Sports

Bears find no peace with Quakers, Tigers

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Monday, February 6, 2012

The men’s basketball team suffered two disappointing conference losses at home this weekend, falling to Princeton Friday night 77-63 before crumbling against Penn the following night 65-48.

Princeton 77, Brown 63

The Bears (7-16, 1-5 Ivy) entered the matchup against the Tigers (11-10, 2-3) with momentum, having defeated Dartmouth a weekend prior to earn Bruno’s first conference win before battling No. 23 Harvard in a hard-fought 68-59 loss.

“This is a scary team to play,” Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson said of the Bears. “They play with a lot of confidence. Anytime you find a team that puts three shooters on the floor, it’s a little worrisome.”

But Princeton held the upper hand in shooting Friday night, connecting on 52.5 percent of shots from the field and 10 of 22 from beyond the arc. Bruno shot a dismal 32.3 percent from the field in the second half, finishing at 42.9 percent for the night.

“We just got outplayed from the beginning until the end,” said head coach Jesse Agel. “Princeton made every shot right out of the gate, and guys who aren’t shooters were knocking them down.”

Point guard Sean McGonagill ’14 led the Bears with 17 points and six assists, and Tyler Ponticelli ’13 and Matt Sullivan ’13 added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Penn 65, Brown 48

The Bears were deflated from the start against the Quakers (12-10, 4-1) — in the first 5:08 of play, Penn held Bruno scoreless and jumped to an 8-0 lead. Bruno shot 32.3 percent from the field and went one for ten from beyond the arc in the opening half, allowing the Quakers to take a 36-21 lead going into the locker room.

The second half brought much of the same, and Penn cleared its bench in the final minutes with the 17-point victory in hand.

“Against Harvard, we came out, and we were really making shots,” Sullivan said. “Tonight we just didn’t.”

McGonagill had a difficult night Saturday, going scoreless in the first half and finishing with three points and six assists.

“Sean’s had a tough weekend,” Agel said. “He still did a great job of distributing the ball, but we just weren’t cashing in on some of the great things he was doing. He’s our leader, and so much of how he goes, we go.”

At one point during the game, McGonagill suffered a hard fall, and his head went crashing into the court. But with a depleted roster due to injuries, sickness and eligibility issues, Agel had no choice but to leave his point guard in the game.

“Our margin of error has now been cut to zero,” Agel said. “Sean bangs his head, and I was really concerned, but I don’t have anybody else who can play that position.”

Against the Quakers, four Bears played upwards of 35 minutes. McGonagill was on the court for all 40 minutes, and refused to comment after the game, citing a headache.

“I’ll never complain about (playing) 38 minutes,” Sullivan said. “Even if I’m a little tired, I can’t admit to it.”

While many athletes would relish the opportunity to play nearly an entire game at the college level, there is a certain amount of fatigue that results from playing extended minutes on a nightly basis.

“I know our guys love that opportunity, but in another way it’s unfair to them,” Agel said. “At some point, our guys are human.”

After four straight home games, the weary Bears will hit the road for back-to-back weekends, traveling to Columbia and Cornell before heading to Harvard and Dartmouth.