Height cannot be taught, but shooting ability can be developed. The men's basketball team struggled with both in its last two games and fell to Iowa 75-54 Saturday before losing to Providence College 80-49 last night.
Iowa 75, Brown 54
The Bears (4-6) had difficulty finding the bottom of the net Saturday night on the road against the Big Ten's Iowa (5-3), shooting 35 percent from the field, 18 percent from three-point range and 47 percent from the free throw line.
Andrew McCarthy '13, who finished with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, was the only Bear to score in double figures.
"We have been rushed recently," said Head Coach Jesse Agel. "I feel like we just haven't been comfortable shooting the ball."
Bruno also struggled to combat Iowa's physical presence in the post. The Hawkeyes held a 56-37 advantage on the boards and outscored the Bears 44-26 in the paint.
Providence College 80, Brown 49
The Bears experienced many of the same difficulties in last night's matchup against the Friars (7-2) of the Big East Conference. Bruno struggled to score from anywhere on the court, shooting just 29 percent from the field. McCarthy again led the team with 12 points, and Matt Sullivan '13 added 10.
Bruno once again found itself overmatched beneath the hoop and was outscored 42-12 in the paint. The Friars outrebounded the Bears 42-33 and held a 10-3 advantage in blocks.
"When you miss a lot of shots, they are going to get a lot of rebounds," Agel said. "And when you play teams from the Big Ten or the Big East, they are just going to have guys who are bigger and stronger."
The Friars were successful in shutting down Bruno's dynamic guard tandem of Sean McGonagill '14 and Stephen Albrecht '12.5, who finished with a combined 10 points on 3-of-19 shooting.
"Those guys have had great games recently, and people are now game planning to take them out of the game," Agel said.
"McGonagill does a great job of controlling this team," said Providence College Head Coach Ed Cooley. "What we tried to do (last night) was disrupt their rhythm. We wanted to play a really up-tempo pace."
Despite the loss, the matchup against the Friars allowed the Bears to provide valuable playing experience to several of the team's first-years. Christian Gore '15 earned a spot in the starting lineup and finished with six points in 17 minutes. Jon Schmidt '15 contributed two points in 10 minutes, and Longji Yiljep '15 recorded 15 minutes of play. The Bears' roster has been decimated by sickness, injuries and eligibility issues, forcing the first-years to assume a greater role than anticipated.
"You never want to have to rely on freshmen, but I am thrilled with how they have played," Agel said.
After two difficult road losses to major conference opponents, the Bears return home to face the University of New Hampshire Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.