Sports

Bears dominate Big Green on Senior Night

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, February 28, 2011

The men’s basketball team dominated Dartmouth Saturday in a 100-76 Senior Night victory, after falling 74-68 to Harvard Friday.

Harvard 74, Brown 68

A week after toppling first-place Princeton and handing the Tigers their first Ivy League loss, the Bears carried over the momentum, springing out of the gate against Harvard (21-5, 10-2 Ivy League). By halftime, the Bears (11-15, 4-8 Ivy League) led, 41-30. Bruno controlled the tempo in the first half, shooting 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc, compared to the Crimson’s 39 percent and 31 percent, respectively.

True to recent form, after putting together a strong first half, the Bears watched their lead slip away in the second. The scoring balance tipped as Harvard shot 52 percent from the field compared to the Bears’ dismal 36 percent, allowing the Crimson to grab a six-point victory.

The loss came despite an explosive performance from forward Tucker Halpern ’13, who scored a career-high 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting and six of nine from three-point range.

“Tucker is just a phenomenal player,” said Adrian Williams ’11. “He’s really come out of his shell a little bit, and he’s playing more confidently. He’s able to score in bunches pretty much like no one else in the Ivy League, so I think he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Brown 100, Dartmouth 76

Bruno sought to avenge the loss to the Crimson against a floundering Dartmouth team (5-21, 1-11 Ivy League) on Senior Night. Before the game, the Bears held a ceremony to honor the team’s four seniors, but after tipoff, they were all business.

Bruno once again exploded at the start, leading by as many as 26 in the first half. At intermission, the squad was ahead 51-30.

“Our seniors really got us off to a good start,” said Assistant Coach T.J. Sorrentine. “They played really well to start the game and got us going. Everyone just played fast and loose, and that’s what we try to preach.”

Williams led the Bears’ scoring, putting up 17 of his game-high 26 points in the first half. He shot five of seven from the field and four of six from beyond the arc before halftime, and his seven three-pointers on the night rank second in Brown basketball history.

“He was just on fire,” Sullivan said. “On any given night he can do that, and tonight, it helped us to get off to a good start. He’s an unbelievable shooter, one of the best shooters in Brown history.”

The Bears didn’t let this one slip away, keeping pressure on the Big Green down the stretch. By the end, they had racked up 100 points for the first time since the 2003-04 season — a feat Sullivan called a “cherry on top.”

In their final game at the Pizzitola Center, the four seniors all contributed in their own way. Williams lead the team in points and Sullivan grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and scored 17 points. Taylor, who has struggled with injuries this season, added four rebounds in 18 minutes, and Leffelman scored 11 points on four-of-six shooting.

“Some guys react differently” to Senior Night, Sorrentine said. “They’ve put in so much time in this gym, so to play here one last time, you just want to make sure they’re loose. We’ve got a great bunch of seniors, and that class has been great leaders.”

Though the four upperclassmen received a standing ovation as they stepped off their home court for the final time with just over four minutes left and a 22-point lead, their careers have not yet come to a close. The Bears will finish off their season with two games on the road this weekend, playing against Cornell and Columbia Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

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