Columbia’s Late Rally Holds Off Brown, 77-73

Columbia’s Late Rally Holds Off Brown, 77-73

Providence, R.I. - Senior guard Grant Mullins scored a game high 25 points, including two free throws with six seconds remaining to ice the game and lift Columbia to a 77-73 Ivy League win over Brown at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

 

The Lions rebounded from Friday's loss to Yale to extend their record to 16-7 overall, 5-1 in the Ivy League, while Brown falls to 7-13 overall, 2-4 in league play.

 

"This was a well-played game by both teams," said Brown head coach Mike Martin.  "Columbia has terrific talent and I thought we did a lot of good things, but their four seniors made a lot of plays down the stretch."

 

With the score tied, 65-65, with 2:51 left, senior Alex Rosenberg gave the Lions a 67-65 lead with two free throws.

 

Bears' junior Steven Spieth converted a layup with 2:00 left to give the Bears a 68-67 lead, but junior Chris McComber's trey with 1:43 remaining put Columbia back up by two points, 70-68. 

 

A layup by Lions' senior Isaac Cohen and two free throws by senior Maodo Lo gave Columbia a seemingly insurmountable 74-68 advantage with 39 seconds remaining.

 

The Bears battled back and trailed, 75-73, on a trey by sophomore Kyle Haber (Dubuque, IA) with 6.8 seconds left on the clock.

 

Mullins hit two free throws with six seconds remaining to put the game away, 77-73.

 

Spieth paced the Bears, scoring 14 of his team high 21 points points in the first half. He connected on 8-of-10 field goals and 1-of-1 free throws, extending his consecutive free throw streak to 13 straight.

 

Bears' junior guard Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) handled the ball for 38 minutes and scored 14 points, while adding eight assists.  Senior captain Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA) also scored in double figures, adding 10 points.

 

Two Brown freshmen also contributed, with Haber scoring a career high 11 points, and Obi Okolie (Ajax, Ontario) scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds.

 

Mullins did most of his damage from beyond the three-point arc, connecting on 6-of-9 treys and 8-of-14 field goals overall. Freshman forward Luke Meisner had 13 points, while Rosenberg added 12 point for the Lions.

Columbia led by as many as nine points in the opening half, 18-9, on a free throw by Kyle Castlin with 12:44 remaining.  The Bears clawed back to knot the score, 28-28, on a basket by Blackmon with two minutes left.

 

The Lions outscored the Bears 9-3 down the stretch with Mullins knocking down two treys to lift Columbia to a 37-31 lead at intermission.

 

A second half surge lifted the Lions to an 11-point lead with 12:53 remaining, 51-40, on a Rosenberg layup.

 

Brown immediately responded with a 9-0 run, capped off Blackmon layup, to cut Columbia's lead to 51-50.

 

The Bears took their first lead of the half, 60-59, on two free throws by sophomore Jason Massey (Cooper City, FL) with 6:02 left in the game, but the Lions tied the game, 62-62, with five minutes left on a Mullins trey, his sixth of the game.

 

Brown travels to Harvard on Friday, February 12 to face the Crimson in a 7pm game, and then heads up to Hanover, NH, on Saturday, February 13 to battle Dartmouth at 7pm.