouts for games that they’ve experienced in their years here. Having a great crowd for all our home games has really made playing at Brandeis special." This season had ups and down's for the Judges, who ended the season this week with a record of 18–11. The team, led by head coach Jean Bain, assistant coaches Patrick Luptowski, Sean Tabb, and L.J. Harrington and captains Corey Sherman '19 and Katye Workman '18, scored a total of 1929 points overall, and 878 points in the conference. Senior Corey Sherman will be missed on next years roster, as he scored an average of 13.8 points per game.