After their blowout win against the University of Rochester and thrilling upset of Emory University last week, the Judges looked to continue their momentum in the Midwest. They suffered their fourth loss of the season in St. Louis on Friday night before escaping the University of Chicago in another down-to-the-wire finish.

Wash U 70, Judges 60

The Judges suffered their first loss in seven games this Friday night in St. Louis, Missouri at the hands of the now 14-2 Washington University in St. Louis Bears. Colin Sawyer ’20 paced the Judges in scoring with 20 points, adding three rebounds and a team-high four assists. Nolan Hagerty ’22 recorded a double-double, while Chandler Jones ’21 and Dylan Lien ’23 each pitched in nine points. The visitors outshot their opponents by 2.5% overall, but shot just 5–16 from beyond the arc, while the Bears tallied nine threes of their own. The Judges were also out-rebounded 39–33 and had a turnover margin of -3. As a result, the Judges trailed by six in total field goal attempts and by eight in free throw tries.

Brandeis trailed from start to finish in this one, falling behind 6–0 after just over two minutes. For most of the first half, it did not get much better, as the Bears built a 30–14 lead at the 7:25 mark. The 24th-  Judges quickly bounced back with Sawyer, Hagerty, and Sam Nassar ’22 combining to score 13 straight points. Wash U finally managed their first field goal in nearly seven and a half minutes just before the break to head in leading 36–30

A triple by Jones, who had been in foul trouble for most of the first half, brought the Judges back within three points early in the second half.  The 14th-ranked hosts responded in short order with a 10–2 run of their own to restore a double-digit advantage. It was tightly contested the rest of the way, but WashU managed to see off the Judges’ attempts to come back after pulling back within six at 7:48.

Judges 63, UChicago 60

The Judges improved to 12–4 (4–1 in the UAA) on the season with an exciting win over the University of Chicago Maroons on Sunday. Eric D’Aguanno ’20 led the team with 15 points in just 18 minutes off the bench while Jones managed a double-double in the victory. The game was well played, with only 12 turnovers between the teams and neither ever leading by more than nine.  The Judges struggled from deep for the second straight game, going just 6–20.

A layup by Matan Zucker ’23 put the Judges up 12–7 early in the game before the underdog hosts went on a 13–4 run, making it 20–16 in their favor. The Judges failed to retake the lead for the remainder of the period, despite tying the game at 28 on a jump shot by D’Aguanno. The Maroons scored the final four points of the half to send Brandeis into halftime in danger of dropping their second straight contest.

Sawyer gave the Judges the lead shortly into the second half, only for Chicago to restore a three point advantage at 16:50. Austin Clamage ’21 knocked down a signature clutch three as part of a 9-0 run that gave Brandeis a 44–38 advantage. D’Aguanno made it a nine point game at the midway point of the second half but that was as big a lead as they would have. Jones made a free throw to make it 60–55 with just over two minutes left. After Chicago brought it within three, the Judges elected to drain the shot clock resulting in a desperation miss by Jones that would have iced the game. Instead, the Maroons’ Brennan McDaniel tied the game with 29 seconds left on the clock. The Judges ran the clock down to under 10 seconds, and after the initial penetration was repelled, Jones found D’Aguanno on the wing for his second game-winning basket in three games. 

The Judges, now tied for second in the UAA, return to Auerbach Arena next weekend to take on Case Western Reserve University and Carnegie Mellon University. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on Friday and noon on Sunday.