Rafael Maia’s 21 Points Leads Brown Over Maine, 70-68
Orono, Maine - Sophomore forward Rafael Maia scored a career high 21 points and Brown held off a late Maine challenge to earn a 70-68 non-league victory over the Black Bears at Alfond Arena. The win on the road, Brown's second of the year, gives the Bears a 2-1 record, while Maine falls to 0-3. The Bears won just one game away from the Pizzitola Sports Center all of last year.
Brown held the lead from the 3:24 mark of the second half, 63-61, on a Maia layup, and led 68-64 following two free throws by Matt Sullivan with 22 seconds remaining.
The Black Bears clawed back to within one point with four seconds remaining in the game, 69-68, on a layup by Alasdair Fraser.
Senior Matt Sullivan hit one of two free throws for the Bears with three seconds left, giving the Bears a 70-68 advantage. Maine's Xavier Pollard missed a long jump shot at the buzzer as Brown held on for the victory.
The difference in the game came at the free throw line with Brown making more free throws (19-of-27) than Maine attempted (8-of-13).
Maia's 21 points came on 9-of-14 shooing from the field. He also pulled down a team high eight rebounds.
"It's exciting to win on the road," said Maia. "We worked hard in the preseason and early in the year on execution and it really paid off."
Maia sat out last year due to an NCAA technicality, and is just three games into his Brown career.
"Sitting out last year was frustrating," said Maia. "I'm having a lot of fun playing the game I love. I'm very thankful."
Brown junior Sean McGonagill netted 16 points and dished out five assists, while Sullivan had 12 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the free throw line.
Justin Edwards' 14 points led three Maine players in double figures. Fraser and Till Gloger added 10 points each.
Brown's early game plan was to pound it in to its big men in the paint and Maia responded by scoring seven points in the first 10 minutes of the opening half. Junior forward Tucker Halpern's trey with 9:30 remaining gave the Bears a four-point lead, 23-19.
Maine came back to grab a 25-23 lead on a layup by Edwards with 7:33 remaining in the opening half. Brown answered with a 9-2 spurt to pull ahead by a 32-27 margin with just over four minutes left.
Back-to-back treys by sophomore Joe Sharkey and McGonagill at the end of the half lifted the Bears to a 38-31 lead at intermission.
Brown will play its home opener on Wednesday, November 21, hosting the Bryant Bulldogs at the Pizzitola Sports Center, starting at 7 pm.