Saturday, March 2, 2013

Game Recap: Cornell 65, Brown 84

Box Score

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Brown connected on 13 3-pointers, controlled the paint and took advantage of a depleted Cornell men's basketball squad to take an 84-65 decision over the Big Red on Friday evening at Newman Arena. The Big Red slipped to 13-15 (5-6 Ivy), while the Bears improved to 11-14 (5-6 Ivy).

Brown freshman Cedric Kuakumensah tied his own school record with seven blocked shots, giving him a school season record 60 for the season. He added eight points and seven rebounds. His frontcourt mate Rafael Maia added 22 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals as Brown won the battle of the board 36-26. Tucker Halpern netted 22 points, including six 3-pointers, and Matt Sullivan scored 16. The Bears shot 53 percent from the floor, assisted on 19 field goals and turned the ball over just nine times in picking up the win.

Cornell, playing without three starters, including its two leading scorers in Shonn Miller and Johnathan Gray, got a team-high 22 points from freshman Nolan Cressler and another 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks from senior Errick Peck. Dominick Scelfo added nine points. Cornell turned the ball over just 10 times and shot 46 percent overall, but couldn't keep up with the Bears' shooters. Sophomore Deion Giddens provided a lift off the bench with four points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Bears, who have suffered through injuries all season and dressed just eight players, didn't feel sorry for the Big Red in what turned into a track meet early. The Bears led 14-12 after five minutes of action and 27-21 nine minutes in. Maia scored on a pair of layups in the first minute and a half to force a Big Red timeout. Cornell eventually tied the game at 12-12 and even took a brief 15-14 lead with 5:24 off the clock on a 3-pointer by Cressler, but Halpern answered with a trey of his own 10 seconds later and Brown would never trail again.

Brown pushed its lead to nine (30-21) on another Halpern 3-pointer with 9:48 left, but Cornell then turned on the pressure. Cressler hit a jumper, followed by a Miles Asafo-Adjei reverse layup. Peck ended the 6-0 spurt with a midcourt steal and a run-out dunk and all of a sudden it was 30-27. But Brown, as it did all night, answered back with a 3-pointer. This time it was Stephen Albrecht with the long ball do double the deficit. Consecutive baskets by Dave LaMore, including a dunk on a feed from Asafo-Adjei, got Cornell back within four (35-31), but the Bears scored the final eight while holding the Big Red scoreless in the final 5:45 of the half.

The second half was more of the same, as Maia scored on an offensive rebound early and then assisted on a Matt Sullivan 3-pointer. The lead ballooned to 17 before Cornell made another little run. Peck hit a jumper off glass, Giddens scored on a putback and Cressler hit a driving layup over the outstretched arms of Kuakumensah.

But then Brown put the Big Red away. A 3-pointer by Joe Sharkey, consecutive shots by Maia and a 3-pointer by Sean McGonagill and all of a sudden it was a 20-point game (68-48). Cornell wouldn't get within 17 points the rest of the way.

Cornell will celebrate Senior Day tomorrow when it faces Yale at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.

The men’s basketball team posted two big road wins in Ivy League play this weekend, toppling Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday. Rafael Maia ’15 and Tucker Halpern ’13.5 led the Bears (12-14, 6-6 Ivy) against the Big Red (13-15, 5-6), netting 22 points each in a 84-65 win. Halpern was Bruno’s key man again against the Lions (12-14, 4-8) after hitting a trey at the buzzer to bring the squad its third win in a row. After his 17-point performance against Columbia, co-captain Matt Sullivan ’13 became the 26th player in Brown basketball history to score 1,000 points, joining co-captain Sean McGonagill ’14.

Brown 84, Cornell 65

While the Big Red took an early lead in the Feb. 16 matchup, Bruno was the team in front during the first half Friday. Halpern set the tone for the offense, knocking down three treys in the first seven minutes and going 4-6 from deep in the half. His fourth three-pointer put the Bears up 30-21 midway through the first.

“I had been having a tough little stretch of shooting, so it felt really good to get back to shooting the ball well,” Halpern said. “I felt every one I was shooting was going to go.”

Bruno continued to dominate offensively in the second half, this time behind strong play in the paint from Maia. Maia went 5-8 in the second, and his tip-in at the six-minute mark gave Bruno a 29-point advantage, 81-52.

“We were really efficient offensively, and able to score inside and outside,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04. “We got off to a really good start getting the ball inside, and obviously that opened up some perimeter shooting.”

Halpern and Maia were joined in double-digit scoring by Sullivan, who had 16 points and three three-pointers of his own. Cedric Kuakumensah ’16 contributed on the defensive end with seven blocks to prevent any chance of a Big Red comeback.

“We came out with a lot of intensity and a lot of aggressiveness,” Halpern said. “That really carried us.”

