SALEM, Mass. - Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass.) finished with 26 points (FG 10-12), seven rebounds, and seven assists as the Brandeis Judges blazed past the Salem State Vikings 97-65 in the consolation game of the New England Big 4 Challenge on Sunday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium. The Judges improve to 6-3 on the year while the Vikings drop to 1-8.
Salem State senior Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.), who entered the contest needing three points to reach 1,000 for his career, scored 11 points, reaching the milestone with a pair of free throws early in the second half. Animashaun, who played one year at John Jay, is the 25th Vikings' player to achieve 1,000 points for their career.
Brandeis opened the game on a 9-0 run shooting 3-5 from the floor utilizing great ball movement. The Vikings cut the deficit to 15-13 with 11:29 left in the half as Jaden Castillo (Lawrence, Mass.), who had 12 first half points. steadied the offense.
Off a missed shot, Jones pushed the ball and dished it to Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, RI) for a three-pointer making it a 25-17 game. This forced a Salem State timeout with 5:33 to go in the first half. With eight seconds in the first half, Salem State's Fern Bernard (Malden, Mass.) drove to the hoop and made a layup as the buzzer expired, cutting the Brandeis lead to 34-29 at the half. The Judges shot 46.2% (FG 12-26) from the floor while Salem State made 36% (FG 9-25) of their shot attempts. Jones led the half in scoring with 13 points (FG 5-7).
Brandeis heated up from behind the arc in the second half, hitting nine-of-ten field goals from deep. D'Aguanno made five of the Judges' three-point field goals during this run. Brandeis took a commanding 78-51 lead with 8:01 remaining in the second half and were never threatened the rest of the way.
For the game, the Judges converted on 59.3% (FG 35-59) of their field goals while the Vikings shot 42.3% (FG 22-51) from the field.
Brandeis, who were 2-10 (20%) in the first half from three-point range, became scorching hot from three in the second half, shooting 15-20 (75%).
D'Aguanno put up 21 points (FG 7-12, 3PT 6-11) and Austin Clamage (Lake Forest, Ill.) added 17 points (FG 6-7, 3PT 5-6).
Castillo had 19 points (FG 5-12, 3PT 3-6) and Animashaun scored 11 points (FG 4-6) with seven rebounds. Berard accounted for 14 points for Salem State.
Jones and Bernard were named to the Big Four All-Tournament team and were joined by: Carson Cohen (Tufts), Andrew Jaworski (Babson) and tournament MVP Frank Oftring (Babson).
The Beavers, who reached the finals for seven consecutive seasons, won their fourth Crotty Cup 99-85 over Tufts in the championship game.