Brown Rallies Late To Beat Columbia
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Basketball can be the ultimate team sport. Just ask the Brown Bears.
On a night when a few of Brown's star players had off nights, others stepped up to help lead Brown to a terrific 58-55 come-from-behind win over the Columbia Lions.
Coming off of a weekend where they did not shoot the ball well, the Bears continued to struggle to put the ball in the basket in the first half connecting on just 8 of 26 field goal attempts (31%). That, along with some sloppy play in the final minute of the first half sent the Bears to the locker room down 31-20.
But the Bears came out with a much stronger effort in the second half fueled by some great defense. Brown "D" forced turnovers on 5 of Columbia's first 6 possessions of the second half setting the tone for the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, on the offensive end of the floor, freshman Cedric Kuakumensah and senior Matt Sullivan picked up the slack with career highs in points.
Kuakumansah scored 19 points, pulled down 7 rebounds and was credited with 2 blocked shots. The freshman hit a big left-handed runner with 2 minutes to play pulling Brown to within 1 at 52-51. On the next possession, Sullivan made a nice drive to the basket, stopped on a dime and dished it to Kuakumensah for an open lay-up to put Brown up 53-52 with 1:08 to play.
After a timeout, Columbia freshman Maodo Lo (5 points) drained a big three from the left corner to put the Lions back in front 55-53 with :40 seconds left.
Brown coach Mike Martin called time out and, as he has done so many times this season, came up with a play the worked to perfection.
Sullivan (27 points) nailed a contested three with :10 seconds left putting Brown back up on top 56-55.
Columbia quickly got the ball down court but John Daniels missed a lay-up when Kuakumensah got a piece of the ball on the shot. The freshman coralled the loose ball, was fouled and calmly drained two clutch free throws with 2.9 seconds to go to seal the victory.
The win lifted Brown's record to (9-12, 3-4 Ivy) while Columbia falls to (10-11, 2-5 Ivy).
The Bears host the Big Red of Cornell Saturday night at 6pm. At halftime of the game, the 2003 Brown men's basketball team will be honored on the 10th anniversary of their (12-2) Ivy League season which resulted in an NIT berth.
-Kuakumensah's previous career-high was 14 points which came in a home loss to Bryant early in the season. His 2 blocked shots gives him 46 for the season which is just 2 blocks behind Matt Mullery's 48 (2009-2010) for the second highest single season total in Brown basketball history. Mullery's 59 blocked shots (2008-2009) rank first in the Brown record books.
-Sullivan's 27 points eclipses his previous career-best of 26 which came against Albany last season in the Preseason NIT at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. He also connected on 6 of 9 from three point range giving him 155 three's for his career. That total ranks as the 7th highest total in the Brown record books just three behind Earl Hunt's 158 career three's. Hunt, Brown's all-time leading scorer, was in attendance last night and will be at the game tonight as part of Alumni Weekend. Adrian Williams' 159 three's rank 5th on the all-time list with Mark McAndrew's 165 three's fourth. Damon Huffman is Brown's all-time three-point leader with 232 for his career.
-With Rafael Maia in foul trouble, senior Tyler Ponticelli (3 pts, 3 reb, 4 assists) did a great job defensively for the Bears setting the tone for their second half comeback.
-Lights, camera, action! Friday night's game was the second Brown home game on live television this season. They have won both of those TV games in dramatic fashion. The Bears other home game on TV was their stunning win over Providence in late December. Brown's games against Harvard (2/22) and Penn (3/8) will also be televised live on MyRITV.
-Columbia played the game without their leading scorer Brian Barbour (13 ppg) who was said to either be suffering from flu-like symptoms or food poisoning. Barbour was on the Lions bench in a sweat suit.