After a 65-50 loss to Harvard (11-8, 3-3 Ivy) Friday, the men’s basketball team (11-13, 3-6) had a successful turnaround just one day later, defeating Dartmouth (5-14, 2-6) in a close Saturday match 62-60. Kino Lilly Jr. ’25 led Brown with 14 points and three assists. Scoring 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, forward Jaylan Gainey ’22 secured his second double-double of the season. Captain Tamenang Choh GS scored six points and took six assists, the most assists of the night.
The Bears got off to a slow start, shooting 1-16 in the first half. Paxson Wojcik ’23 was the first to make a basket in the game on a jumper narrowly within the three-point line. But Harvard followed up with 19 consecutive points, holding the score at 19-2 until the final five minutes of the half. After Bruno went 15 minutes without scoring, Choh successfully made a pair of free throws. The first ended 29-8, leaving Brown just one point above the current record for the fewest points scored against Harvard during the first half of a game among all of Harvard coach Tommy Amamaker’s 14 seasons.
The Bears went on a 10-3 run to open the second half. Brown made more baskets in just 2:43 of the second half than the entirety of the second half, bringing the score to a more competitive 32-18. They continued trading baskets with the Crimson and outscored them 42-36 on the half, but the first half deficit still held Bruno back, resulting in a 65-50 defeat.
In their match against Dartmouth at the Pizzitola Sports Center Saturday, the Bears trailed by six with just three minutes left before finishing the game with an 11-3 run and finding redemption in a 62-60 victory.
Four players for the Bears made double figures during the game. Lilly led with 14, followed by Gainey with a strong all-around performance of 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. “I feel good on the court,” said Gainey. “T (Choh) got me going and with being down six after being up 14, it was important to finish strong.”
Wojcik added 11 points and Choh contributed 10 points with a game-high six assists. Both of them came up big when it mattered most, completing the Bears’ late second half comeback at the charity stripe. Kino Lilly made a three-pointer, followed up with two free throws from Wojick that brought Brown just one point behind Dartmouth with 1:46 remaining on the clock. Brown and Dartmouth then swapped 1-for-2 trips to the free throw line until Choh made both of his free throws, taking the Bears into a 59-58 lead.
“There was definitely a momentum shift,” said Wojcik. “We rallied as a team and, like coach said, we came out there believing we were gonna win that game.” Following Choh’s free throws, the Bears took the day’s biggest defensive possession with key plays from Kimo Ferrari ’24, David Mitchell ’22 and Wojcik, who played lockdown perimeter defense that pushed Big Green into a desperation three. The shot fell well short of the rim and bounced out of bounds with just 20 seconds to play.
Choh received a foul on the next possession, making two more free throws and bringing the score to a 61-59 Bears lead. Following free throws from both teams, Noah Meren ’22 took the final seconds off the clock with a long pass that led the Bears to victory.
“I’m just really pleased with our players,” said Martin. “They found a way to win this one and I’m really proud of them for coming out strong.”
The win puts Brown at sixth place in the Ivy League, battling for a spot in the Ivy League tournament, where the top four teams of the conference advance. Keeping their must-win mentality, the Bears will travel to Cornell Saturday for an important contest.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story contained passages with identical or nearly identical language to a news article on the official Brown Athletics website. These portions have since been revised. An Editors’ Note explaining this and other changes can be found here.