Matt Mullery '10 made the Brown basketball record books Saturday night, but the Big Red ultimately spoiled the party. As Mullery became the 23rd player in Bears' history to score 1,000 career points, No. 25 Cornell (20-3, 6-0 Ivy) pulled away from a feisty Brown (7-16, 1-5 Ivy) squad late in the second half for a 74-60 victory.
On Friday night, Bruno fell to the Columbia Lions in an away game at Levien Gymnasium, 65-54.
Cornell 74, Brown 60
The Bears entered Cornell's Newman Arena on a four-game losing streak after opening their Ivy campaign with an away victory at Yale. But Brown showed no signs of a lack of confidence while storming out of the gate against Cornell, a team that almost pulled off a monumental upset on the home court of the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks earlier this season.
But it was the Bears playing the role of underdog on Saturday. A three-point play by Peter Sullivan '11 with 16:03 remaining in the first half gave Brown a 12-9 lead and Cornell its first deficit since its game against South Dakota almost a month ago.
With 12:58 remaining, Mullery reached his milestone, notching his 1,000th point on a lay-up to give his team an 18-16 lead. Brown extended that advantage to eight points, 24-16, halfway through the first half on a lay-up by Tucker Halpern '13, who scored 14 points in a strong performance.
But the Big Red showed their team poise in closing out the first half. Instead of getting rattled by the tenacious Bears, Cornell rallied to grab a 39-36 lead going into halftime, helped by center Jeff Foote's 11 first-half points.
Bruno hung tough in the second half. A three-pointer by Mullery — en route to a game-high 21 points — pulled the Bears back to a 39-39 tie, and a driving score by Matt Sullivan '13 gave the Bears a one-point cushion, 45-44, just under four minutes into the second half.
But that would be the last time the Bears held the lead, as Cornell began to pull away.
Brown got no closer than two points for the remainder of the game, and the Big Red grabbed their first double-digit lead with 3:51 remaining, 69-58.
In the end, the box score showed a seemingly comfortable 14-point victory for the Big Red. But on a night with nine tied scores and eight lead changes, the game tape told a different story.
Columbia 65, Brown 54
The Bears looked to be in prime position to notch their second in-conference victory against Columbia (8-12, 2-4 Ivy) as they jumped out to an 11-0 lead after just two minutes of play. Bruno started the game with three consecutive field goals from beyond the arc, two by Peter Sullivan '11 and one by Mullery. A lay-up by Mullery completed the Bears' scoring run.
Brown continued their hot shooting throughout the first twenty minutes, hitting 57 percent of their field goals. They jogged into the locker room up 36-27.
The second half was a different story, as the Bears lost their shooting touch. After Mullery extended the lead to ten points, 43-33, three minutes into the half, the Bears converted only two more field goals during the remainder of the game. Overall, they shot just 20 percent from the field, 5-20, in the second half.
Guard Noruwa Agho and forward Asenso Ampim led the Lions' comeback efforts. Agho scored a game-high 18 points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Ampim scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half, including a lay-up with 4:48 left to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 50-49. The Lions did not relinquish that lead in the final minutes, giving the Bears another conference loss.