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Harvard Beats Brown In 2OT Thriller

Sunday, February 03, 2013


Eighteen games into the 2012-2013 season, one thing has become very clear with the Brown University men's basketball team.  They have taken on the personality of their head coach Mike Martin and fight hard to the finish no matter what the circumstances.

Satuday night at Harvard's Leviietes Pavillion, Brown and Harvard played what ESPN might call an instant classic.

The Bears found themselves down by 22 points 63-41 with less than 13 minutes remaining in the second half and battled back.

Part of what helped the Bears get back into the game was a defensive switch to a 2-3 zone which Harvard struggled with.

Meanwhile, Brown started making their shots led by junior Sean McGonagill (20 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds).  McGonagill, who played all 50 minutes,  scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the final 13 minutes of regulation.  Five of those points came in the game's final 14 seconds with Brown trailing by 5.

McGonagill banked in a 30-foot three-pointer from straight away with :14 seconds left to pull Brown to within two at 69-67.  

Mike Martin called his final timeout to set up a full court press which worked to perfection.

Matt Sullivan (18 points, 4 rebounds) dove in front of Laurent Rivard to steal the ball for Brown.  The ball eventually found its way into the hands of freshman guard Joe Sharkey who missed a 13-foot jumper with :03 seconds left.  Off the rebound, McGonagill nailed an 18-foot jumper completing the Bears' comeback and sending it to overtime.

In the first overtime, senior Stephen Albrecht (12 points) hit a game-tying three with :20 seconds left to send it to a second overtime tied at 78.

In the second overtime, the Bears trailed by three and made a defensive stand with the ball going out of bounds off of Rivard.  The official under the basket who was screened on the play called it off of Brown and was not overruled by fellow official John Gwynn who had a clear view of the play.  Video of the play clearly shows that the ball did go off of Rivard with no Brown player near the ball.

Harvard ended up getting a Wesley Saunders lay-up and free throw after the missed call sealing the win.

Unfortunately, Gwynn also hurt the Bears toward the end of the first half when he missed Harvard's Wesley Saunders taking three steps on his way to the basket.  Instead of calling a traveling violation, they called a foul on Brown where there was none allowing Saunders to get a 3-point play.  To compound matters, Gwynn called a technical foul on Martin who called the call "horrible."  So, instead of a Harvard turnover giving the Bears the ball down 42-34 with under a minute to go in the half, the Crimson benefited from a 5-point play and ended up taking a 13-point lead into halftime.

Despite the adversity, the Bears showed unprescedented character and nearly pulled off the upset.  Instead, the loss drops Brown to (8-10) on the season and (2-2) in the Ivy League.

The Bears wrap up their 5-game Ivy road trip at Princeton and Penn next Friday and Saturday.


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