The men’s basketball team stayed active during its holiday break, returning home to face Long Island University at Brooklyn Saturday at the Pizzitola Sports Center. After a midweek road loss to Stony Brook University, the Bears used a second half push to defend their home court, ousting the Blackbirds in a high-scoring affair, 94-86.
Brandon Anderson ’20 led Brown (4-2, 0-0 Ivy) with a career-high 24 points. Coming off the bench, Anderson made his impact felt by getting to the free-throw line, where he sunk 14 of 16 attempts. He is averaging 20.2 points per game early in the season, second in the Ivy League behind only Cornell’s Matt Morgan.
The Bears jumped out to an early 20-9 lead, taking advantage of sloppy play by the Blackbirds (2-5) which resulted in six turnovers in the first nine minutes of play. Trailing by as many as 12 points with five minutes to play in the half, LIU used hot shooting to climb back into the game. While LIU shot 6-of-12 from three in the first 20 minutes, including a 3-for-3 effort from guard Julian Batts, Brown hit just one of eight attempts early on. Raiquan Clark also gave the Bears trouble in the first half, scoring 16 points of his 26 total in the first 20 minutes.
Batts hit a three-pointer to give the Blackbirds a three-point lead, its biggest of the half, with under a minute to play. But a pair of free throws by Desmond Cambridge ’21 pulled Brown within a point heading into the locker room, as the score stood at 48-47.
After Travis Fuller ’19 put in a layup off an assist from Cambridge, Brown took a 51-50 lead just over a minute into the second half. The Bears wouldn’t give back the lead for the rest of the contest.
The hot outside shooting that brought the Blackbirds back into the game cooled off markedly after the break, as the team shot just 14 percent from three and 42 percent from the field in the second half. For Brown, a balanced offensive effort helped the team to an identical 47-point output in the second half, which proved to be more than enough to close out the cold-shooting Blackbirds.
Starters Obi Okolie ’19, Zach Hunsaker ’20 and Cambridge each contributed seven points to go along with 11 in the half from Anderson. In total, Brown shot 53 percent from the field in the half and 56 percent overall in the contest. Fuller hauled in six second-half boards on his way to his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 total rebounds.
Head Coach Mike Martin ’04 continued Brown’s early trend of spreading playing time around to younger players, as Tamenang Choh ’21 made his first career start alongside his classmate Cambridge, while Matt DeWolf ’21 logged 15 minutes off the bench.
Brown followed up Saturday’s win with an 81-67 road triumph over in-state rival Bryant University Sunday night. The team will continue non-conference play with another Ocean State foe, travling to Kingston to face URI Tuesday night.