Brown Outlasts Columbia 64-56
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Brown junior forward Rafael Maia registered his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the Bears to a 64-56 Ivy League win over Columbia at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The Bears improve to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in the Ivy League, setting up a showdown at Harvard next Friday evening for first place in the Ivy standings. Columbia falls to 13-8 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Maia connected on 5-of-9 field goals including a career high two treys (2-2), and 6-of-10 free throws. His 12 rebounds helped the Bears out-rebound the aggressive Lions by a 39-32 margin.
“Rafael was a warrior tonight,” said Brown head coach Mike Martin. “He doesn’t practice on Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays because of a banged up shoulder. He had to play back-to-back games for the first time this season, and was diving on the floor for loose balls. That was a pretty impressive performance.”
Brown sophomore Cedric Kuakumensah scored 13 points, while Sean McGonagill, the Ivy League’s top scorer, was held to 10 points. McGonagill also had five rebounds and three assists.
Columbia had four players in double figures, led by Maodo Lo, who scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. Alex Rosenberg and Luke Petrasek chipped in with 12 points each, with Petrasek grabbing a team high nine rebounds. Cory Osetkowski added 10 points for the Lions.
In a game that had 13 lead changes and was tied nine times, Brown held a 28-26 lead at the half with neither team leading by more than five points. Maia scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Columbia opened up a 47-42 lead with 10:23 left in the game, but a 7-2 Brown spurt, capped off by a lay-up by Bears’ freshman Leland King with 8:25 remaining, tied the game, 49-49.
A three-point play by Maia at the 6:05 mark gave the Bears the lead for good, 52-49. The Bears opened up a 57-52 advantage on a driving lay-up by freshman Steven Spieth with 2:23 remaining.
The Lions clawed back to within three points, 59-56, with 1:26 remaining on two free throws by Alex Rosenberg. Brown kept the Lions at bay with Kuakumensah’s dunk delivering the big play with just 24 seconds remaining on a pass from freshman Tavon Blackmon.
Brown heads north to face Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend, traveling to Boston, MA to battle Harvard on Friday, February 7, at 7 p.m., and then onto Hanover, NH to face Dartmouth on Saturday, February 8 at 7 p.m.
-Brown is now in second place in the Ivy League at 3-1 and will play first place Harvard in Boston Friday night with a chance to grab a share of the league-lead with the Crimson. Bears' coach Mike martin was asked about that big game to which he responded, "to steal a line from my friend Jerome Allen (Penn head coach), the Harvard game is our most important game because it's our next game."
-With Harvard again being the cream of the crop in the Ivy League, the consensus is that it will take a tremendous effort to knock the defending champs off of their perch this season. Some are wondering if the talented Crimson would run the table with a perfect 14-0 record in the league this year. And while that seems unlikely, most believe that Harvard may lose only once or twice at most. That attitude may or may not have played a role in the intensity of the game Saturday night at Brown where the Bears and Lions both played like they absolutely wanted nothing to do with a second league loss.
-Brown's defense was key in the win as the Bears held Columbia without a field goal in the final 9:41 of the game. Columbia could manage only 7 free throws during that stretch. The Bears made 7 field goals during that same stretch turning a 49-45 deficit into the 8-point victory.
-As good as Harvard has been in recent years, the Bears have played well in Boston falling in double overtime last year and losing a 20-point lead the year prior to that.