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After getting off to its best start in 10 years, the men's basketball team played two tough games last week, defeating St. Francis 67-63 and falling to New Hampshire 70-66.


Brown 67, St. Francis 63

Entering last Wednesday's game against St. Francis, Bruno had a record of 2-1, its best start since the 2000-01 season when the team earned an NIT berth. Bruno pulled ahead early in the game, and by halftime led by 15 points. Nonetheless, the Terriers (1-3) were resilient and pulled within one point with just over a minute left. Bruno was able to fend off the advances, and clutch free throws in the last minute preserved the victory.

"They kind of sped up the speed of the game and they started pressing, and when they picked up the pressure it kind of forced us to play faster than we would have liked," said forward Peter Sullivan '11. "In the first half, we played at our own pace, but in the second half we played at their pace so that allowed them to come back into the game. Thankfully, we were able to hold out at the end and make free throws and big plays down the stretch."

Forward Tucker Halpern '13 led the Bears with 15 points and added three rebounds and two assists. Guard Garrett Leffelman '11 was Bruno's second leading scorer with 13 points, and guard Sean McGonagill '14 contributed 11 points and a team-high four assists. Forward Andrew McCarthy '13 led the team with seven rebounds in addition to eight points.

"It was a great win," said Head Coach Jesse Agel. "We played very well out of the gate, and we had another real good first half, defensively and offensively. We had a great lift off the bench from a couple guys and then made plays down the stretch, enough to win the game."


UNH 70, Brown 66

Despite trailing by 10 points at the half on Saturday, Bruno clawed its way back to take a one-point lead with just under two minutes remaining. But with the score tied at 66-66, New Hampshire (4-2) center Dane DiLiegro scored a layup with under three seconds remaining to clinch the win.

"We should have won that game," Sullivan said. "In the first half we got down by 10 points and it was really that slow start that ended up losing us that game. … It was a true test for our team and luckily we were able to battle back. We had the opportunity to win, but unfortunately they made a play at the last second that edged them over us."

Sullivan led the team with 20 points and 8 rebounds, propelling him to 18th place on the Brown all-time scoring list. Halpern was the second-leading scorer with 15 points, and tied forward Tyler Ponticelli '13 with 5 rebounds.

"Every loss is hard, no matter whether it's a last shot," Agel said. "We really battled and it was a heck of a game. They just made one more play than us at the end of the game."

The Bears return to action on Thursday when they travel to Connecticut to face Hartford in a difficult match-up.

"It'll be another tough game," Agel said. "We're on the road and the home team wins almost 70 percent of the time in college basketball, so we'll have to play well for 40 minutes. But we're defending well, we're rebounding well, and doing a lot of good things."

After earning the best start in ten years, the team is prepared for what is still to come.

"It's exciting," Sullivan said "We know we have a good team this year, and to be off to the best start in ten years, that's pretty special. I think it's giving us a lot of motivation to keep working hard in practice and every single day so that we can getting these wins and see where it takes us this season." 


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