Brown and Maine Tangle In The Battle of the Bears

Brown and Maine Tangle In The Battle of the Bears
 Providence, R.I. -  Coach Mike Martin's Brown men's basketball team will play its third straight game on the road to open the season, traveling north to face Maine on Saturday, November 17th at the Alfond Arena. It's the battle of the bears with the Brown Bears (1-1) facing the Maine Black Bears (0-2) for the 14th time.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Brown's Record:  Brown (1-1) dropped an 86-71 decision to Central Connecticut on Thursday, but was buoyed by the return of junior forward Tucker Halpern, who last stepped on the court in March 2011.  Halpern, who was sidelined due to illness, responded by scoring 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc.  Senior guard Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 18 points.


The Brown - Maine Series Record: Brown and Maine have met 13 times, dating back to the 1921-22 season, with the Brown Bears holding a 7-6 series advantage over the Maine Black Bears. Last year, Maine rallied in the second half to overcome the Bears, 71-58. Brown had won the previous two games vs. Maine, including a 62-54 win over the Black Bears on 12/4/10 in Orono, ME.


Did You Know?: Three Brown players made their collegiate debut against Binghamton – sophomore forward Rafael Maia, sophomore guard Joe Sharkey and freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah…When junior Tucker Halpern stepped onto the court against CCSU, he had not donned the Brown uniform in a game since March 5, 2011 against Columbia in New York City…Four Brown players are scoring in double figures: senior Matt Sullivan (18.0), junior Tucker Halpern (15.0), junior Sean McGonagill (13.5) and sophomore Rafael Maia (10.5).

Sullivan Takes Charge of Backcourt:  Senior tri-captain Matt Sullivan (Wilmette, IL) has led the Bears in scoring in two straight games, netting a game high 18 points, while grabbing six rebounds, against Binghamton, and coming back with a team high 18 points and five rebounds vs. Central Connecticut. He played in all 31 games last season, starting 29 times, and has started 66 of 91 career games played. Last year, he averaged 9.8 points per game and scored in double figures 17 times. He netted a career high 26 points against Albany, hitting 5-of-9 treys against the Great Danes.  He later nailed 5-of-8 treys in scoring 21 points against Columbia. Sullivan, who has scored 648 career points, is also a CoSIDA Academic All-American.


Head Coach Mike Martin: Former Brown basketball standout Mike Martin '04 has returned to his alma mater as the 31st head men's basketball coach in the program's 106-year history. A four-year starter at Brown, Martin was part of the winningest class in Bears' basketball history, posting a 63-45 four-year record from 2000-2004. He also helped the Class of 2004 to a school-record 39-17 Ivy League mark during that period -- the best by an Ivy League team, other than Penn and Princeton, since 1970. An Agawam, Mass., native, Martin launched his coaching career at Brown as an assistant coach in 2005-2006 and was an assistant coach at Penn for the last six years. Martin is the fourth Brown alumnus to coach the team. W.W. Reynolds '1907, Mike Cingiser '62 and Gerry Alaimo '72 have also coached at Brown, with Cingiser guiding the Bears to their only Ivy League Championship in 1986. He recently became the first Brown coach to capture his debut game since William H. Dye in 1941.


All-Ivy Sean McGonagill Headlines Backcourt:  Brown's backcourt is led by junior point guard Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL), a second team All-Ivy selection, who opened the 2012-13 season with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists against Binghamton. McGonagill added 11 points against CCSU on Thursday. He was the Ivy League's fifth leading scorer a year ago, averaging 13.5 points per game for the Bears. The 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year handed out 157 assists to set a new Brown record, breaking the previous mark of 155 assists by Jason Forte in 2002-2003. McGonagill, who has 721 career points, scored a season high 30 points against Longwood by connecting on 6-of -10 treys. He also scored 28 points in Brown's win over Columbia, connecting on 8-of-11 field goals, and just missing a triple-double by adding eight rebounds and eight assists. Last year, McGonagill led the Ivy League in assists with 5.4 per game, which ranked 34th nationally.


Maia Provides Inside Presence:  The wild card in the Bears' frontcourt is Rafael Maia (San Paulo, Brazil), a 6-9 sophomore center, who was ineligible last year due to an NCAA technicality, but practiced with the Bears.  Maia scored 14 points vs. Central Connecticut on 6 of 8 shooting from the field, while grabbing five rebounds. Despite foul travel in Brown's season opening win over Binghamton, Maia scored seven points and pulled down six rebounds. A native of Brazil, Maia is a talented big man with tremendous skills. He has the ability to provide a rugged inside presence, or step back and take the trey. Heading into last season, he was the preseason pick for the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.


