Blacksburg, Virginia – Brown’s strong second half
comeback bid came up short against Virginia Tech, as the Bears
dropped a 69-55 decision to the Hokies before a crowd of 9,693 in
the first game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic at Cassell
The loss was Brown’s first of the season after beating St. Francis Friday evening, while Virginia Tech opened its season with a win at home.
“We battled like crazy throughout and I really liked our grittiness,” said head coach Jesse Agel. “We have to clean up our turnovers, which really cost us, but we had two freshman in the lineup who really competed down the stretch. I really like this team.”
Trailing by 11 points at the half, 34-23, Brown quickly got back in the game and quieted the boisterous crowd, cutting the Virginia Tech lead to five points, 45-40, with 11:37 remaining on a lay-up by freshman Andrew McCarthy.
With Virginia Tech clinging to a six-point lead, 51-45, with 8:39 remaining, again on a McCarthy lay-up, the Hokies took control with a 12-4 run to grab a 63-49 advantage with 4:15 left in the game. Terrell Bell scored six of the Hokies 12 points in the spurt.
In the second ever game against the Hokies from the ACC, Brown got off to a sluggish start, turning the ball over 12 times in the first half. The Bears fell behind by as many as 15 points in the half, 34-19, with 1:08 remaining.
Late first half Brown baskets by McCarthy and sophomore Garrett Leffelman cut the Hokies advantage to 34-23 at intermission.
McCarthy was impressive against the Hokies, scoring a career high 14 points on torrid 7 of 11 shooting from the field in 27 minutes of play. Brown senior All-Ivy center Matt Mullery tossed in 13 points and pulled down a team high six rebounds.
Freshman Matt Sullivan also scored in double figures for the Bears, netting 11 points, connecting on 4 of 9 field goals, while also grabbing five rebounds.
Virginia Tech was led by junior guard Malcolm Delaney, the top returning scorer in the ACC, who netted 21 points, and junior forward Jeff Allen, who added 17 points.
The Bears will debut at home next Wednesday, November 18, against intra-state rival Rhode Island. Game time is 7:30 pm at the Pizzitola Sports Center.