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Men rebound from poor start to take top spot in UAA

Kate Clancy

Issue date: 1/21/11 Section: Sports
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On the first weekend back from winter break, the Spartan men's basketball team opened their UAA season at home with major victories over two Top 25 ranked teams. On Friday night, the Spartans battled No. 25 New York University until the final seconds and pulled off the win 80-76. With one short day's rest, the Spartans turned around and took down No. 13 Brandeis University in the final minutes 66-63. These two wins put the Spartans at 7-7 overall and help them keep their top spot in the UAA at 3-0. The Spartans travel this weekend to play Emory University and Rochester University on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The game started out with high intensity, and not only on the court. The gym was packed with cheering fans, and the Shaw High School band made an appearance, sophomore Austin Fowler explained. "The Shaw band is something special; hearing them in warm-ups gets you fired up and ready to play."

Along with the band, the fans helped to create a loud, energetic atmosphere. The game began with high-energy and physical play, and the teams remained neck-and-neck throughout the first half. Back and forth; neither team gained more than four points on the other. Freshman Tim Chung hit two behind the arc within minutes to give the Spartans a four-point lead with six minutes remaining. After a change in lineup with three minutes to go, Senior Eric Duerr and Sophomore Robert Scott led the Spartans to score 10 points to finish the half, clinched with a layup by Scott with less than a minute on the clock. NYU broke the Spartans' run and scored the last bucket of the half, but the Spartans headed into the locker room ahead 41-39.

In the second half, the Spartans quickly extended their lead to five, but as soon as they settled in, the Violets went on a 9-0 run led by NYU's Karl Yaffe, hitting two big three-point plays in less than two minutes. The Spartans quickly picked up their offense and outscored NYU 17-11 to tie the game at 64 with six short minutes remaining. A 3-pointer by Senior Reid Anderson and a jumper by Fowler put the Spartans up by eight, and the Spartans rode out their lead until the last few seconds, where Chung hit two freebies with one second in the game, putting the final score at 80-76, and recording a career-high 17 points. Fellow double-digits scorers included Fowler for 15 points, Duerr for 12 points, and junior Tom Summers for 10 points.
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