Ponticelli Solid In Middle:  Brown senior forward Tyler Ponticelli (Northbrook, IL) opened the season with a solid game vs. Binghamton, grabbing four rebounds against the Bearcats.  Ponticelli played in all 31 games last year, earning 23 starts for the Bears. He scored in double figures six times, including a career high 17 points vs. Johnson & Wales. Ponticelli also pulled down a career best 10 rebounds against Cornell.

Yiljep Earns Starting Role: Sophomore forward Longi Yiljep (Sanaru-Zaria, Nigeria) earned a starting role in Brown's first two games and responded against Binghamton with six points and three rebounds, and a strong defensive effort.  Last year, Yiljep scored a career high eight points in 20 minutes of play against New Hampshire, and blocked a career best three shots vs. Maine….


Schmidt Comes Off The Bench: Sophomore center Jon Schmidt (Baltimore, MD) contributed some solid minutes against Binghamton, grabbing two rebounds in eight minutes of play. He saw action in 21 games a year ago and grabbed a career best five rebounds against Hartford.  He scored a season high four points against Johnson & Wales and Columbia.


Captains:  Seniors Tyler Ponticelli and Matt Sullivan, along with junior Sean McGonagill are the tri-captains of the 2012-13 Brown Men's Basketball Team.


Welcome Back Tucker: All-Ivy junior forward Tucker Halpern (Brookline, MA) returned to the court on Thursday against Central Connecticut, completing a long road back to health. Halpern entered the game at the 10-minute mark of the first half, setting foot on the court for the first time sine March 2011.  He missed all of last season and Brown's opening game vs. Binghamton following a long illness.  Halpern hit a trey on his first shot of the game and finished with 15 points, on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc. Halpern averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the Bears two years ago. He scored in double figures 19 times, including a career high 29 points against Harvard, where he connected on 10 of 15 field goals, including 6-of-9 from behind the three-point arc, 10th best in Brown basketball history. A marvelous passer, Halpern dished out 66 assists, including seven in the Bears' victory over Princeton. Halpern ranked sixth in the Ivy League in scoring with 14.3 ppg in league games.


Team Chemistry: This year's men's basketball team features three seniors (Matt Sullivan, Tyler Ponticelli, Steve Albrecht), two juniors (Sean McGonagill, Tucker Halpern), five sophomores (Jon Schmidt, Longji Yieljep, Joe Sharkey, Raphael Maia, Eddie Fitzpatric) and one freshman (Cedric Kaukumensah).


Albrecht Sidelined Indefinitely: Senior guard Stephen Albrecht (Crown Point, IN) had started 24 straight games for the Bears before being slowed down due to injury late last season. He is currently sidelined indefinitely with an injury. A pure shooter, Albrecht's 60 treys led the Bears.  He knocked down six trifectas in scoring 23 points against Sacred Heart, and had 22 points against Monmouth. He also added 23 points against Yale.


Kuakumensah Force In The Middle: Joining the Bears frontcourt is 6-8 freshman power forward Cedric Kuakumensah (pronounced Koo-ack-a-men-sa), a rugged rebounder, who earned a starting role in Brown's first two games.  He scored nine points and pulled down five rebounds against Central Connecticut, and grabbed a game high nine rebounds, three blocked shots and four points against Binghamton. A native of Worcester, Mass., he played at nearby St. Andrew's School in Barrington, Rhode Island, where he scored 1,287 points during his high school career.


Sharkey Returns: Sophomore guard Joe Sharkey (Norwood, MA) has been flying under the radar after missing all of last season due to injury.  He turned in a solid effort in his collegiate debut against Binghamton with five points, a key trey and three rebounds.

Bear Facts:  Sophomore forward Eddie Fitzpatrick (North Attleboro, MA) has joined the Brown team after playing baseball for the Bears a year ago…Brown opens its home schedule at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Wednesday, November 21 against Bryant.


