The men’s basketball team traveled to New York City and Boston last weekend for a pair of University Athletic Association games against New York University and Brandeis University. On Friday night, the Yellowjackets defeated NYU, 58-53, avenging their overtime loss in the Palestra one month earlier. The trip to Brandeis, however, was not so kind to the ‘Jackets, as they fell by a score of 73-66 on Sunday afternoon.
Rochester had a slow start in the NYU game, as they managed only six points in the first 9:36 of the game. After trailing 14-6, they got it going as they rang off 11 unanswered points en route to an 18-2 run. The offensive explosion was due to solid shooting.
After a lay-up by junior Dan Milbrand, junior Rob Dominiak popped a three and was then fouled on a three-point attempt in the next possession. After making all three foul shots, it was senior Tim Brackney’s turn when he sank a trey and then a jumper. Junior Jon Onyiriuka and Milbrand then made lay-ups, and Milbrand hit a free-throw to cap off the impressive 18-2 run. Rochester led 27-20 at the half.
The Yellowjackets extended their lead to 16, 44-28, with 12:29 left to play in the second half. NYU didn’t go down easily, though. The Violets battled back and cut the deficit to three (53-50) after a trey from Michael DeCorso with 1:40 to play. After a lay-up from senior Eric Snider and a free throw from junior Jeff Juron, the lead was back at six.
Again NYU hit a three, this time from Charlie Parker with 15 seconds left. After getting the ball back with a chance to tie the game, NYU bricked the game-tying shot off the rim. A couple of free throws from Dominiak sealed the game.
Brackney made three of six from outside the arc and finished with a game high 21 points. Dominiak scored eight while Onyiriuka finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Junior Uche Ndubizu had three points and five boards.
NYU’s high scorer was Michael DeCorso, who finished with 17. Charlie Parker and Jason Boone finished with 12 apiece while Michael Magee grabbed eight rebounds. The road victory snapped NYU’s 13-game home win streak in front of 2,496 spectators at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in New York.
The Yellowjackets had their five-game winning streak come to a screeching halt on Sunday after losing to Brandeis University, 73-66, at Red Auerbach Arena. UR’s Rob Dominiak stole the show with a career high 21 point performance. The junior sniper stroked six of eight from beyond the arc and was three for three from the foul line in 14 minutes of action. His six treys are just two shy of the school record for threes in a game.
Sophomore Mike Chmielowiec finished the game with 11 points; he was the only other Yellowjacket in double digits. Tim Brackney and Jon Onyiriuka scored nine each, while Juron contributed eight points. Onyiriuka also finished with six rebounds while Uche Ndubizu tore down a game high 10 rebounds.
Not to be outdone, Brandeis’s Steve DeLuca shared high scoring honors with Dominiak. He also finished with 21 points and hit five of six shots from trey-land in 37 minutes of work. Florian Rexhepi had 14 points while Joe Coppons added 13 for Brandeis. Both players had a pair of threes as well.
Brandeis hit 58 percent from the floor and sank 11 three-pointers. Rochester made 48 percent from the field and drained 10 from beyond the arc. This victory marks the winningest season since 1991-92 for the Judges.
UR trailed, 25-22, in the last seconds of the half until DeLuca hit a three ball just before the buzzer sounded. The ‘Jackets were down by six heading into the locker room.
Early in the second half, Brandeis jumped out to a 10 point lead. The Yellowjackets responded with a little run of their own to take a one point lead, 41-40, with 10:38 remaining in the game. The Judges then went on a 25-11 run in the following seven minutes to take a large lead (65-52) with 2:02 left.
In the waning seconds of the game, Dominiak hit a pair of threes while Chmielowiec drilled another putting the ‘Jackets right back in the ball game, 65-61, with 55 seconds remaining. Eventually, Brandeis would make six of eight free throws to end the game and come away with a win.
Rochester is 16-6 overall and 7-4 in the UAA. Brandeis is also 16-6 overall, 6-5 in conference play. This weekend, UR plays host to the top two teams in the conference in couple of enormous games.
On Friday night, the University of Chicago (9-2) visits the Palestra, and on Sunday afternoon, Washington University (9-2) comes to town.
The ‘Jackets then wrap up their regular season against Carnegie Mellon University in the Palestra on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Chicago and Wash U. also each have to play one more game against Carnegie and then must play against each other in a game that could determine the champion of the UAA.
Kahovec is a member of
the class of 2008.