In a packed Pizzitola Sports Center, the men’s basketball team (13-10, 6-4 Ivy) defeated the Big Red (15-8, 5-5 Ivy) 80-66 in front of an energetic crowd Saturday. With this victory, Brown has risen to third in the Ivy League Rankings, looking to receive their first bid in the NCAA tournament since 1986.
Earlier this season, Cornell defeated Brown 80-73 in Ithaca.
Head Coach Mike Martin ’04, with his 134th win, is now the winningest coach in Bruno basketball history, surpassing former University Basketball Coach Stanley Ward.
“We were aware of it coming into the game, but Coach wanted (our focus) to be…getting the job done regardless of the record,” Paxson Wojcik ’23 said in a post-game conference.
“He’s very selfless, so he’s not gonna talk about it, but it’s really special, and we’re all really proud of him,” Wojcik continued. “We were excited to get it done, especially at home in front of a really nice crowd.”
Aaron Cooley ’25, Nana Owusu-Anane ’25, Kino Lilly Jr. ’25, Dan Friday ’24 and Wojcik lined the circle for tip-off. Friday sparked the scoring for Bruno with a three-pointer — and Brown led Cornell for the remainder of the game. Lilly, Wojcik and Kimo Ferrari ’24 each drained threes to take a 12-4 lead with 15:22 remaining in the half.
With 8:36 on the clock, Friday converted a tough and-one layup. Owusu-Anane soon stole the ball from the Big Red at halfcourt, dunking it to take a 24-13 lead. After back-to-back buckets for Lilly, Brown held a 30-13 lead, capping off a 17-0 run.
Brown continued to dominate the Big Red, entering halftime leading 42-24.
Bruno’s offense continued to be hot in the second half, taking a 20-point lead, 46-26, with 18:30 left in the game. In a moment displaying the chemistry between Wojcik and Lilly, the co-captain tossed a behind-the-back pass to Lilly in the corner for a quick three, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
“I was excited when I threw the behind-the-back pass because I knew that there was no chance Kino was going to miss it,” Wojcik wrote in a message to The Herald.
In the following play, Landon Lewis ’26 posterized a defender, capping off a massive Bruno run to take a dominant 30-point lead, 59-29.
Although Cornell cut the deficit to only 14 with six minutes remaining in the contest, the Bears held on to their lead, ultimately winning the game 80-66.
The team has “gotta get better at playing with a 30-point lead,” Martin said following the game. “That’s a good problem for us to have at this point.”
Wojcik, Lilly and Friday led the team in Saturday's match. Wojcik tallied 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, shooting 5-11 from the field and 3-7 from three-point range. Lilly notched 25 points on an efficient 10-13 from the field and 3-6 from behind the arc. Friday added 16 points, a career-high seven assists and five rebounds.
“I went over film with the coaches a little bit, so I kind of knew…what spots were gonna be open,” Friday said of his career-high in assists. “I just tried to take advantage of that (and) get my guys good shots.”
As a team, Bruno shot 29-54 (53.7%) from the field and 10-24 (41.7%) from behind the arc. Defensively, Brown held Cornell’s high-powered offense — ranking fifth in Division 1 with 84.0 points per game — to 66 points, their second-lowest total against an Ivy opponent this year. Cornell shot 22-58 (37.9%) from the field and 6-28 (21.4%) from three-point range.
“I thought our offense and defense complemented each other,” Coach Martin said. “We shared the ball offensively. We got great shots. We took what the defense gave us. Defensively, I thought our physicality and our ball pressure disrupted them.”
Brown will play Princeton (16-7, 7-3 Ivy), who is currently first in the Ivy League, on Friday at 7 p.m. in Princeton. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.