The Judges’ men’s basketball team took two out of three games last week, winning a pair of close games at home on either side of a blowout loss at Suffolk University.  The Judges are now 3–2 on the season and have exciting prospects going forward with impressive depth on their bench.

Judges 74, Emerson 70

Monday night at Red Auerbach Arena, the Judges defeated the Emerson College Lions in a game that went down to the wire.  Collin Sawyer ’20 paced the team in scoring with 21 points including the game winning shot, while Lawrence Sabir ’21, Chandler Jones ’21 and Eric D’Aguanno ’20 each scored 13.  The Judges shot an impressive 12 for 25 from three point range, led by 4 for 7 for Sawyer. Nolan Hagerty ’22 led the team with nine rebounds, while he and Sabir each had six assists.

Brandeis started off with an incredible shooting display, connecting on 10 of their first 11 shots including several three pointers to lead 23–10.  The lead expanded to 42–21 as the Judges’ continued to shoot the ball well in the first half.  Emerson got back into the game, cutting the Judges’ lead to 46-38 by halftime. 

The home team started brightly in the second half, leading at one moment by 57–40.  Emerson responded with another huge run, scoring 20 of the next 25 points to cut the Brandeis lead to 62–60 with six and a half minutes left in the game.  The Judges led by four with 90 seconds to go in regulation before the Lions’ Jack O’Connor connected from behind the arc to make the score 73–72.  The next minute would feature plenty of drama but no points, as Jones missed a layup following an Emerson turnover, giving the visitors the ball back with 27 seconds remaining and a chance to take the lead.  Jones responded immediately with the play of the game, drawing an offensive foul from O’Connor. This forced the Lions to foul D’Aguanno, who only made 1 of 2 free throws for a two point lead. O’Connor hit a pair of free throws after being fouled on the next possession, setting up the Judges for a chance to win the game with the final play of regulation time.  After a kicked ball violation, Sabir found Sawyer underneath the basket in the dying seconds, and the senior converted.  With no timeouts left, Emerson could only manage a desperation shot at the buzzer, which airballed, as the Judges escaped the comeback to win their home opener.

Suffolk 72, Judges 57

Sawyer hit four three-pointers on his way to 19 points and D’Aguanno made his 200th career three, but the Judges were frustrated in a loss to the Suffolk University Rams.  Brandeis trailed for the entire first half after going down 8–0, but hung around to go into halftime down just 32–29.  The visitors scored the first six points of the second half, taking their first lead of the game on a jumper by Sawyer just over a minute in. It would be their only lead of the game, as Suffolk went on a 10–0 run a few minutes later to lead 49–38.  The Judges could not find a way back down the stretch, and scored only 57 points on a tough night shooting from the field.

Judges 81, Rhode Island 75

At home again on Saturday, the Judges took down the Rhode Island College Anchormen in an exciting game. Sawyer, D’Aguanno, Sabir and Hagerty all scored double digits. Jones had six rebounds while Hagerty led the team with five assists.  As a team, the Judges shot 55% from the floor while receiving 29 points from their bench.

The Judges gradually built a sizable lead in the first half against previously undefeated Rhode Island, going into the break up 45–31.  Brandeis led 62–40 several minutes into the period, and it looked as though they were in for a comfortable victory. However, the Anchormen had other ideas, cutting the lead down to 75–65 with 2:25 left. A pair of important free throws by Sabir made it a twelve point game, but the visitors’ Keyshaun Jacobs and Shion Darby hit three pointers to make it a six point game against the odds, with still over a minute remaining.  The teams traded free throws before Jones missed a pair from the line to give the Anchormen the ball back in a two possession game. Darby missed a difficult shot, giving the Judges another chance to seal the game from the line. This time it was Sawyer missing two free throws, and the result was still in doubt with 20 seconds left before Jacobs missed a crucial three. Sawyer finally put the game away with 10 seconds left, and the Judges avoided an embarrassing collapse to hand Rhode Island their first loss of the season. With the win, the Judges improved to 3–2 ,and will next play at home over winter break on Jan. 7.