Crushing Loss for Brown in Ivy League Opener to Yale

Sunday, January 20, 2019


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Cambridge went 3 for 18

It is hard to claim that the opening game of the conference season is a must win, but this Brown’s home opener against Yale was a bit of a “gotta get this one” kind of game.

For Brown, this season is about finishing in the top four on the conference and beating a good Yale team at home was critical. Only the top four teams make the Ivy Conference tournament.

The numbers from Browns 67-70 loss to Yale tell a painful story. This was one that got horribly away and star swing guard sophomore had a night to forget hitting on only 3 of 18 shots from the floor.

Brown's late-game rally came up short and the loss at home was the first time this season and having its six-game winning streak go by the wayside.

Brown had won their first eight home games to open the season and now fall to 12-5 overall, 0-1 in the Ivy League, while Yale improves to 11-3 overall, 1-0 in Ivy play.

On the good news side, Brown sophomore forward Tamenang Choh of Lowell, MA was the dominant player on the court, posting his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. He connected on 9-of-15 field goals overall. And Brown senior Obi Okolie had 14 to help keep Brown in the game.

"You have to credit Yale for making it difficult for us offensively," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "Our defense played well, but our offense let us down today and our execution can be much better."

Brown Had Two Late Chances to Tie

Brown had two chances to tie the game in the waning moments. First, Bears' junior Zach Hunsaker was unable to convert a trey at the top of the arc with 2.5 seconds remaining. After review, the ball was deemed out of bounds with 0.8 seconds left. 

The inbound pass went to Bears' sophomore Desmond Cambridge (Nashville, TN), who had an open look from the corner, but his trey just missed as time expired.

"We worked to get Desmond free to have a chance to tie the game at the end, but it shouldn't have come down to that," added Martin.

Hunsaker tossed in 13 points, connecting on 5-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-4 treys. Okolie also scored in double figures for the Bears with 14 points. Cambridge, the Ivy League's third-leading scorer, was held to seven points on 3-of-18 shooting from the field, while grabbing eight rebounds and blocking three shots.

Yale's Alex Copeland paced four double-figure scorers for the Bulldogs with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Blake Reynolds and Paul Atkinson each scored 11 points. Bruner had nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

The opening 20 minutes were played at a frenetic pace with six lead changes.  The Bulldogs led by as many as eight points, 12-4, in the early going, and Brown held a three-point lead, 31-28, following a layup by Okolie with 2:26 left in the half.

A 9-2 run to close the half, sparked by four points by Copeland, gave the Bulldogs a 37-33 lead at intermission.

Brown grabbed a 52-48 lead with 12:13 left in the game on a layup by sophomore Matt DeWolf from Barrington.

The lead was quickly extinguished by Yale with an 8-0 run to pull ahead, 56-52,four-point four point lead on a trey by Azar Swain. Yale closed out a 16-4 streak to grab its largest lead, 65-58, on the two free throws by Bruner.

Brown and Yale will match-up again next week, this time in New Haven, CT, when the Bears and Elis battle on Friday, January 25. If Saturday's loss was a must win, then next Saturday at Yale could be the season for the Bears. 


Related Slideshow: Greatest Players in Brown Basketball History

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Cedric Kuakumensah

Class of 2016

Cedric Kuakumensah is the only player in Ivy League history to score 1,000 points, grab 900 rebounds and block 200 shots. 

Kuakumensah also is the Ivy league all-time leader with 311 blocked shots, while his 1,181 points rank 16th all-time at Brown and his 907 rebounds rank 4th all time. 

Kuakumensah averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per game in his career. 

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Russ Tyler

Class of 1971

In addition to being one of the program's greatest players of all-time, Tyler has also been it's biggest supporter remaining close to the Brown basketball for the past 4 decades. There is no one who is more positive in his support of the coaches and players who wear the brown and white. Russ holds the second highest scoring average in the Brown record book, averaging 22.7 points per game for the Bears in 1970-71... His 46-points and 18 field goals against Rhode Island in 1971 rank second in Brown history... Ranks 10th in career scoring average with 15.1 points per game... His 568 points in 1970-71 was a Brown record at the time and still second in Brown's record book... Scored 1,133 career points... ECAC All-East selection... Also owned the Brown records for career assists, consecutive free throws, free throw percentage and most field goals in a season.

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Mike Cingiser

Class of 1962

A tough-as-nails player and coach for Brown whose accomplishments on the court and the bench were as good as anyone. Netted 1,331 points from 1959-1962, the Brown record at the time, and now fifth... Only one of three Brown players to be a three-time first team All-Ivy selection... Went on to coach the Bears to their only Ivy League Championship in 1986, posting a 16-11 record, 10-4 Ivy, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament against Syracuse... His team play was evidenced by his leading the team in assists and was second in rebounding throughout his varsity career... Tossed in 492 career field goals, still sixth in the Brown record book.

