Providence, R.I. – Senior Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL) scored 13 of his team high 18 points in the second half to rally Brown to a 72-61 win over Central Connecticut at the Pizzitola Sports Center Saturday afternoon, to improve its record to 5-2 overall. Central Connecticut fell to 1-5 for the season.
Trailing 31-27 at the half, Brown's offense finally got on track, outscoring the Blue Devils, 28-12, to open the half and take a 12 point lead, 53-43, on a layup by junior forward Dockery Walker (Magnolia, DE) with 11:18 remaining in the game.
Central Connecticut pulled to within five points, trailing 63-56, on a floating layup by Kyle Vinales with 7:16 left in regulation.
Brown quickly answered to take control with a 6-0 run on two points by freshman forward Leland King (Inglewood, CA) and four points by Walker to lead by 11 points with 5:15 remaining, 67-56.
"We did a great job on their post players in the second half, keeping them off the boards after getting out-rebounded (21-19) in the first half," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "Overall, we played a solid second half both offensively and defensively." Brown ended up out-rebounding the Blue Devils by a 44-31 margin.
McGonagill, the Ivy League's leading scorer, connected on 6-of-13 field goals, including 4-of 8 from behind the three-point arc. With 18 points, he moved into 12th place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,249 career points, moving past Brown legends Phil Brown (1972-75) and Peter Moss (1977-80), who each scored 1,241 career points.
The Bears' frontcourt made the difference in the game with three big men scoring in double figures. Junior forward Rafael Maia (Sao Paulo, Brazil) registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, connecting on 5-of-6 field goals and 3-of-4 free throws, while Walker scored all of his 10 points in the second half.
King also chipped in with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. Sophomore forward Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA) didn't score for the Bears, but pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots.
Freshman forward Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX) proved to be a defensive stopper for the Bears, holding Central Connecticut's high-scoring Vinales to just 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Spieth finished with eight points and five rebounds.
"Steven was recruited as an impact player and he's given us a defensive identity," said Martin. "We've matched him up against our opponents' top scorer in our last two games and he's done a great job."
The Blue Devils were led by Faronte Drakeford, who scored a game high 22 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. Brandon Peel just missed a double-double for Central with nine points and a game high 12 rebounds.
Brown held a 25-20 lead following a lay-up by freshman Steven Spieth with 5:04 left in the opening half. The Blue Devils went on an 11-0 run to grab a 31-25 lead over the Bears, highlighted by four points by Faronte Drakeford in the spurt.
Spieth's layup with 1:32 left in the half cut Central Connecticut's lead to 31-27 at intermission.
Brown heads down to the Nation's Capital on Saturday, December 7, facing American University in Washington, DC in an afternoon matchup, starting at 2:00 pm.