After two important conference wins last weekend, the Yellowjackets closed out their four-game home stand with two wins over the Brandeis University Judges, 5-6, and the New York University Violets, 7-4. They are now a tied for second place in the University Athletic Association at 7-4 and are 15-6 overall.
The Yellowjackets swept the season series with Brandeis and avenged an earlier loss to NYU back on Jan. 6 with a season best performance by guard and sophomore Jeff Juron.
The Yellowjackets trail only Carnegie Mellon University, 8-3, by a game for the UAA lead as they head into the final stretch of their season.
Last Friday’s game against Brandeis was a rematch of a nail biter back on Jan. 8th, in which UR squeaked by 48-47.
The Yellowjackets jumped on the Judges earlier by pulling out to a 35-21 lead by the end of the first half. They were on 66 percent shooting and an impressive 5-5 from behind the arc.
Juron scored 10 of his season high 19 points in the first half, with center and sophomore Jon Onyiriuka adding an additional eight points and seven rebounds.
Going into the second half, UR pushed their lead to 17 on a three-pointer by guard and senior Joe Canty, but the Judges fought back going on an 11-0 run over a 3:15 span that tied the game at 45.
The bleeding ended when forward and sophomore Uche Ndubizu made a lay up. That was followed with threes by guards and freshmen Michael Chmielowiec and Max Kaplan.
Brandeis closed within one with 1:37 remaining before Juron and Onyiriuka put the game away scoring the games last eight points. Steve DeLuca led Brandeis with 16 points as the Judges shot only 41 percent from the floor.
The second game of the two was a rematch in which the Yellowjackets attempted to avenge their earlier 68-50 loss. UR clamped down defensively holding the Violets to a season worst 29.4 percent from the floor, compared to 50 percent the last time the two met.
The Yellowjackets were once again led by Juron and Onyiriuka who combined for 34 points. The first half remained close until UR closed out the half strong and went into the break with a 34-26 break.
Guard and senior Mike Goia hit a couple of threes to help push the lead to 47-34, but it was the Yellowjackets defense that wilted the Violets holding them to only six field goals in the second half and shutting them down from behind the arc.
NYU’s Jason Boone led all scorers with 22 points on 7-13 shooting and converted eight of 11 from the charity stripe while the rest of the Violets shot only 21 percent for the game. NYU has now lost two of its last three games.
The Yellowjackets finish out their season with a three game road trip in which they will attempt to catch up to UAA conference leader Carnegie Mellon.
UR will travel to Cleveland on Feb. 17 to face the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University and will take their shot at division leader Carnegie Mellon on Feb. 25.
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