WALTHAM, Mass — Rochester senior guard John DiBartolomeo scored seven of his game-high 22 points in a three-minute stretch late in the second half to help the top-ranked Yellowjackets hold off 25th-ranked Brandeis 66-59 at the Red Auerbach Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Judges cut a 14-point second-half deficit to one point three times, the last time on Alex Stoyle’s runner in the lane with 5:10 left, making it 54-53 Rochester.
DiBartolomeo sank an eight footer just outside the lane. Tyler Sankes hit a hook in the paint and DiBartolomeo drove for a layup after stealing the ball, putting Rochester ahead 60-53 with 3:08 to go. Gabriel Moton answered for Brandeis with a layup at 2:49.
The clincher was a long three-pointer by DiBartolomeo, past the top of the key with one second left on the shot clock and 1:32 on the game clock.
“It wasn’t an easy shot,” Rochester head coach Luke Flockerzi. “It was about a 30-footer, and as you saw, it was nothing but net.”
Rochester boosted its record to 19-1 overall, 8-1 in the University Athletic Association. Brandeis is 15-5, 6-3 in the UAA. The Judges are tied for second place with Washington (Mo.) (which defeated Case Western Reserve) and Emory (which won at NYU). Brandeis defeated Emory on Friday night in Waltham. NYU upended Rochester in Manhattan, snapping the Yellowjackets’ season-opening 18-game wining streak.
Nate Vernon scored 14 points for Rochester. Tyler Seidmanm added nine. Kevin Sheehy and Tyler Sankes scored eight apiece.
Moton led Brandeis with 17. Stoyle scored 15, all in the second half. He was benched in the first half after drawing two early fouls.
Rochester used a 13-5 run in the first half to build an 18-12 lead. Vernon hit a pair of threes in the run. Brandeis crept within 22-20 on two free throws by Moton with 4:15 left, before Rochester finished the half on a 10-0 run for a 32-20 lead at the break. Seidman scored five of the 10, hitting a 3-pointer from right wing, then added both ends of a one-and-one.
The lead peaked at 14 on a 3-pointer from Sheehy and a layup by Sankes (48-34 with 10:26 left). Derrick Retos hit a pair of 3-pointers for Brandeis to fuel a 15-2 rip that cut it to 50-49. Stoyle had five points in the burst.
Rob Reid and DiBartolomeo made layups for Rochester, but Stoyle answered each one. His hookshot in the paint made it 52-51 and when he scored in the lane with 5:10 to go, it was 54-53.