February 14, 2014

Aboona and Palucki Lead No. 4 Washington U. Past Brandeis 95-82

Waltham, Mass., February 14, 2014 – Junior forward Matt Palucki tied a career-high with 32 points and senior guard Alan Aboona added a season-high 30 points as the No. 4-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team posted a 95-82 win at Brandeis University Friday night in Waltham, Mass.

Washington U. shot a season-high 60.9 percent (28-46) from the field, and hit 30-of-39 from the free-throw line. The 95 points scored for the Bears were a season high.

Washington University extended its winning streak to 14 games and improves to 19-2 and 10-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). With the win, the Bears wrapped up at least a share of their third-straight UAA title and fifth in the last six seasons.

Washington U. can claim the outright UAA title and the league's automatic bid with a win at New York University Sunday, Feb. 16. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. (ET).

Palucki was 11-of-16 from the field and hit 8-of-10 from the field in the win as he eclipsed 30 points for the second time in his career. Aboona, who went over 900 points for his career in the win, connected on 6-of-7 from three-point range and moved into a tie for fifth place in school history with 155 threes. He was also 10-for-10 from the three-throw line.

Senior forward Chris Klimek scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half as he scored in double figures for the 18th time this season and 56th in his career. Junior forward Nick Burt added eight points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds.

Brandeis led for most of the opening 10 minutes of play relying on the three-point shot. The Judges took their largest lead of the game at 22-15 with 9:38 to play after a layup by Ishmael Kalilou. Five-straight points by Washington U. cut the lead to two (22-20), but a three-pointer by Derek Retos made it 25-20.

Trailing by four (27-23) with seven minutes remaining, Washington U. went on an 18-6 run as the Bears hit 11-of-14 from the foul line to jump out in front 41-33. Palucki had nine of the 18 points for Washington U. during the run, while Burt added a steal and a slam-dunk. The dunk for the Bears was their second of the season – both by Burt.

Junior guard David Fatoki played nine minutes off the bench in the opening half and came up big in the final minute after rebounding his own miss and kicking to Aboona who nailed an open three to make it 48-38 at half.

Klimek (14), Palucki (14) and Aboona (13) combined to score 41 of 48 points in the opening half for Washington U., who shot 61.9 percent (13-21) from the field and hit 17-of-23 from the foul line.

Palucki continued to have the hot hand in the second half as he scored seven-straight points early in the second half as Washington U. extended the lead to 60-51. After a bucket by sophomore forward Brandon Staffeil, Palucki drilled his second three-pointer of the game to make it 65-53 with 12:53 remaining forcing a Brandeis timeout.

Palucki added four-straight points and Aboona drained a deep three from the wing as Washington U. jumped out in front 72-53. Palucki had 12 of 17 points for the Bears during the 17-5 run. Aboona added a deep three from the top of the key with 10:17 left to extend the lead to 20 (75-55).

Ben Bartoldus scored a team-high 21 points in the win for Brandeis and became the 31st member of the 1,000-point club. Ruben Kanya, Gabriel Moton and Alex Stoyle added 10 points each for Brandeis, which shot 51.8 percent (29-56) from the field and 92.3 percent (12-13) from the foul line in the loss.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Brandeis, 41-11, and the Bears have won 10 of the last 14 meetings … Brandeis is 9-4 at home this season … The Bears are 10-0 in UAA play for the fifth time in school history – and first since 2008-09 … Washington U. is 15-1 this season when gaining the halftime advantage … The win for Washington U. was its 1,200 in school history.