Dec. 28, 2004
Orlando, Fla. - Senior All-American Jason Forte scored eight of his 15 points in overtime, including two free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining in overtime, to lift Brown to an 83-82 come-from-behind victory over Central Florida in the first round of the UCF Holiday Invitational.
The win evens Brown's record at 5-5, while Central Florida drops to 7-2 overall.The Bears will battle Charleston Southern tonight at 8:00 p.m. in the championship game of the UCF Holiday Invitational.
The Bears clawed back from a 52-39 deficit with 16:45 remaining in the second half to take a 70-69 lead on two free throws by freshman Mark MacDonald with 3:40 left in the game. Gary Johnson hit a free throw for UCF with 2:21 remaining to tie the score, 70-70.
Bears' freshman Mark McAndrew game Brown a 72-70 advantage when he connected on two free throws with 1:42 to play. The Golden Knights tied the game, 72-72, when Marcus Avant scored on a layup with 1:28 left to play. Bears' freshman Damon Huffman had a chance to win it in regulation, but his eight-foot jumper at the buzzer rolled out.
After falling behind, 75-72, in overtime, Brown scored seven straight points on a three-point jumper by junior Luke Ruscoe and two jump shots by Forte to grab a 79-75 lead. A three-point basket by Johnson and a free throw by Avant tied the game, 79-79.
Forte gave Brown an 81-79 lead with 53 seconds left in overtime with two free throws, but Johnson connected on a three-point basket with 38 seconds remaining to give Central Florida an 82-81 lead.
Josh Peppers missed a one-and-one for the Golden Knights with 17.9 seconds remaining, and MacDonald grabbed the rebound to give Brown possession. Forte drove the lane with 4.5 seconds to play, sending him to the free throw line for the game-winning free throws.
Brown trailed 42-36 at the half, despite connecting on 8 of 13 shots from behind the three-point arc. The Bears trailed by as many as eight points, 42-34, before sophomore Marcus Becker connected on a layup with 33 seconds left in the first half.
Ruscoe led the Bears with 21 points, including six treys, the fifth most three-point baskets in Brown basketball history. McAndrew, a Barrington native, tossed in 8 of his 13 points in the second half, while Huffman finished with 11 points.
Central Florida was led by Peppers with 20 points while Anthony Williams netted 16 points.