Bears On The Air:  Brown's entire 28-game schedule is being broadcast on WPRV-AM 790 with Scott Cordischi, the voice of Brown basketball and football, calling all the action. Former Brown basketball star Russ Tyler '71 (1,133 career points) provides the color analysis. Brown fans can also listen to the broadcast on


Watch Live Video of The Bears On The Internet: Brown basketball fans can watch live video and listen to an audio feed (WPRV - AM 790) of all home games through the America One Network. All 13 home basketball games will be aired through Brown's athletic website  Fans wanting to watch Brown events via America One will need a high-speed Internet connection and a current version of Windows Media Player. Games will be sold on an individual basis at $8 per game, or a season pass can be purchased for $75. A 30-day pass for $30 allows the viewer to watch all Brown events during a 30-day period. 


Brown and Providence To Play At The Pizzitola Sports Center:  Brown will have a match-up against cross-town rival Providence College on Friday, December 28th at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Bears will be facing the BIG EAST Friars at home for the first time since November 30, 1982 when the two teams met at Marvel Gymnasium. Special ticket packages for the PC game and all Brown home games are available at the Brown Ticket Office, located at the Pizzitola Sports Center Box Office, by calling 401-863-2773, or by visiting


Next Game:  After three straight games on the road to begin the season, Brown hosts its home opener on Wednesday, November 21 against Bryant at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  Tip-off is 7:00 p.m.


2012-13 Brown University Men's Basketball Roster


No.      Name                             Pos.  Cl.   Hgt. Wgt.    School/Hometown

1       Yiljep, Longji                    G    So.    6-5   185     Westtown (PA)/Samaru-Zaria, Nigeria

11     Sharkey, Joe                     G    So.    6-2   190     Northfield Mt. Hermon/Norwood, MA   

13     Ponticelli, Tyler                F     Sr.    6-7   220     Glenbrook North/Northbrook, IL

14     Sullivan, Matt                   G    Sr.    6-6   205     Loyola Academy/Wilmette, IL

21     Kuakumensah, Cedric       F    Fr.    6-8   245     St. Andrew's School/Worcester, MA

22     McGonagill, Sean             G    Jr.    6-1   180     Riverside-Brookfield/Brookfield, IL

25     Fitzpatrick, Eddie             F    So.    6-6   180     North Attleboro/North Attleboro, MA

32     Albrecht, Stephen             G    Sr.    6-3   175     Crown Point/Crown Point, IN

33     Halpern, Tucker                F     Jr.    6-8   220     Noble & Greenough/Brookline, MA

45     Maia, Rafael                     C    So.    6-9   230     Maine Central Institute/Sao Paulo, Brazil

50     Schmidt, Jon                     F    So.    6-7   210     Friends School/Baltimore, MD


Head Coach: Michael Martin '04 

Associate Head Coach: TJ Sorrentine (Vermont '04)

Assistant Coaches:  Dwayne Pina (Boston College '01), Kevin Snyder (Williams  '09)

Captains: Sean McGonagill '14, Tyler Ponticelli '13, Matt Sullivan '13

Managers:  Danny Echevarria, Jason Gilberg, Yancy Rodriguez, Candy Ellis                 

Athletic Trainer: Matt Culp


Pronunciation Guide:

Steven All-breckt

Tucker Hal-pern

Cedric Koo-ack-a-men-sa

Rafael Meye-a

Sean Mac-gone-a-gill

Tyler Pont-a-celli

Lon-gee Yeel-jep



2012-2013 Brown Men's Basketball Schedule



11        Sun.     at Binghamton                         58-49, W

15        Thu.    at Central Connecticut                        71-86, L

17        Sat.      at Maine                                  7:00 p.m.

21        Wed.    BRYANT                                7:00 p.m.

24        Sat.      ST. FRANCIS (NY)              2:00 p.m.

29        Thu.    SACRED HEART                 7:00 p.m.



1          Sat.      at New Hampshire                  1:00 p.m.

8          Sat.      at Notre Dame                                    7:00 p.m.

23        Sun.     at Northwestern                      12:30 p.m. CST

28        Fri.      PROVIDENCE                      7:00 p.m.

31        Mon.   at Albany                                4:00 p.m.



4          Fri.      at Rhode Island                       7:00 p.m.

8          Tue.     NIAGARA                              7:00 p.m.

12        Sat.      DANIEL WEBSTER 2:00 p.m.

19        Sat.      YALE                                      7:00 p.m.

26        Sat.      at Yale                                     2:00 p.m.



1          Fri.      at Dartmouth                          7:00 p.m.

2          Sat.      at Harvard                               7:00 p.m.

8          Fri.      at Princeton                             7:00 p.m.

9          Sat.      at Penn                                                7:00 p.m.

15        Fri       COLUMBIA                          7:00 p.m.

16        Sat.      CORNELL                             6:00 p.m.

22        Fri.      HARVARD                             7:00 p.m.

23        Sat.      DARTMOUTH                      6:00 p.m.



1          Fri.      at Cornell                                7:00 p.m.

2          Sat.      at Columbia                             7:00 p.m.

8          Fri.      PENN                                     7:00 p.m.

9          Sat.      PRINCETON                        6:00 p.m.


Head Coach:  Mike Martin '04

Associate Head Coach:  TJ Sorrentine (Vermont '05)

