Just one week after beating Emory University and Case Western Reserve University in the Palestra, the Yellowjackets defeated them both on the road to sweep their second consecutive UAA conference weekend. On Friday, UR traveled to Atlanta where they defeated Emory, 81-65. In their second game, they came away with a 67-56 victory over Case on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.

More importantly, the ‘Jackets are now in sole possession of second place in the University Athletic Association and only one game behind co-leaders Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, which are each 7-2.

Along with these two wins, UR received a lot of help from other UAA opponents, giving them a legitimate shot at winning the conference title. On Sunday, Emory defeated Carnegie Mellon (5-4), who was in second place with the ‘Jackets. New York University (5-4) beat Chicago by three while Washington fell to Brandeis (4-5) in triple overtime.

The Yellowjackets defeated Emory behind a balanced offense as four of the five starters scored double digits. Senior Tim Brackney was the game’s high scorer with 17 points. Sophomore Mike Chmielowiec and junior Uche Ndubizu finished with 16 points apiece. Ndubizu also ripped a game-high 12 rebounds while junior point guard Jeff Juron scored 15 and matched his career high with nine assists.

On the other side of the ball, four Emory players also finished in double figures. Shawn Bailey had 16 points, Spiros Ferdergos scored 13, Barry Corrado notched 12 and Adrian Sosa finished with 11.

The ‘Jackets were on fire in the first half as they cashed in from beyond the arch, nailing eight of 12 (66.7 percent) from three-land. Brackney buried four of five treys while Juron hit three of three. At halftime, the Yellowjackets were winning 39-28. Early in the second half, the Eagles pulled within seven, but it was all ‘Jackets as Emory would not get any closer than that.

UR shot the ball very well as they made 60 percent of their shots from the field (30 of 50) and 61.1 percent from beyond the arc (11 of 18). Thanks to UR’s tough defense, Emory made just one of 13 three’s (8 percent), compared to just a week earlier when Emory made eight of 16 treys from outside the arc. Emory shot 44.3 percent from the floor.

“We’re getting really good ball movement,” Juron said, “Our big guys are getting double teamed and kicking the ball out to open shooters.”

On Sunday, Rochester beat Case, 67-56, due in part to a double-double by junior post man Jon Onyiruka. Onyriuka finished with 15 points and a season high 16 rebounds. This was Onyiriuka’s seventh double-double of the season and the 22nd of his career.

For the fourth game in a row, at least four of five starters scored double figures for the Yellowjackets. Chmielowiec scored a team high 17 points while Brackney finished with 12 points and a pair of threes. Juron tallied 11 points and five assists.

Case’s Mason Conrad was the game’s high scorer with 21. Brandon Bradford had 16 points and five assists for the Spartans. The first half was tight as Rochester led by only one at halftime, 30-29. In the first half, Case shot 55 percent from the field, while the Yellowjackets struggled, shooting just 38.2 percent.

UR came out strong in the second half, opening up the period with an 11-2 run giving them a 41-31 lead with just over 14 minutes left in the game. Brackney notched five points during the run while Chmielowiec had four and Onyiriuka netted a jumper for two. After a couple of free throws by senior Eric Snider, UR held its largest lead of the game as they led by 13 (48-35) with 11:09 to play. After a Case rally, the Spartans were down by six, 55-49, with 4:43 left.

The scoring went back and forth, but Case couldn’t get closer than six points. Although the ‘Jackets only made five of 10 free throws down the stretch, it was enough to shut the door on Case.

“We had to be gritty because it wasn’t pretty,” coach Mike Neer said.

Rochester improved to 15-5 overall and 6-3 in the UAA. Case is 4-16 and 0-9 in the UAA. The Yellowjackets travel to New York City and Boston next weekend to take on NYU and Brandeis in two crucial conference games.

Kahovec is a member of the class of 2008.

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