Men's Basketball Suffers First Setback With Loss to Brandeis

Contact: Ben Badua

Amherst fell to 8-1 on the year despite
junior Willy Workman's 17-point effort.

WALTHAM, Mass. - Despite junior Willy Workman’s (Northampton, Mass.) team-high 17 points, the second-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team suffered its first setback of the season with a 76-61 loss to Brandeis in Waltham, Mass.

With the loss, Amherst falls to 8-1 on the season while Brandeis evens its record at 5-5 on the year. Despite owning a 13-4 edge over Brandeis in the squads’ last 17 meetings, the Judges have gotten the better of the Jeffs of late, posting a 4-2 mark since 2007-08 with wins in three of the last four matchups.

Looking to get off to a fast start, Brandeis jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after a Vytas Kriskus ’12 layup but Amherst answered with a 6-2 stretch of its own, knotting the game at eight on a David Waller ’12 (Tampa, Fla.) triple.

Down 13-10 following a Derek Retos ’14 trey at 15:39, Workman and Jeff Holmes ’12 (Saunderstown, R.I.) buried consecutive baskets to briefly put Amherst on top but Retos again connected from long distance to help the home team regain the lead.

The Lord Jeffs responded with six unanswered points, going up 20-16 on a Taylor Barrise ’12 (Allendale, N.J.) jumper at 10:05. Brandeis countered with nine of the game’s next 11 points, taking a 25-22 edge on a Youri Dascy ’14 layup just shy of the six and a half minute mark.

Down 29-26 after a Ben Bartoldus ’14 layup, Holmes trimmed the Amherst deficit to one in the waning moments of the first but Tyrone Hughes ’12 drove into the lane before kicking it out to an open Kriskus who drained a three-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Judges a 32-28 cushion heading into the intermission.

Hoping to carry the momentum into the second half, Bartoldus netted five of the frame’s first seven points to extend the Brandeis lead to seven. Trying to help the Jeffs keep pace, Holmes buried consecutive baskets to pull Amherst back within three at 37-34 but back-to-back Retos and Bartoldus threes put the Judges up nine, forcing an Amherst timeout.

Ahead by seven after an Allen Williamson ’13 (Saugus, Mass.) steal and layup, Kriskus knocked down Brandeis’ eighth triple of the night before Bartoldus converted a three-point play the old fashioned way, making it 49-36 with 13:42 to go.

Jeff sophomore David Kalema (Burke, Va.) ended the Judges’ 12-2 run with a three on Amherst’s next possession before Holmes again connected down low to bring the visitors back within eight. Up seven with just over eight minutes left on the clock, Kriskus buried another Brandeis triple before Dascy and Bartoldus hit consecutive buckets to cap off a quick 7-0 spurt.

Trailing by 14 with 1:37 to play, Workman netted a pair of free-throws to trim the lead Amherst deficit to 68-56 but that was as close as the Jeffs would get with the Judges holding steady the rest of the way en route to a 15-point win.

Holmes finished with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting, grabbing seven rebounds, while Kalema chipped in with 11. Barrise went 3-for-6 from the field, finishing with seven points and three boards while Williamson and Peter Kaasila ’13 (Plaistow, N.H.) combined for eight points and five boards.

Bartoldus led Brandeis with a game high 23 points, draining three treys while going 9-for-16 from the floor. Kriskus tallied 17 points with three triples while Dascy netted 13 points, pulling down seven rebounds. As a team, the Judges shot 52.0 percent (26-for-50) from the field and 64.3 percent (9-for-14) from beyond the arc.

Amherst, which held a slight 33-31 rebounding edge, returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 13 when it plays host to Anna Maria.