Occasionally, a team doesn’t need to beat its opponent to win the game. Once in a while, a team can simply sit by and allow that opponent to beat itself, waiting patiently for the adversary to hand the game over in a neat little package.
The Yellowjackets were the receivers of such a gift on Sunday, when they travelled to Brandeis University to take on the Judges in a matchup of two of the University Athletic Association’s top teams.
Rather than exhausting the Judges through their trademark quick style of game play, or simply handing the ball over to sophomore guard John DiBartolomeo (currently on a hot streak that has made him a feared presence on any UAA court) UR chose instead to let Brandeis do the work.
The Judges proceeded to commit 19 turnovers throughout the game, which the Yellowjackets converted into 25 points — more than enough to seal the deal in the 77-64 victory at Brandeis’ Auerbach Arena.
The scoring was well divided among UR players, with five Yellowjackets reaching double figures. Junior forward Nate Novosel led the crew with 16 points, followed by freshman forward Nate Vernon and DiBartolomeo, who each added 14. Vernon also brought down five rebounds and gathered two steals from the Judges in the first start of his career. Senior guard Mike Lebanowski contributed another 10 points.
Junior Chris Dende scored 15 points in just 28 minutes off the bench.
With two wins this past weekend (the other coming from off a 67-65 victory over New York University on Friday), the Yellowjackets (14-4, 6-1 UAA) extended their winning streak to five in a row and seven of the last eight games. They maintained a one-game lead atop the UAA heading into a four-game home stand.
Bernstein is a member of the class of 2014.