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Halpern’s Heroics Lift Brown Over Columbia

Sunday, March 03, 2013


When it comes to the 2012-2013 Brown men’s basketball team, one thing’s for sure. The Bears have a flare for the dramatic!

Saturday night in New York, Tucker Halpern drained a game-winning 3-pointer with no time left lifting Brown over Columbia 61-58.

For Halpern, it was another moment of glory and another clutch shot. He hit the game-winning three to beat Providence December 28th at Brown.

Tucker Halpern

After taking a 16-11 lead midway through the first half, the Bears went cold from the floor. When Brian Barbour’s three went through the bottom of the net with 2:34 to play in the half, it capped off a 17-1 run by Columbia putting the Lions in front 28-17.

Down 31-20 at halftime, the resilient Bears fought back. Fueled by Rafael Maia (9 points) and Sean McGonagill (14 points), Brown matched their first half offensive output with 20 points in the first 6:15 of the second half to pull to within 4 at 44-40.

Maia and McGonagill scored 18 of the Bears’ 20 points during that quick start to the second half, each with nine.

The Bears would actually take a 4-point lead on a Matt Sullivan (17 points) lay-up with 3:07 to play at 57-53.

But the Lions came back at the free throw line where they made 5 of 6 down the stretch including two by Alex Rosenberg (8 points) to tie the game at 58 with :03 seconds left.

With the gam tied 58-58, Sean McGonagill raced into the frontcourt with the ball where his head coach Mike Martin called a timeout with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Martin drew up a perfect play where Sullivan would inbound the ball from the side. With Cedric Kuakumensah (8 points, 9 rebounds) and Halpern setting screens at the top of the key, Stephen Albrecht cut hard to the ball-side corner while McGonagill cut hard to the ball-side up top.

Those hard cuts drew the Columbia defense enough for Kuakumensah to set a back screen for Halpern who slipped to the weak side of the floor where Sullivan lofted a perfect pass.

Halpern caught it, stepped back and drained the three with no time left.

The win lifted Brown’s record to (12-14, 6-6 Ivy League). It also completed the season sweep of Columbia and was Brown’s first sweep of Cornell and Columbia on the road in a decade.

Mike Martin was a player at Brown when the Bears last won at Cornell and Columbia on the same weekend in the 2002-2003 season.

Brown returns home for their final weekend of basketball this season when they will host Penn on Friday night (7pm) and first place Princeton (6pm) on Saturday.

Saturday will be “Senior Night” at Brown where Matt Sullivan, Tyler Ponticelli and Stephen Albrecht will all be honored prior to the game.


-Matt Sullivan eclipsed the 1,000 point mark Saturday with his team-high 17 points. Sullivan reached 1,000 on a terrific individual play. With just over 9 minutes to play, Sullivan picked up his 6th steal of the game picking off Grant Mullins. He raced down the floor for a fast break lay-up giving him 1,000 points on the nose. Sullivan was fouled on the play and cashed in at the free throw line for his 1,001st point of his career. He becomes the 26th player in Brown basketball history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau for his career.

-There were many Brown basketball alumni on hand for Saturday’s game including many of Martin’s former teammates. Jason Forte and Jamie Kilburn were in attendance and played with Martin on some of the best teams in the program’s history. Also present were Adrian Williams, Peter Sullivan, Harold Bailey, Mark McDonald, Garrett Leffelman and Kennan Jeppesen.

-The 12 wins by Mike Martin is the highest win total by a first-year Brown head coach since George Allen led the Bears to 16 wins in 1939.

-With one weekend of basketball remaining, the Bears (6-6) are tied for third in the Ivy League standings with Yale. Princeton (9-2) has moved into first place with their weekend sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth. The Crimson (9-3) were swept by the Tigers and Penn Quakers and now fall into second place losing control of their own destiny. The Bears have a chance to play spoiler when they host Princeton nest Saturday.



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