February 4, 2005

Bears Fall To Big Red, 76-75, On Two Free Throws With 3.5 Seconds remaining

Feb. 4, 2005

Box Score

Ithaca, New York - Senior Cody Topper came off the bench to score 22 points, including two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, to lift Cornell to a 76-75 Ivy League victory over Brown. The loss drops Brown to 8-9 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play, while Cornell upped its record to 8-10 overall and 3-2 in the Ivy League, and snapped a five game home court losing streak to the Bears.

Freshman Damon Huffman had given Brown a 75-74 lead on a driving lay-up with 11.9 seconds remaining. Without calling a timeout, the Big Red raced down court, missed two shots at the basket, but the Bears' Marcus Becker was called for a foul in a scramble for the ball, putting Toppert on the free throw line with 5.5 seconds remaining.

Cornell earned the victory despite a career high 36 points by Brown senior Jason Forte, who set a new Newman Arena scoring record. Forte tossed in 28 second half points for the Bears. He also connected on 15 free throws (15 of 17), ninth best in Brown basketball history, and connected on 9 of 16 field goals..

Brown got off to a fast start, leading by as many as 12 points in the first half, 20-8, when freshman Damon Huffman connected on two free throws with 8:00 left in the half. The Big Red outscored the Bears, 13-0, over the next 4:20 to grab a 21-20 lead on a three-point basket by senior Lenny Collins, who scored seven of his 11 first half in the spurt. The two teams exchanged leads before going into halftime tied, 27-27.

Forte was tied with Alai Nuualiitia for third place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,344 career points, and now has 1,380 points in his four-year career. Although he still has 11 games remaining in his Brown career, it's unlikely that he be able to surpass all-time leading scorer Earl Hunt (2,041 points from 1999-2003) or Arnie Berman (1,668 points from 1969-1972), Brown's second all-time career scorer.

Forte was Brown's only double figure scorer, with Huffman next at eight points. Sophomores Marcus Becker and Sam Manhanga added six points each.

In addition to Toppert's 22 points, senior Lenny Collins scored 20 points and senior center Eric Taylor added 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.

The Bears will be back in action tonight against Columbia in New York City.