March 9, 2013

Brown Eliminates Princeton, 80-67, To Finish 7-7 In The Ivy League

Providence, R.I. - Junior guard Sean McGonagill scored  a game high 24 points, and three Brown seniors scored in double figures,  to lead the Bears to an 80-67 win over Princeton, eliminating the Tigers from Ivy League title contention and giving Harvard the Ivy league Championship.

 

Brown finishes its season winning four of its last five games for a 13-15 record overall, 7-7 in the Ivy League.  The Tigers one game remaining with a 16-11 overall record, 9-4 in Ivy play.  Princeton had come into the weekend in first place in the Ivy standings, but losses to Yale and Brown eliminated the Tigers.

 

The Bears held a 62-50 lead with 3:26 remaining when Princeton mounted a late game comeback effort by putting the Bears on the free throw line on every possession. The strategy worked for a while, with Brown missing 5 of 12 free throws, cutting the Bears' lead to just five points, 69-64, on a trey by Princeton's Ian Hummer with 1:06 left on the clock.

 

The tide turned and Brown put the game away by hitting nine of their last 10 free throws.

 

Brown honored its three seniors – Stephen Albrecht, Tyler Ponticelli and Matt Sullivan – in pre-game ceremonies, and the trio responded with strong performances.

 

"Our three seniors played their hearts out all year long," said Brown's first year head coach Mike Martin.  "This was a character win.  These three seniors made my job much easier.  In the Ivy league, you're only as good as your seniors, and we have three good ones."

 

Albrecht, who missed most of the season with a back injury, launched a number of long-range treys, scoring a season high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the three-point arc.

 

Sullivan, one of the top scorers in Brown basketball history, scored 13 points, and finished as Brown's 22nd all-time leading scorer with 1,033 career points.  

 

Ponticelli scored a season high 10 points, hitting 8-of-9 free throws, and pulling down a game high nine rebounds, just one shy of his career high. 

 

Playing 37 minutes as Brown's ball-handler, McGonagill turned in an all-around performance with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists.  He was 13-of-16 from the free throw line, hitting 7-of-7 in the last minute of play.

 

Brown freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah, who starred at the St. Andrew's School, finished the season with 65 blocked shots, a Brown record which ranks sixth best in Ivy League Basketball history, and the most ever by a first-year Ivy League player.

 

Brown opened up a 22-12 lead with 8:00 left in the opening half following back-to-back treys by senior Stephen Albrecht and consecutive lay-ups by Kuakumensah.  

 

The Tigers came roaring back with a 10-0 run to tie the game, 22-22, at the 4:15 mark with Brendan Connolly scoring four points in the spurt.

 

Brown bounced back to out-score the Tigers, 11-7, for the remainder of the half to grab a 33-29 lead at the break with McGonagill scoring seven of the 11 points.

 

An inspired Brown team opened the second half with a 10-2 run to take its biggest lead, 43-31, capped off by a 24-foot trey by Albrecht with 16:15 left on the clock.