The men’s basketball team played two games that went down to the wire in overtime this weekend. Bruno fell to Penn Friday and was carried by the heroics of Desmond Cambridge ’21 to a victory against Princeton Saturday.
With the results, the Bears (10-9, 3-3 Ivy) remain in fourth place in the Ivy League, trailing Penn, Harvard and Princeton in the conference standings.
Penn 95, Brown 90 (OT)
The Bears fell in heartbreaking fashion against the Quakers in overtime. Missed free throws doomed Bruno in the 95-90 loss.
“Something about going into another team’s gym and playing really brings out the competitor in you,” said Travis Fuller ’21. “We played well. (We) just didn’t have some things go our way in the end.”
The game began as a back-and-forth duel, with five lead changes in the first half. Cambridge led Brown with 13 points on 6-9 shooting, followed by Zach Hunsaker ’20, who posted 11. The Bears shot 53 percent from the field along with 56 percent from beyond the three point arc. At the half, Bruno led the Quakers (15-6, 5-0) 43-42.
The intensity continued to heighten in the second period, as a layup from Matt DeWolf ’21 gave Brown a 71-70 lead with eight minutes remaining. Moments later, Brandon Anderson ’20 completed a spinning layup to finish a tough shot in traffic and extend the lead to four.
With five minutes left, Cambridge launched a three-point bomb to give the Bears a 79-75 lead. He would finish with 29 points on 12-19 shooting.
“Dez (Desmond) has been a big part of our success this year,” Fuller said. “I know he’ll continue to (play well) in the future.”
But with 1:48 left in the game, Darnell Foreman made two free throws from the charity stripe to trim Brown’s lead to just two. Thirty seconds later, two more free throws from Foreman tied the game at 82.
In overtime, Brown kept the game close, but Max Rothschild’s hook shot over Bruno’s defenders put Penn on top by two with 30 seconds left.
Cambridge was fouled with 15 seconds remaining, but missed both shots at the free-throw line. With five seconds left in the game, Brown still had a chance to force a second overtime with a trey. Hunsaker could not connect on the long shot, and Penn went on to win 95-90.
Anderson chipped in with 18 points along with Hunsaker, who notched 14. Bruno shot 49 percent from the field and scored 36 points in the paint.
Brown 102, Princeton 100 (OT)
Entering Saturday’s contest, Brown had only won three times on the road against Princeton in program history. But an offensive surge led by Cambridge was enough to silence the Tigers and their 19-game home winning streak.
The first half once again foreshadowed a close game for the Bears, as the period featured six lead changes. Cambridge was a highlight again, notching 19 points in the first frame.
At halftime, the Bears and the Tigers (11-9, 3-2) were tied at 49, as Brown shot 57 percent from the field and Princeton shot 56 percent. Both squads were scorching hot from beyond the arc, as Bruno shot 62 percent to Princeton’s 73 percent.
With four minutes left to play in the second, Devin Cannady hit a three-pointer to extend Princeton’s lead to seven — the Tigers’ largest lead of the day. But merely seconds later, Hunsaker responded with a three of his own to narrow the Princeton advantage to four.
Anderson came in clutch with a layup with just a minute left in the game. The shot put the score at 87-85, bringing Bruno within two points of the Tigers. Just 24 seconds later, Cannady made a jump shot to make it a two score game.
But Cambridge hit an extremely well-defended three-pointer to bring Brown back within one mark of the Tigers. After Princeton missed a free throw, Cambridge was fouled with five seconds left and made both free throws to tie the game at 90.
Two seconds later, Princeton had the ball in a tied game with a chance for victory, but Cambridge’s heroics were not over. Myles Stephens got the ball at the top of the key and drove inside for a possible game-winning layup, but Cambridge blocked the shot and sent the Bears into their second overtime game of the weekend.
In overtime, neither the Tigers nor the Bears could get an edge. With 58 seconds left, Obi Okolie ’19 grabbed his own rebound and launched a layup to give Brown a two-point lead. But 14 seconds later, a shot by Sebastian Much tied the game at 98.
Then, Stephenson worked his way inside and earned the foul with 15 seconds remaining. He made both free throws to give Princeton a two-point lead.
Then Cambridge launched a seemingly impossible three-point shot from the top right corner of the arc to give Brown a one-point lead with four seconds remaining. The arcing shot silenced the Princeton crowd and sent the Bears’ bench jumping for joy. Princeton could not get off another shot, and Brown went on to win 102-100.
“(The play) didn’t work exactly how I wanted it to,” Cambridge said. “But I was supposed to shoot it, and it went in. I’ve been feeling it all night, the best (feeling) I’ve ever had.”
Cambridge finished the game with 32 points followed by Anderson with 25 points. Brown shot 58 percent from the field and a sterling 62 percent from beyond the arc.
“It’s been a long time since we won here,” Cambridge said. “I really wanted this one, and it just feels so great.”
The Bears will return to the Pizzitola Center to host Cornell Friday and Columbia Saturday.