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Damon Huffman

Class of 2008

The prototypical "gym rat," Huffman scored 1,306 points in his illustrious career at Brown. He finished his career in style scoring 39 points in a loss to the Ohio Bobcats the College Basketball Invitational Tournament. Huffman drained a school record 9 three-pointers in that game and graduated as Brown's all-time leading 3-point shooter. He teamed up with Barrington's Mark McAndrew to lead the 2007-2008 team to a school-record 19 wins under then head coach Craig Robinson.

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Sean McGonagill

Class of 2014

Brown fans will get to see one of their all-time greats play at least one more game Monday night when the Bears host Holy Cross in the CIT. Heading into the game, McGonagill is the school's 3rd all-time leading scorer with 1,608 points. His 257 career treys are the most of any player in Brown history and his 519 assists are second all-time. Recently named First Team All-Ivy, McGonagill showed his amazing toughness as a freshman when he returned to play quickly after an accident in which his upper lip ripped away from his face. Despite 30+ stitches and doctor recommendations to not play for 4 weeks, he returned less than 48 hours after that accident with a mask on where he proceeded to light up the Columbia Lions with a career-high 39 points.

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Alai Nuualiitia

Class of 2003

Recognized as Brown's "Iron Man," having started every game in his four-year Brown career, encompassing 110 games... Scored 1,344 career points, fourth on Brown's all-time list... Held the Brown career record with 119 blocked shots at the time of his graduation... His shooting percentage of .617 (126 of 206) in 2002-03 is second in Brown history... Ranks fifth in career field goal percentage (.557)... Helped Brown to an NIT appearance in 2003, and to a school record 57 victories in his four-year career.

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Mike Waitkus

Class of 1986

Brown's all-time assists leader with 577 career assists... Scored 1,165 career points... Brown's first ever Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1983... Holds Brown records for free throw percentage in a season (.898, 97 of 108 in 1983), and a career (.861, 279 of 324)... His 5.8 assists per game in 1983-84 is also a Brown record... Helped Brown to its first ever Ivy League Championship in 1986... Averaged 5.5 assists per game for his career, a Brown record... Two-time All-Ivy selection.

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Phillip Brown

Class of 1975

Holds Brown all-time record for rebounding with 931 rebounds... Scored 1,241 career points... His 24 rebounds against Dartmouth are third in the Brown record book... Helped spark the Bears to 30 wins in three years at Brown, a record at the time... Three-time All-Ivy selection, twice a first team honoree... All-New England selection and team captains in both his junior and senior years... Set Brown and New England records for field goal percentage, and Brown records for rebounding. He accomplished this in just 3 years of play as freshman were not allowed to play varsity basketball in Brown's era.

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Jason Forte

Class of 2005

The brother of former North Carolina Tarheel and Boston Celtic Joe Forte, Jason was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 2004... His cat-like quickness made him almost impossible to guard... Three-time first team All-Ivy selection... Scored 1,597 career points, third in Brown history... Posted the Ivy League's first "Tiny," leading the league in both scoring (21.4 ppg.) and assists (5.79 apg) as a junior... Set a single-season Brown record with 155 assists in 2002-2003... Completed his career ranked first in steals (192), second in assists (524), second in free throws (536), seventh in three-point field goals (121), and tenth in field goals (469)... AP All-American as a junior.

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Arnie Berman

Class of 1972

Arnie Berman was Earl Hunt long before Earl Hunt was born! A prolific scorer who compiled his gaudy stats in just 3 years of varsity play. Held the Brown scoring record for over 30 years with 1,668 career points... Holds Brown seasonal records for points (658 in 1971-72), scoring average (25.3 ppg in 1971-72) and free throws (250 in 1971-72), and career marks for free throws (636), and scoring average (21.6 ppg)... Connected on 25 of 26 free throws vs. Cornell in 1972... Ranks third in career rebounding (878) and rebounding average (11.4 rpg.)... First team All-Ivy selection in 1972... Held 17 Ivy League, Brown and New England scoring records... Led all New England scorers as a senior with 25.3 points per game, earning New England Player of the Year honors.

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Earl Hunt

Class of 2003

To steal a line for the former comedic coach of Providence College Pete Gillen, Earl Hunt is the best Brown basketball player, alive, dead or yet to be born! Hunt could score at will by either making jump shots, getting to the rim or getting to the charity stripe. Brown's all-time career scorer and the only Bears player to score over 2,000 career points (2,041)... Three-time first team All-Ivy selection... Scored 39 points twice in his career (vs. Harvard and Central Conn.), sixth in the Brown record book... Owns three Top 10 seasonal marks for points... His 18.9 ppg career scoring average is second at Brown, while his 499 career free throws ranks third... Helped Brown to a school record 17 wins twice (2002, 2003), and to a school record 12 Ivy wins (12-2) in 2003, with the Bears advancing to the National Invitation Tournament.


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