The Brandeis Judges Basketball splits senior day contests with the University of Chicago
The Brandeis Judges Men’s Basketball outlasted the University of Chicago Maroons while Women’s Basketball fell short on senior day.
Troubled by the injury of star guard Ethan Edwards ̕26, the Brandeis Men’s Basketball team looked to finish their season strong. On Feb. 12, the Judges played their last home game — hosting the University of Chicago Maroons — seeking to stand their ground in the senior-day contest.
Defense had been the main theme for the Judges basketball this weekend as both teams struggled to connect on their shots early. Waltham native Ryan Power ’24 spotted up for a three and sank it off an assist from Griffin Walbridge ̕’25, which closed the gap to one with about 13 minutes left in the first half. Observing that the Maroons had been throwing some long passes, Power was able to time it perfectly and come up with a couple of steals to give the Judges some momentum. As center, Quron Zene ’26, hit a jumper with nine minutes until halftime, the Judges took their first lead of the game. However, Chicago responded through corner threes after some drive-and-kick action. Two trifectas from sophomore standout Toby Harris, combined with a beautiful finish from Walbridge, put the Judges up by four. The Maroons made another three-pointer to cut the lead and make the game close heading into halftime, Judges 26-25 Maroons.
The Maroons came out of the break with ambition, forcing a Judges turnover and sinking two trifectas until the Judges’ Coach, Jean Bain, called a full timeout to make some substitutions. After the adjustment, the Judges drove hard into the paint and found wide-open attempts as the Maroons’ defense collapsed, but Sam Adusei ̕’24 failed to connect from distance. They did not struggle for long as Walbridge cashed in another second-chance bucket off his own offensive rebound and Harris pulled up and splashed another miraculous three to put the Judges back on top. Both teams went back and forth from this point on and remained tied at 46 until there were only three minutes left on the clock. A crucial steal from Adusei followed by an over-the-head bounce pass from Power to Jake Bender ’26 gave the Judges some momentum as Bender finished the and-one layup. Although Chicago soon answered the call with their own three-point play, Harris lifted the Judges up once again with his signature three-point jumpshot. The Maroons seemingly panicked, committing two lethal turnovers in a row, which resulted in another three-point cushion for the Judges down the stretch. The Judges survived the free-throw battle and caused another two Chicago turnovers as time ran out. Brandeis won, 58-52 Chicago.
The seniors, Terrell Brown ’23, Dylan Lien ’23, and Darret Justice ’23, celebrated their last home victory despite quiet performances. Harris led the Judges with a double-double of 21 points and ten rebounds. Bender, Power, and Walbridge provided great help off the bench. Bender collected career-highs of seven points and four rebounds. Power totaled four steals, giving the Judges a well-needed boost on defense and eight points. Walbridge hustled and filled his sheet with three offensive rebounds, six points, and two steals. The Judges’ stellar defense resulted in 20 turnovers from the Maroons and led to a game-changing 16-3 advantage in points off turnovers. Brandeis snapped their six-game losing streak, as they look forward to their last road trip of the season starting next weekend.
The second game of the senior day featured a women’s basketball matchup between the Brandeis Judges and the #13 University of Chicago Maroons. Red Auerbach Arena saw a big crowd of family and friends cheering the Judges on in the final home game of the season.
The Judges scored the first basket of the game with a steal from co-captain Emma Reavis ’23 to her fellow captain Francesca Marchese ’23. The Maroons soon responded with some three-point bombs and mid-range shots to take an early lead. Shots refused to fall after an early timeout called by Head Coach Carol Simon. This was until co-captain Tathiana Pierre ’23 and first-year shooter Abby Kennedy ’26 finally connected from downtown and propelled a 9-5 Judges run to conclude the opening quarter, 15-24 Chicago. Pierre and Reavis kicked off the second period for the Judges with a layup and a three-pointer respectively, closing the gap to just four until the Maroons responded with another three. Three-point efforts from Kennedy and guard Mollie Obar ’25 tried to keep the Judges in the game, but Chicago continued to fight for offensive rebounds and remained aggressive in the paint, resulting in foul troubles for the Judges and some Maroons’ free throws. The Judges entered halftime trailing by 13. 34-47 Maroons.
Starting off the second half, both teams traded buckets from downtown as Marchese made two three-pointers in only three minutes. The Maroons maintained a 15-point lead with five minutes left in the third quarter. Selenya Gonzalez ’24 refused to give in, attacked the basket, and scored five points off free throws and a layup. The Judges tied the period and entered the final ten minutes with a 13-point deficit. Sophomore, Caitlin Gresko ’25, looked to close the gap by taking advantage of the Maroons’ defensive set-up to force mismatches and easy baskets, but the Judges could not refrain from foul calls for the majority of the game and awarded the Maroons bonus points off the charity stripe. As Reavis fouled out, Coach Simon eventually waved the white flag and gradually took all the seniors out of the game under the loud applause in Auerbach Arena for the final time.
Reavis pulled off another well-rounded performance, totaling 11 points, six rebounds, and seven assists — team-highs in all categories. Her co-captains, Marchese and Pierre, each chipped in eight points, while veteran center, Shannon Smally M.A. ’23, collected five rebounds. Gresko added another nine points and four assists. The Judges stayed around the ten-point margin until the Maroons pulled away in the late fourth quarter, putting up a well-fought battle for their last matchup at home this season.
With three conference games left, the Judges will visit the University of Rochester, Emory University, and conclude their season at New York University. Tune in the upcoming games online to witness the final college basketball actions of your Brandeis senior Judges!