Sports

Bears fall to Crimson, top Big Green

Three of five starters against Dartmouth brought double digit points in Saturday’s win

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, February 25, 2013

The men’s basketball team split games against Ivy League opponents for the second weekend in a row, falling to Harvard Friday night and taking down Dartmouth Saturday. Bruno (10-14, Ivy 4-6) could not handle the Crimson’s (16-7, 8-1) high-pressure defense, coughing up 19 turnovers in the course of the loss. The Bears took better care of the ball against the Big Green (6-18, 2-8), thanks to co-captain Sean McGonagill ’14, who fed the offense with seven assists. The win is Bruno’s second against Dartmouth this month and puts Brown in sixth place in the Ivy League.

 

Harvard 65, Brown 47

The Bears found themselves in an early hole for the third game in a row, falling behind 20-5 after a flurry of Harvard jump shots. The Bears struggled to keep the ball, with the Crimson grabbing nine steals in the first half alone. Bruno managed only one three-point shot in the period and went into the intermission trailing 29-18.

“I was not pleased with our energy and effort,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04. “I’m only 30 years old, but I’m going to have a full head of gray hair here pretty soon.”

In usual fashion, the Bears slowly worked their way back into the game in the second period. Cedric Kuakumensah ’16 and McGonagill helped Bruno set off on a 13-8 run to start the half, getting the team within 10 points of Harvard. Two minutes later, the Bears cut the deficit to six after a McGonagill jumper, but the Crimson offense answered, and Harvard got back out to a double digit lead after a Wesley Saunders dunk.

Bruno’s big men were able to get to the line in the final minutes, but Harvard’s offense was too much to handle and the Bears fell 65-47 at the buzzer.

 

Brown 59, Dartmouth 50

Bruno put in a complete performance against the Big Green thanks to double-digit scoring from three of five starters. The Bears offense was more efficient than it was the night before, shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.

“Our energy and our effort from the beginning tonight was where it needs to be,” Martin said. “That’s the identity of our program. We need to play with that type of focus … for 40 minutes a night, 80 minutes a weekend.”

The Bears took an early advantage after a pair of threes from McGonagill and Tucker Halpern ’13.5. The squad’s largest lead came after co-captain Matt Sullivan ’13 hit a trey with seven minutes left to put his team up by 16.

“Matt, Sean and Tucker were all very big offensively,” Martin said. “We were confident, we cut hard, we screened and we got good shots.”

“I was really seeing the guys well. It helps when they’re moving on the floor and finding open space,” McGonagill said. “It’s something we’ve been working on, and hopefully we can keep working on it as we go.”

The Big Green found success down low early in the second half and got within five after a long three-pointer. But the Bears were resilient, and buckets from Halpern and McGonagill increased the cushion again to 10, 32-22. McGonagill made some especially important shots to quell the Big Green’s momentum at the start of the second.

“He did a very good job tonight,” Martin said. “We ask a lot of him, we demand a lot of him, but that is because we think he is capable, and tonight I thought he was outstanding.”

The Bears defense proved important down the stretch, and two big blocks from Kuakumensah helped keep Dartmouth from closing the gap. Sullivan provided the dagger with two and a half minutes remaining, knocking down a three to push the lead to nine and cement the win.

Bruno will travel to Cornell (13-14, 5-5) Friday and Columbia (11-13, 3-7) Saturday in a repeat of last weekend’s home games. Bruno was victorious against the Lions but failed to complete a comeback against the Big Red.

“I’m not really sure why the past few games we didn’t come out with the same energy,” Sullivan said. “I know going forward we’re going to have to continue to come out like we did (against Dartmouth). It’s too hard to come back every single night down 10 at half.”