Bears Capture UCF Holiday Invitational With 65-52 Win Over Charleston Southern

Bears Capture UCF Holiday Invitational With 65-52 Win Over Charleston Southern

Dec. 29, 2004

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Orlando, Fla. - Senior Jason Forte, the Ivy League Player of the Year, scored 21 points and was named the tournament MVP in leading Brown to a 65-52 victory over Charleston Southern in the championship game of the UCF Holiday Invitational. The win gives Brown its first in-season tournament championship in 33 years, when Brown took first place in the Hall of Fame Classic in the 1971-72 season.

In the consolation game, Central Florida captured third place with a 65-61 victory over Fordham.

Brown, now 6-5 overall, came out flat following its upset victory over host Central Florida Tuesday night, and quickly fell behind by a 19-3 margin at the 12:59 mark of the first half. Charleston Southern's Terrell Brown scored nine points, all on three-point baskets, in the game-opening spurt.

Coach Glen Miller's team turned up the intensity on both ends of the court and outscored Charleston Southern, 26-2, over the next six minutes to grab a 29-21 lead on a layup by freshman Mark MacDonald with 4:49 left in the first half. MacDonald had eight points in the spurt, while junior Luke Ruscoe added seven points.

Brown extended its 35-29 halftime lead by scoring the first eight points of the second half to grab a 45-21 advantage on two free throws by Forte at the 14:58 mark of the second half. The Bears grabbed their largest lead, 50-33, when freshman Damon Huffman converted two free throws.

Forte's 21 points came on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and perfect 8 of 8 shooting from the free throw line. McAndrew finished the game with nine points and 6 rebounds, while MacDonald added 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Ruscoe and sophomore Nate Eads also tossed in 8 points each for the Bears.

Charleston Southern was led by Chris Moore, who scored 14 points.

Forte was named the tournament MVP, and Ruscoe was named to the All-Tournament team along with Charleston Southern's Kurtis Rice, Fordham's Bryant Dunston, and UCF's Anthony Williams and Gary Johnson.

Brown returns to action on Monday, January 3 against cross-town rival Providence College in the 111th meeting between the two schools at the Dunkin Donuts Center.