Cornell made a 13-3 run to close out the game, but Bruno’s lead was too large to overcome, and the game ended 84-65.

Sophomore center Rafael Maia and junior forward Tucker Halpern each scored a game-high 22 points to power Brown to an 84-65 win over Cornell on Friday in Ivy League men’s basketball at Newman Arena.

Maia also added 13 rebounds and four assists as the Bears (11-14, 5-6) shot 31 of 58 from the field (53.4 percent) and handed the Big Red (13-15, 5-6) its third straight conference home loss.

Senior guard Matt Sullivan chipped in 16 points for the Bears, who led by as many as 29 with about six minutes remaining in the second half.

The Bears made 13 of 27 from 3-point range and also out-rebounded the Red 36-26.

Freshman guard Nolan Cressler paced the Red with 22 points and senior forward Errick Peck added 13 points and five rebounds.

Undermanned Cornell, playing without leading-scorer Shonn Miller, second leading-scorer Johnathan Gray, and sophomore guard Devin Cherry, went to new lineup that featured junior guard Dominick Scelfo in the three-man backcourt.

Cornell’s defensive woes continued in the first half against the Bears. The Big Red allowed Brown to convert 16 of 27 from the field (59.3 percent). The Bears made 7 of 12 from 3-point range in building a 43-31 halftime lead.

Freshman Nolan Cressler led the Red with eight points in the first half. Cornell made just 12 of 30 from the field (40 percent) and was out-rebounded 19-10.

Halpern made 4 of 6 3-pointers en route to a game-high 14 points in the first half for Brown. Maia added 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Maia scored eight of his points in the first 10 minutes as the Bears jumped out to an early lead.The Red must rebound quickly as it hosts Yale at Newman Arena at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

It had been a long time since the Brown University men’s basketball team had defeated Cornell. Heading into Friday’s game in Ithaca, New York, the Bears had lost 13 consecutive games to the Big Red. The streak is over!

A great team effort propelled Brown to an easy 84-65 win over Cornell and lifted the Bears into a third place tie with the Big Red and Yale in the Ivy League standings.

Bears coach Mike Martin emphasized “energy” following his team’s loss to Harvard last Friday and his team has responded.

Brown came out of the gates fast in their win over Dartmouth last Saturday night and did the same against Cornell last night.

Fueled by sophomore center Rafael Maia who scored the team’s first six points, the Bears took the game to Cornell from the outset.

Brown enjoyed single digit leads for most of the half but was able to extend it to double figures just before halftime 43-31.

Amazingly, the Bears increased what was a 5-point lead (20-15) when Sean McGonagill went out of the game at 13:24 of the first half. McGonagill picked up his second personal foul forcing Martin to go to his bench.

Sophomore Joe Sharkey and the rest of the team was able to not only hold down the fort, but also build the lead before half time.

A big reason for Brown’s success was their crisp offensive execution which led to many players having a good night.

Maia scored a career-high 22 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Junior forward Tucker Halpern looked like the player who torched Providence for 28 points with his 22-point effort which included six three-pointers.

Senior captain Matt Sullivan scored 16 points and is now just 10 points shy of 1,000 for his career at 990.

But even those Brown players who didn’t score a lot were able to make big contributions in other ways.

Sharkey had 5 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists spelling McGonagill and senior forward Tyler Ponticelli brought his usual toughness to the floor diving for loose balls. Ponticelli finished with 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

But the biggest story of the night may have been the performance of freshman forward Cedric Kualumemnsah (8 points, 7 rebounds) who tied his school record with 7 blocked shots in a single game. The 7 blocks also gives Kuakumensah 60 for the year which is a new single-season record at Brown. Matt Mullery (class of 2009) had held the previous record with 59 blocked shots in a single season.

Kuakumensah’s ability to block and alter shots clearly effected many of the Cornell players who either changed their shots of simply gave up the basketball so as not to be victimized by the Brown big man.

With the win, Brown improves to (11-14, 5-6 Ivy League) while Cornell falls to (13-15, 5-6).

The Bears battle Columbia in Manhattan tonight at 7pm. Brown will be going for the season sweep of the Lions after beating them 58-55 at the Pizzitola Center earlier this season.


-Halpern’s 6 three’s are three shy of Damon Huffman’s school record of 9 three-pointers in a single game. Huffman connected on nine three’s against Tim O’Shea’s Ohio Bobcats in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament in 2008.

-Kuakumensah also blocked 7 shots against the Penn Quakers earlier this season at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Andrew McCarthy also blocked 7 shots for the Bears last year versus Dartmouth.

