Brandeis vs. Rochester:

Women 77-71. 

Coming off a rough road trip, the Brandeis Women’s Basketball team looked to make a statement by capturing their first University Athletic Association (UAA) win against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets on Jan. 20. The Yellowjackets began the game with a quick 6–3 run, forcing an early timeout from the Judges. Following the timeout, the Judges went on a 16–6 run, including two three-point bombs from senior co-captain Francesca Marchese ’23. Brandeis ended the first period with a great assist to Shannon Smally M.A. ’23 from co-captain Emma Reavis ’23 for the layup. Shots from all over the floor fell in the second period as the Judges pulled away with a 26–9 run, entering the half with a 15-point lead. Nonetheless, Rochester did not yield, and by forcing some Judges’ turnovers, they were able to cut the deficit to just nine before the final period. Things got tense for the Judges when back-to-back threes from the Yellowjackets took the Brandeis lead away with six minutes left on the clock. Reavis refused to back down and propelled a 12-2 run with a handful of layups, a couple of steals, and an assist of her own. The Judges survived the free throw battle and upset the #7 Yellowjackets Women’s Basketball, 77–71. 

Reavis led her team with 18 points and a career-high nine assists. Smally delivered an efficient 7-9 shooting performance and finished with 14 points and six rebounds, a team-high shared with Marchese. The Judges shot a stellar 53.3% (32 of 60) from the field in their first conference win.  

Men 83-72

After a thrilling roadgame against the University of Chicago, ending with a game-winning step-back jumper from Ethan Edwards ’26, the Judges Men’s Basketball team stepped into the Auerbach Arena on Jan. 20 ready to take on the University of Rochester Men’s Basketball team. The Yellowjackets swarmed the Judges right after the tip-off, forced turnovers, and built an early lead. Brandeis Head Coach Jean Bain called two timeouts to gather the troops and make adjustments. Brandeis’ leading scorer, Toby Harris ’25, stepped up after the huddle to give the team a lift. Junior guard Sam Adusei ’24 spotted up and sank a three-pointer with a Yellowjacket foul, completing the four-point play in front of the Brandeis crowd. Harris added another three to take the first Judges lead of the game. Second-chance baskets from big man Griffin Walbridge ’25 and co-captain Terrell Brown ’23 gave Brandeis some cushion. With 7:27 left in the first half, Adusei penetrated the Yellowjackets’ defense with three consecutive layups and a made free throw. The Judges marched into halftime with a double-digit lead, 43–32. A shooting slump, foul problems, and some turnovers troubled Brandeis as Rochester sped up the pace after the break. Similar to the earlier game, the Yellowjackets took over the lead with eight minutes remaining on the clock before first-year talents Ethan Edwards ’26 and Quron Zene ’26 boosted the Judges with another collective 7–0 run. Rochester hung around until another trifecta from Harris and a steal from Zene gave Brandeis a seven-point lead with a minute left on the clock. The Judges held on to take the contest 83-72. 

Harris finished the game with an impressive 19-point performance. Zene scored the first eight Judges points and finished with career-high 18 points and team-high eight rebounds. Adusei survived his foul trouble and handed in another 18 points and four steals–both career-highs. Edwards joined the action from the bench with 15 points. 

Brandeis vs. Emory

Men 73-71 (OT)

The Sunday games against the Emory University Eagles began with the men’s contest. The Judges went neck-and-neck with the #18 Eagles for the first ten minutes. Two three-point baskets in a row from Zene and Ryan Power ’24 gave the Judges a six-point lead. The Eagles answered the call by executing their plays and sinking their own threes, taking a brief three-point lead before Harris evened the game with a one-legged trifecta that beat the halftime buzzer, 36–36. The Judges could not find the rhythm starting the second half, which gifted Emory their lead for another ten minutes. As a 9–2 run from Edwards and Harris’ three-point efforts canceled the Eagles’ lead, the contest remained tight for the rest of the game. The Eagles controlled the two final possessions at the end of regulation, but neither attempt found the net. In the overtime, both teams fired from downtown but failed to connect. An Emory layup with 3:37 left on the clock marked the last made-basket of the game as three-point tries from Power and senior guard Dylan Lien ’23 fell short. 

Harris, despite rolling his ankle on Friday, scored 26 points with six three-pointers. Edwards put up 16 points off the bench. Zene filled the sheet with ten points and a career-high 11 rebounds. The Judges battled through 13 ties and 11 lead changes with the conference-leading Emory Eagles. The men finished the weekend with an 11–5 record overall and a 3–2 conference record.

Women 58-77

Women’s Basketball did their best to try and hold off the Eagles in the second game of the afternoon. Early layups from Marchese and Reavis gave the Judges some momentum, but the Eagles took an early lead by making four threes in the first quarter. The Judges climbed back within five following a deep triple from Marchese, but could not keep up with the Eagles’ offense. Emory pulled away thanks to their sharp shooting and lethal fastbreaks. The Eagles dominated the first half and entered the break with a commanding 17-point lead. Brandeis tried to inch closer for one last time after halftime but failed to make the open shots count. Junior swingwoman Caitlin Gresko ’24 was perfect from the field in the final period, but that did not change much as the Eagles left the court with the win. The Judges ended the week with a 6–10 overall record, and a 1–4 record in the UAA. 

Gresko finished the afternoon with a team-high 17 points and four rebounds. Marchese hit three-of-eight from beyond the arc and scored a total of 11 points. The veteran shooter is now fifth on the Brandeis women’s record with 117 three-pointers made. The Brandeis basketball teams will continue their conference schedule next weekend, hosting the Case Western Reserve University Spartans on Jan. 27 and the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans on Jan. 29 for the first “Alumni Basketball Day” since 2020!