Sports

Men’s basketball dominates in season-opening win against Johnson and Wales

Anderson ’20 leads offensive barrage with 21 points in 106-78 victory Saturday

By
Staff Writer
Sunday, November 12, 2017

The men’s basketball team opened its season at home against the Division III Johnson and Wales Wildcats Saturday, riding its high-powered offense and the near perfect free throw shooting of Brandon Anderson ’20 to a 106-78 blowout victory.

“I’m happy with how we shared the ball and we were good going on the offensive glass,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04. “We were able to get the ball in the paint and get to the foul line.”

The Bears started off aggressively, jumping out to an early eight-point lead behind an opening possession alley-oop dunk from guard Desmond Cambridge ’21 and seven points off the bench from forward Travis Fuller ’19.

“We bring athleticism to the team, so coach added a couple of alley-oop plays in there for us,” Cambridge said. “It worked, and it worked nicely.”

The Wildcats’ hot three-point shooting and untimely turnovers by the Bears gave Johnson and Wales a one-point lead after 11 minutes of play. The Wildcats had an early 56 percent three-point shooting percentage compared to 22 percent by Bruno.

“We got good looks in the first half,” Martin said. “They didn’t go down, and we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

As the half continued, Brown responded to early challenges with precise free throw shooting and clutch three-pointers to go on a 15-0 run and amass a 14-point lead with 5:44 left in the first half. Anderson steadied the Brown offensive attack with physical play, earning important trips to the free-throw line. He took advantage of his opportunities, shooting 11-for-11 from the charity stripe in the first period to build on Brown’s lead.

“I’m just trying to put pressure on the defense and make the defenders commit to me so I can get my teammates open shots,” Anderson said. “We score a lot more when we get the ball to the paint first.”

At halftime, Brown led 58-39, shooting 38 percent from the field and an impressive 96 percent from the free-throw line. Fuller led the way with 14 points while Anderson added 13 and two assists. The Bears’ bench showcased the team’s depth, accounting for 23 points in a half that featured Brown’s strong scoring attack.

Brown’s momentum carried into the second half. Bruno came out of the locker room fast, going on a 12-4 run to stretch their lead to 27 after five minutes of second-half play.

The Wildcats recovered from a slow start and managed to trim the lead down to 22 points, but the Bears, boosted by nine second-half points from Cambridge, ultimately proved too much and denied the Wildcats any possible comeback opportunity.

At the final buzzer, the scoreboard showed a dominant 28-point victory for the Bears. Anderson finished with a game-high 21 points, while Cambridge, Fuller, Zach Hunsaker ’20 and Joshua Howard ’20 also finished in double-digit scoring. The team shot 41 percent from the field and recorded 13 team assists.

“We have a ton to work on,” Martin said. “But we have some talent and have some things to be excited about.”

The Bears will embark on a three-game road stretch that begins against Quinnipiac University Monday and St. Francis College at Brooklyn Sunday.

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