Squad struggles against Columbia

Assistant Sports Editor
Monday, February 13, 2012


The men’s basketball team hit a roadblock when it travelled to New York over the weekend, stalling in a 86-60 loss to Columbia Friday and then falling 72-63 to Cornell the next day. The pair of losses stretch Bruno’s losing streak to five, stranding them in seventh place in the Ivy standings ahead of only Dartmouth, which has yet to win a conference game.


Columbia 86, Brown 60 

Bruno’s visit to the Big Apple was the squad’s first road trip in months. The Bears’ (7-18, 1-7 Ivy) schedule this year includes a program record 15 home games, and the team has played its last five conference games at the Pizzitola Center.

“It was a little different, because we haven’t had a full road trip since right after Christmas,” co-captain guard Matt Sullivan ’13 said. “We’ve had a couple of away games, but not really any road trips, so we had to get back in the swing of things.”

Adding to the difficulty of playing on the road was the recent loss of point guard Sean McGonagill ’14, the Bears’ leading scorer, who sustained an injury a week earlier against Penn.

“It really hurt not having Sean,” Sullivan said. “He’s our leading scorer, but he also sets everybody else up. When he goes out, it really puts a lot of pressure on other people to step up and fill the scoring he usually provides.”

This pressure manifested itself right from the tip-off. The Bears had difficulty finding any offense against Columbia (14-10, 3-5), allowing the Lions to build a 23-point lead at halftime. Columbia never lost the hot hand and sank an astounding 16 three-pointers on only 29 attempts, easily sealing the 26-point victory.

“It’s hard to see three after three going in,” Sullivan said. “Sometimes it’s your team that makes those shots and it’s the best feeling in the world, but you just need to give them credit for making shots as a team.”

Four Bears finished in double figures. Sullivan led the team with 17 points while Jean Harris ’12 contributed 14. Tellef Lundevall ’13 put in a career-high 12 points, and Dockery Walker ’14 another 10.


Cornell 72, Brown 63 

The Bears opened with a better showing the following night against Cornell (10-12, 5-3), sticking with the Big Red and entering the half only down two points. But Cornell unleashed a 15-1 run in the second half and held on late for the nine-point victory.

“It was definitely a tough weekend for us, but we played much better against Cornell than Columbia,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan again led the squad with 21 points, 17 of which came in the first half. Stephen Albrecht ‘12.5 was the only other Bear in double figures with 11 points, and Tyler Ponticelli ’13 led the team with a career-high 10 rebounds.

The Bears hit the road again this weekend as they travel to Cambridge Friday to face No. 25 Harvard (21-3, 7-1) before battling Dartmouth (4-20, 0-8) the following night. In the first matchup with the Crimson, the Bears caught Harvard off guard and kept the game close before eventually falling 68-59 before a sellout crowd at the Pizzitola. Harvard slipped four places in the top 25 after suffering its first Ivy loss to Princeton (14-10, 4-3) Saturday — the Tigers’ 24th consecutive home victory over the Crimson. Against Dartmouth, the Bears will look to sweep the season series — Bruno took down the Big Green 66-59 Jan. 27.