-Neither of Brown’s previous two head coaches (Jesse Agel and Craig Robinson) were able to beat Cornell. Glenn Miller was the last Brown coach to defeat the Big Red with Mike Martin serving as an assistant coach on his bench. In fact, as a player, assistant coach and now the head coach at Brown, Martin has never lost a game to Cornell at the Neumann Arena in Ithaca, New York.

-Brown’s win paired with Yale’s loss at Columbia places the Bears in a three-way tie for third place in the Ivy League standings at (5-6). Had Penn defeated Dartmouth at the Palestra Friday night, the Quakers would have been in third place alone at (5-5). Instead, the Quakers are (4-6) and in sixth place in the league standings.

-In a battle of the league’s top two teams Friday, Princeton outlasted Harvard 58-53. The loss drops first place Harvard to (9-2) in the league while the Tigers improve to (8-2). The two teams split the regular season series with each winning on their home floor. Harvard visits Penn tonight while Princeton hosts Dartmouth. The Crimson will finish the regular season at home against Columbia and Cornell next weekend while Princeton visits Yale and Brown next weekend before wrapping up their regular season at Penn March 12th. Should the two teams finish tied atop the standings, there would be a one-game playoff to determine who gets the Ivy League’s automatic bid to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The game would be played on a neutral court, likely at Yale as it was two years ago.

-Harvard has now lost 24 straight games to Princeton at Jadwin Gym dating back to the 1988-89 season.

Providence, R.I. - Sophomore forward Rafael Maia registered a double-double with a career high 22 points and 13 rebounds, while junior forward Tucker Halpern also scored 22 points, to power Brown past Cornell, 84-65, in an Ivy League game at the Newman Arena, snapping a 13-game drought against the Big Red.

The win extends Brown's record to 11-14 overall, 5-6 in the Ivy League, while Cornell falls to 14-14, 5-6 in league play.

Brown held a 43-31 lead at the half and kept up the offensive pressure in the final 20 minutes, expanding its lead to 20 points, 68-48, on a long trey by junior Sean McGonagill with 11:25 left in the game.

The Bears continued their hot shooting and expanded their lead to 27 points, 79-52, on a trey by Halpern with just over seven minutes left on the clock. Brown's biggest lead came with 6:22 left in the game on a Maia tip-in, giving the Bears an 82-53 advantage.

Maia turned in a complete performance, connecting on 9-of-14 field goals, with the 13 rebounds just two shy of his career high.

Halpern did most of his damage from behind the three-point arc, connecting on 6-of-11 treys in scoring 22 points, while converting 4-of-4 free throws.

Bears' freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah was a shot-blocking machine, tying his own record for blocked shots in a single game with seven blocks, and setting a single-season Brown record with 60 blocked shots.

Kuakumensah, who played at the St. Andrew's School, broke the previous single season mark of 59 blocked shots by Matt Mullerey from 2006-2009. He also moved up the Ivy League chart for blocked shots in a season, and now stands in 11th place on the Ivy single season blocks list.

Kuakumensah also scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Senior Matt Sullivan scored 16 points for the Bears and has registered 990 career points. He'll look to reach the 1,000 point plateau tomorrow at Columbia.

Cornell freshman Nolan Cressler scored a team high 22 points, while Errick Peck added 13 points for the Big Red.

The Bears built a 30-21 advantage to start the game on 12 points by Halpern and eight by Maia.

Brown's largest lead of the opening 20-minutes came at the end of the half when Maia grabbed his own rebound and scored with three seconds remaining to give the Bears a 43-31 lead at intermission.

Halpern connected on 4-of-6 first treys in scoring 14 points as the Bears connected on 7-of-12 first half treys.

Brown plays its final road game of the season on Saturday evening, facing Columbia in New York City. Tip-off is 7 pm.


Anonymous said...

Here's what I see as the takeaway: Shonn is terrific, and by far the best player on this team. Our guards are at about the talent level of Penn and Brown. Penn's guards, like our guards, have nice potential, and Cartwright has been very good at times. Brown's guards are better shooters. Unless Bunce and David O. are both all Ivy-level players in their first year, we have no real chance of competing with Harvard next year. The lack of top notch recruits at the 1-3 will haunt us.

Anonymous said...

All of the expeculation of a successful season is over, the die has been cast. With the worse home record in the Conference serious consideration should be made as to the longevity of this coaching staff starting at the top!

After seeing some of the play of a couple of bigs that rarely saw the floor the only question to ask is why did it take so long to find out that they actually could have helped this team during some of those games when we were at full strength.

So to Dave and Dion, hope your given more opportunity to contribute this season and going forward in the seasons to come. All the lack of time only proves that the people who are evaluating you are not doing you or the Program justice. Stand tall you are not alone!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Imagine, David, Dion, Miller, Cancer and Cherry.
The possibilities are endless.