Mullery’s 31 Points Not Enough, Brown Falls to Sacred Heart, 83-78

Fairfield, Conn. – Brown senior Matt Mullery scored a career high 31 points, but it wasn’t enough as Sacred Heart came away with an 83-78 win over the Bears in their final game of calendar year 2009.

Brown falls to 5-8 on the season, while Sacred Heart moves to 8-4 overall.

Mullery turned in complete game, scoring 31 points on 14 of 24 shooting from the field, while grabbing eight rebounds and handing out six assists.

The game remained in doubt until the waning moments when Brown tied the score, 73-73, on a Mullery lay-up with 2:56 remaining. Sacred Heart utilized a 6-0 run over the next two minutes to wrestle control of the game and pull ahead, 79-73, with 54 seconds remaining. Sacred Heart’s Jerrell Hassan scored five of the six points in the spurt on a three-point field goal and two free throws.

In a first half of spurts, Brown grabbed a 33-23 lead on two free throws by Mullery with 3:38 left in the half to complete a 12-2 Brown run. Sacred Heart picked up the pace and out-scored the Bears, 10-0, to tie the game, 33-33, with 40 seconds left in the half. Mullery’s lay-up with five seconds remaining gave the Bears a 35-33 lead at intermission.

The Bears ld by as many as seven point in the second half, 63-56, on a jump shot by junior Garrett Leffelman with 10:19 left on the clock. The Pioneers came storming back with an 11-2 spurt to grab a 67-65 lead with 6:25 left on a trey by Chauncey Hardy.

Bears’ senior guard Steve Gruber netted 10 of his career high 14 points in the first half, and connected on 5 of 7 field goals for the game. Leffelman scored nine points on 4 of 5 shooting, while freshman Tucker Halpern tallied eight points for the Bears.

Corey Hassan led the Sacred Heart assault with 23 points. Ryan Litke registered a double-double for the Pioneers with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bears return home on Saturday, January 2 for a matinee match-up with American, an NCAA Tournament team for the last two years. Game time is 1:00 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.