Sports

Bears ride hot hand to win on Senior Night

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Monday, February 27, 2012

The men’s basketball team ended its home schedule Saturday on a high note, earning a decisive 94-78 victory over Columbia on Senior Night. The Bears also endured a hard-fought battle against Cornell Friday night, but their comeback came too late, and the squad fell 69-63.

Cornell 69, Brown 63 

The Bears (8-21, 2-10 Ivy) struggled out of the gate against the Big Red (11-15, 6-6), going one-for-seven from three-point range to fall behind 42-31 at halftime.

“We didn’t have a good start to either half, and that really hurt us,” said Head Coach Jesse Agel.

Bruno muscled its way back in the second half, cutting Cornell’s lead by putting together a 15-5 run. But the comeback fell short. 

“When we came in for halftime, Coach told us to leave it all on the floor,” said Dockery Walker ’14. “That’s what we did in the second, but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough.”

Walker’s performance was the story of the night for the Bears. The forward posted 23 points and 17 rebounds — both career highs — and shot 10 of 11 from the field.

“His numbers were just staggering,” Agel said. “Dockery had a phenomenal game, but he’s just scratching the surface of what he can do.”

Brown 94, Columbia 78 

Saturday’s matchup against Columbia (14-14, 3-9) marked Senior Night for the Bears’ lone outgoing player, Jean Harris ’12. Harris was a member of the basketball program as a first-year and for part of his sophomore year but then went on a year and a half hiatus before returning this year. 

“Even when he wasn’t around the program, he was around the program,” Agel said. “He did everything to put himself back into a position to rejoin the team, and he persevered and stuck with it.”

It was a special night for Harris, who started the matchup and connected on a three pointer for the Bears’ first basket of the game.

“We were playing this game for Jean Harris,” said point guard Sean McGonagill ’14. “We ran the first play for him, and he knocked down the first three of the game, and that’s just awesome to see.”

Harris finished with 17 points on the night, one shy of his career high. He was six-of-nine shooting from the field and three-of-six from beyond the arc.

“This is a big night for me, so I came out with a lot of energy,” Harris said. “I was hoping it would translate to the other players, and it did. The team was really pumped up, and this is the most energized that we’ve played in a while.”

The Bears had little difficulty finding the bottom of the net, shooting 58 percent from the field, including 64 percent from three-point range. Six different players finished in double figures in scoring. McGonagill led the team with 28 points to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists.

“Credit to them — they shot the ball incredibly well,” said Columbia Head Coach Kyle Smith. “It would be hard to shoot that well just open.”

“We got in the flow of the game,” Matt Sullivan ’13 said. “The ball started moving around really well, and guys were knocking down shots.”

The Bears will look to carry the momentum from Saturday’s win to next weekend, as they go on the road for their final two games of the season against Penn (17-11, 9-2) Friday and Princeton (16-11, 7-4) the following night.