Assistant Coaches: Dwayne Pina (Boston College '01) and Kevin Snyder (Williams '09)


Game #1         Brown at Binghamton                      11/11/12          Vestal, NY

The Mike Martin coaching era at Brown successfully tipped-off at the Events Center with the Bears rallying for a 58-49 victory over Binghamton, with the Bears' new emphasis on defense holding the Bearcats to just one point in the last seven minutes on 0-of 10-shooting.  Junior Matt Sullivan scored 18 points and junior Sean McGonagill added 16 points to lead the Bears attack. 

Sullivan's 18 points came on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, while adding four treys.  He also pulled down six rebounds.  McGonagill had three treys and also pulled down six rebounds.

Bears' 6-8 freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah, a product of St. Andrew's in Barrington, earned a starting nod on the Brown front line. He immediately made a contribution on the backboards, grabbing a game high nine rebounds.

Despite first half foul trouble, the long awaited playing debut of 6-8 sophomore forward Raphael Maia didn't disappoint as the Brazilian standout proved to be an inside force with rebounding and a nice touch by the basket. He finished with seven points and six rebounds. 

Binghamton was led by Taylor Johnson and Rayner Moquete, who chipped in with 14 points each.

A long trey by sophomore Longji Yiljep and a lay-up by senior Matt Sullivan gave Brown its biggest lead of the first half, 25-17, with 4:14 remaining.  Two treys by Taylor Johnson sparked an 8-0 Bearcat run to end the half to knot the score, 25-25 at intermission.

The Bearcats opened the second half with consecutive treys to open up a 31-25 advantage in the first three minutes of the half. But back-to-back treys by Sullivan and McGonagill got the Bears back in the game, trailing, 33-31, at the 16-minute mark.

Brown took control of the game with a 15-3 run and built a 46-38 lead with its own three-point barrage.  Sophomore Joe Sharkey, McGonagill and Sullivan all had treys, with Kuakumnsah pulling down four rebounds and blocking a shot in the spurt.


Game #2         Brown at Central Conn.                  11/15/12          New Britain, CT

Sophomore guard Kyle Vinales scored a game high 28 points, hitting 9-of-13 field goals, including 4-of-5 treys, to lead Central Connecticut (1-2) to an 86-71 non-league win over Brown at Detrick Gymnasium, giving the Bears (1-1) their first setback of the young season.

The Brown program breathed a collective sigh of relief when junior forward Tucker Halpern entered the game at the 10-minute mark of the first half, setting foot on the court for the first time sine March 2011.  He missed all of last season and Brown's opening game following a long illness. 

Senior guard Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the field. Sophomore forward Rafael Maia provided an inside presence by connecting on 6 of 8 field goals in scoring 14 points, while junior guard Sean McGonagill also scored in double figures with 11 points.  Bears' freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah had nine points, five rebounds and five assists.

In addition to Vinale's 28 points, Matt Hunter scored 17 points, while Terrell Allen netted 14 points for the Blue Devils.

After falling behind by 19 points early in the second half, 49-30, the Bears cut the Blue Devils lead to just four points, 67-63, on Halpern's fifth trey of the game with 7:49 remaining to play.

Central Connecticut quickly extended its lead to 11 points, 77-66, and kept the Bears in check, with Vinales scoring all 11 points in the 11-3 spurt.

Sizzling three-point shooting by the Blue Devils was the difference in the game, with Central hitting 11 of 19 treys (58-percent).  CCSU also shot 62-percent from the field, connecting on 31-of-50 field goals.

In the opening half, the Blue Devils held a 27-18 lead on a trey by Allen with 8:17 remaining, capping a 9-0 Central Connecticut run.

Brown pulled to within four points, 32-28, on a layup by Kuakumensah with 5:14 left in the half, but the Blue Devils ended the half on a 13-2 spurt to grab a 45-30 lead at intermission. CCSU shot a torrid 67-percent from behind the three point arc in the half, connecting on 6-of-9 treys.