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Bears take sixth place in Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship tournament

Kino Lilly Jr. ’25 leads team in scoring, moves to sixth on program leaderboard for three-pointers made

<p>The Bears dominated overtime against the University of Missouri-Kansas City, outscoring the Roos 22-12 on the back of shooting 13-14 from the foul line.</p><p>Courtesy of Brown Athletics</p>

The Bears dominated overtime against the University of Missouri-Kansas City, outscoring the Roos 22-12 on the back of shooting 13-14 from the foul line.

Courtesy of Brown Athletics

Last weekend, the men’s basketball team (2-6) traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to participate in the Baha Mar Hoops 2023 Nassau Championship, ultimately taking sixth place. The Bears faced off against the University of Delaware (5-0), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2-4) and Ohio University (4-2) across the three-day tournament. 

The Bears fell out of the top bracket after a defeat to the Delaware Blue Hens, rebounded with a win over the Missouri-Kansas City Roos and ultimately lost to the Ohio University Bobcats in the fifth-place game. 

The game against Delaware was defined by the battle in the paint. While the Bears out-rebounded the Blue Hens 44-42 — led by a 10-rebound performance from Aaron Cooley ’25 and seven from Nana Owusu-Anane ’25 — and managed to score 12 second-chance points, they were unable to establish an effective scoring presence in the paint. The Blue Hens managed 38 total points in the paint to Bruno’s 16.

“Rebounding has been and will continue to be a strength of this team,” Head Coach Mike Martin ’04 wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We've recruited really good rebounders and continue to emphasize it.”


Due to the lack of success in the paint by the Bears, the offense was led by guard Kino Lilly Jr. ’25, who drained five three-pointers to account for 15 of his 22 points. After Friday’s game, Lilly Jr. now sits at sixth place for total three-pointers made in program history.

The first half was close for Bruno, who shot just 36.4% from the field and 30.8% on three-pointers. The game was never separated by more than six points, with the Blue Hens taking a 15-9 lead about halfway through the first half. But Bruno fought their way back on a six-point run in the last 2:21 to lead the Blue Hens 31-30 heading into the break. 

The second half began with the Blue Hens scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 10-point lead. Lilly Jr. began to lose control of the three-ball, making only one in the second half compared to his four in the first. Owusu-Anane — who notched ten points in the first half — managed only four in the second.

Because of the stagnant offense and the Bears’ sudden tendency to turn the ball over — conceding 13 second-half points on turnovers — they went down by 17 with only 5:44 to play. Despite Bruno’s consolation nine-point run, they ultimately fell to Delaware in their first game of the tournament. 

Following the loss to the undefeated Blue Hens, the Bears came back with a hard-fought win against Missouri-Kansas City in overtime Saturday morning. This game saw a more spread-out offensive performance from the Bears, with four players scoring more than 15 points, including a career-best 20-point performance for Alexander Lesburt Jr. ’26 coming off the bench.

Lesburt Jr. notched four threes on seven shots and six field goals made on nine shots.

"AJ is a really talented player and he competed extremely well defensively on athletic wings," Martin said in a statement to Brown Athletics. "He's here for a reason and we're happy for him."

Lilly Jr. couldn’t miss Saturday, notching 27 points and making eight of 12 field goals. Beyond Lilly Jr.’s strong efforts, Kalu Anya ’26 and Owusu-Anane combined for 32 points. Anya also came up huge defensively with a career-high five steals. 

“Coming into that game after a loss and having recent struggles defending other teams, our coaches put a big emphasis on the defensive side of the ball,” Anya wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “They helped me and the team really lock in and gave us a gameplan to be successful there, and I feel that it showed during the game for sure.”

“The takeaways are that we have played better basketball since the UNH game and are progressing as a team,” Martin wrote. “However, we still haven't found the consistency necessary to beat quality teams. We are getting there but the time is now to put it together over 40 minutes.”


The Bears lept out to a 21-8 lead early in the first half, which included a 14-2 run where Anya notched four of his five steals. But the Roos managed a comeback, taking the lead 30-29 and then closing the period with a 38-36 lead.

The second half was a battle, with the Bears going down 54-45 with 12:37 to play. Bruno mounted a comeback to bring the game within one at 54-53. From then, it was a battle back and forth, with the Bears taking a one-point lead with 7:03 to play. Brown managed to extend to a three-point lead with 19 seconds to play, but the Roos hit a three with 10 seconds left to force overtime.

The Bears dominated overtime, outscoring the Roos 22-12 on the back of shooting 13-14 from the foul line. Missouri-Kansas City never led and Bruno seized a chance to play for fifth place on Sunday.

“We have been in this situation many times before, and we were confident that we could get the job done,” Anya wrote. “In practice, we often re-enact these exact situations, and I felt that it really helped us prepare for when it came to happen in game. We stayed disciplined and true to our principles, and the outcome showed that as well.”

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“Getting to the FT line is always important to us. Winning the FT battle … is an area of improvement for our team,” Martin wrote. “It was nice to see us win that battle on Saturday.”

The loss to Ohio on Sunday was a hard-fought, high-scoring affair for Bruno. Lilly Jr. led scoring for the third consecutive game in the tournament with 21 points on 4-11 shooting from behind the arc.

Owusu-Anane managed a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds while also tallying three steals. Anya and Cooley also put up double-digit points with 12 and 10, respectively. But Bruno had trouble establishing a presence off the bench, with 71 of the 77 points coming from starters. 

Perhaps the most glaring problem for Bruno was the turnovers: The Bobcats capitalized on the Bears’ mistakes, notching 30 points from plays where Bruno gave the ball away.

After going down by 19 with 3:46 left in the first half, the Bears pushed their way back into the game, closing the first half on a nine-point run to enter the break 38-29.

Lilly Jr. came alive in the second half, hitting six of his nine shots.

Still, the Bobcats’ lead stretched to 19 at the beginning of the second half with only 14:34 to play. The Bears began to chip away at the lead, dropping it to only nine with 10:26 to play. After pushing the lead down to four, the Bobcats recovered and re-extended the lead back out to seven. 

Despite their constant attempts to claw back, two missed threes at the end of the game lost it for the Bears and dropped them into sixth place in the tournament.

“On Sunday, we played well to come back from down 19 and had two great chances to tie it in the final minutes,” Martin wrote. “What we needed to do was not dig a 19-point deficit. The two runs Ohio went on were a result of our offensive turnovers and their ability to capitalize in transition and on drives to the paint.”

The Bears will return home for a game against Bryant University Friday. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Dennis Carey

Dennis Carey is a Sports Editor who enjoys playing volleyball, listening to and collecting vinyl records, and poorly playing the guitar in his spare time.

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