Brown Falls To #22 Notre Dame, 84-57
South Bend, Indiana – Playing a Top 25 team for the first time in eight years, Brown (3-5) had its hands full with #22 Notre Dame (8-1) on the Irish home court. The Bears stayed within striking distance for the game's first 30 minutes, before falling to the Irish, 84-57, at the Purcell Pavilion.
Brown last played a team ranked in the AP Top 25 on January 6, 2004, facing Wake Forest and Chris Paul in Winston Salem, NC.
"I have the utmost respect for coach Mike Bray and the Notre Dame program," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "I admire the way he develops players and how his program competes."
"We showed flashes of effort tonight," added Martin. "But you have to compete for 40 minutes to stay with a team as talented as Notre Dame."
Bears' senior guard Matt Sullivan led three Brown players in double figures with a game high 18 points, hitting 6-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-8 from behind the three-point arc. He added six rebounds.
Junior guard Sean McGonagill netted 15 points for Brown on 6-of-11 shooting, while junior Tucker Halpern chipped in with 10 points. Freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah led Brown with nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Rafael Maia had eight points and six rebounds.
Notre Dame had five double figure scorers, with two Irish players registering double-doubles. Senior 6-9 forward Jack Cooley scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and point guard Eric Atkins netted 10 points and handed out 12 assists. Freshman Cameron Biedscheid led the Irish with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Brown got off to a sluggish start, falling behind by a 9-2 margin. The Bears rallied to tie the game, 15-15, on a conventional three-point play by Sullivan with 9:15 left in the opening half.
Notre Dame flexed its muscles and went on a 10-0 run to grab a 25-15 advantage on a lay-up by Jack Cooley at the 6:49 mark.
Halpern's trey with 3:27 remaining cut Notre Dame's lead to seven points, 32-25. The Irish pulled away at the end of the half, outscoring the Bears 10-2 in the last three minutes to build a 42-27 advantage at intermission.
Turnovers proved to be the difference in the opening 20 minutes with Brown turning the ball over nine times, while Notre Dame turned it over just once. The Irish scored 11 points off the nine first half Brown turnovers.
The Irish didn't break the game open until the midpoint of the second half when Notre Dame turned a 59-45 lead into a 79-52 advantage with 3:09 left in the game.
The Bears will take a 15-day break for final exams following tonight's game, and return to the hardwood on December 23, heading back to the Chicago area to face Northwestern in an afternoon contest in Evanston, Ill.