Jeffs Suffer 71-55 Loss at No. 21 Brandeis

Spencer Noon '13 scored five points and dished out a game- and career-high six assists at Brandeis.

Courtesy of Brandeis University

WALTHAM, MA – The Amherst College men’s basketball team got 14 points from senior tri-captain Steve Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) and first-year Allen Williamson (Saugus, MA) but could not hang with No. 21 Brandeis University, as the Lord Jeffs suffered a 71-55 loss in a non-conference matchup in Red Auerbach Arena. Brandeis improves to 16-4 overall with the win, while Amherst falls to 14-8 with its fifth loss in six games.

Wheeler connected on four of his seven attempts from behind the arc to give him 900 points and 187 three-pointers for his career. Only John Pavelski ’98 (190) and Jamal Wilson ’97 (198) stand between Wheeler and the Amherst College record for career three-point field goals made.

Brandeis senior forward Terrell Hollins continued his inspired play, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his seventh-consecutive double-double. Hollins connected on 10-of-14 from the floor and hit one of his two free throws. Over his last seven contests, Hollins has averaged 16 points and 13.6 rebounds while shooting 59.6 percent from the field.

Three other Judges reached double figures. Senior Kenny Small had 16 points on 6-of-13 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, while classmate Andre Roberson and sophomore Tyrone Hughes had 11 each. Hughes matched Hollins with five assists, while Roberson led all players with three steals.

As a team, Brandeis shot 51.8 percent from the floor (29-for-56), its best performance in the past 13 games. The Judges out-scored Amherst, 32-18, in points in the paint and 20-2 in points off turnovers, forcing 16 Lord Jeff miscues while committing only eight of their own.

Wheeler and Williamson were Amherst’s lone players in double digits, with Williamson's spark off the bench leading the Lord Jeffs to a 29-5 scoring edge by the reserves. Sophomore Jeff Holmes (Saunderstown, RI) paced Amherst with eight rebounds, while first-year Spencer Noon (Unionville, CT) had five points and a game- and career-high six assists off the pine.

After Wheeler opened the game with a three-pointer, Small answered from beyond the arc on the next possession to spark a 9-0 run, and Brandeis never trailed again. The Lord Jeffs closed within one at 9-8 after five-straight points by Holmes, but Brandeis answered again with a 6-0 run, going up 15-8 at the 11:25 mark on a Hughes lay-up.

The lead bounced between four and eight points over the next five minutes before Hollins scored back-to-back lay-ups off Amherst turnovers, pushing the lead to 27-17 with just under seven minutes before the break. Hollins also hit two late buckets that gave Brandeis a pair of 11-point leads before a traditional three-point play by Williamson and Peter Kaasila (Plaistow, NH) free throws got the visitors back within six. Roberson connected on a late jumper to give the Judges a 35-27 lead at the break. Hollins finished with 14 points and six rebounds in the first half as the Judges enjoyed a 21-11 rebounding advantage.

Brandeis opened the second half with a full-court press that helped blow the game open. The Judges out-scored Amherst, 13-2, over the first 3:54 by forcing five Lord Jeff turnovers and hitting six of their first seven shots to take a 48-29 lead. Roberson was key with two steals, two assists and two points, while senior Richard Magee had five points in the stretch.

Still trailing by 19 at the 14:38 mark, Amherst found its range from beyond the arc to cut into the lead. Wheeler opened an eight-minute stretch with his third trifecta of the game, and the Lord Jeffs connected four more times in a 16-6 run, capped by a David Waller (Tampa, FL) bomb that got the visitors within 58-49 with 6:49 on the clock. The Jeffs missed from deep on their next shot to end the run, and Brandeis scored the next five points to keep the margin above double figures for the final 5:19 of the contest.

The Lord Jeffs will return to action Friday, Feb. 12, when they host archrival—and second-ranked—Williams College at 8 p.m.