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The men's basketball team split two nonconference games on the road last week. Bruno lost 86-71 at Central Connecticut State University Thursday and eked out a 70-68 victory over the University of Maine Saturday.
Though only three games into the season, the Bears (2-1) have already improved on last year's away record, when they went 1-12 on the road.
"It's already more than last year," center Rafael Maia '15 said. "But we don't have to think about last year at all."
Central Connecticut 86, Brown 71
Both teams appeared to be evenly matched in the first game, with many lead changes through the first few minutes of play. But the Blue Devils (1-2) took a commanding lead midway through the first half after forward Terrell Allen scored three straight treys to put his team up 27-18. The Blue Devils extended the lead to 15, 45-30, at halftime.
But Bruno did not let up, going on a 12-2 run midway through the second half to pull within four, 67-63. Central Connecticut State guard Kyle Vinales quickly intervened, scoring 10 points in two minutes to put his team up 77-66.
Vinales finished with a game-high 28 points. He played all 40 minutes and went 9-13 from the field, including 4-5 from beyond the arc.
The game marked the return of Tucker Halpern '13. Sidelined for all of last season due to an illness, he played 21 minutes and scored 15 points in the game, second only to co-captain Matt Sullivan '13, who poured in 18.
"It's always good to get guys back like Tucker," co-captain Sean McGonagill '14 said.
Brown 70, Maine 68
Maia was the star of Saturday's game against Maine(0-3), racking up a career-high 21 points and collecting eight rebounds. Maia was forced to miss last season due to a technicality in NCAA regulations - after graduating from high school in Brazil, Maia played for a prep school in Maine, which the NCAA considers to be a non-academic gap year which made him ineligible to play.
"I'm really ready and ready to go," Maia said. "I couldn't be more excited to be actually playing the games and be a part of this team."
The two teams remained close throughout the game, with the lead alternating many times in the first half. But the Bears managed to break away at the end of the half, scoring six points in the last minute to go into the break with a 38-31 advantage.
The Black Bears quickly came back with a 7-2 run in the first three minutes of the second half. Though they managed to tie the game nine times, the Black Bears never got the lead, and Sullivan's three free throws in the last 22 seconds secured Bruno's 70-68 win .
"We really stepped up our game in the last minutes to pull through with a win," McGonagill said.
"We were really excited to get (the win)," Maia said. "But our focus now is for the next game, and it's always been like that."
The Bears will make their home debut at the Pizzitola Sports Center this week. They face Bryant University Wednesday and St. Francis College Saturday.



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