Brandeis beats buzzer, edges men's basketball 76-73

Tom Coyne led all scorers with 24 points on Dec. 31, 2017 against Brandeis University. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Collin Sawyer hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Brandeis University Judges a 76-73 win over the Bates men's basketball team Sunday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium. 

The shot concluded a dramatic contest that saw the Bobcats (7-4) rally from a nine-point deficit at halftime to eventually take the lead before the Judges (3-6) stormed back for the victory.

Junior Max Hummel (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a three with 10:06 to go in the game to put the Bobcats up 49-48, their first lead since sophomore Tom Coyne (Falmouth, Maine) made a three to open the contest. Hummel scored all 13 of his points in the second half while Coyne led all scorers with 24 points on 10-20 shooting.

Bates opened up its biggest lead of the game with 6:33 remaining in regulation when Coyne converted an old fashioned three-point play, making the layup on an assist from sophomore Jeff Spellman (Boston, Mass.), and sinking the free throw to put the Bobcats up 60-52.

The Judges refused to go away and Brandeis tied the game at 66 with 3:23 to go on a Corey Sherman steal and score. Lawrence Sabir followed Sherman's bucket with a put-back layup off a Latye Workman miss, drawing a foul in the process. Sabir's free throw put Brandeis up 69-66 with 2:44 remaining. Chandler Jones sank a pair of free throws with 2:22 to go to extend the Brandeis lead to five.

The Bobcats answered in a big way. Coyne hit a three from the top of the key while falling to the ground to cut the deficit to two. Then with 1:19 to go, Spellman made a layup in traffic to tie the game at 71.

Sabir's layup with 11 seconds to go put Brandeis up by two but Spellman tied things up just eight seconds later with a layup of his own. Spellman finished the game with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Judges pushed the ball across half-court and called timeout with 0.7 seconds remaining. Out of the timeout, Stewart fed a perfect pass to Sawyer, who caught the ball in stride in the left wing and banked in the game-winning three.

Sawyer finished with 12 points on 4-7 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench. Sabir and Jones led the Judges with 18 points apiece. Sabir added eight rebounds and five assists while Jones chipped in four boards and three assists. Workman added nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The Judges jumped out to a 23-9 lead in the contest when Sabir hit a three with 9:36 left in the first half. The Bobcats rallied and trimmed the deficit to six on a Coyne layup with 2:07 remaining in the half. Brandeis took a nine-point lead into the locker room thanks to a Nate Meehan layup with 11 seconds to go in the half.

The Bobcats only hit one three in the first half in nine attempts but they heated up in the second half, shooting 7-15 from long range. The Judges made 5-11 from deep in the first half and 4-11 in the second half, with Sawyer's fourth made three of the afternoon and his third in the second half proving to be the difference.

Bates looks to bounce back Tuesday when St. Joseph's (Maine) comes to town for an 8:00 p.m. tip.