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Men’s basketball loses 84-83 to Cornell despite stellar effort from dynamic junior duo

Nana Owusu-Anane ’25 drops 21 points, Kino Lilly Jr. ’25 moves into fifth all-time on program three-point leaderboard

<p>The game remained close, and with only one minute left, the Bears were down by five points.</p><p>Courtesy of Brown Athletics</p>

The game remained close, and with only one minute left, the Bears were down by five points.

Courtesy of Brown Athletics

On Saturday afternoon, the men’s basketball team (5-13, 1-2 Ivy) faced Cornell (14-3, 3-0 Ivy) at the Pizzitola Sports Center in an 84-83 point thriller. Though the Bears delivered their third highest scoring game of the season — featuring a standout display from Nana Owusu-Anane ’25 and historic achievements from Kino Lilly Jr. ’25 — the team ultimately fell to the Big Red.

In a dominant 21-point performance, Owusu-Anane ’25 led the Bears’ offense. Three and a half minutes into the game, he swiped the ball from Cornell’s Nazir Williams as he attacked the key. Driving down the length of the court, Owusu-Anane bodied a Cornell defender beneath the rim to put Brown ahead 2-1. Over the course of the game, Owusu-Anane corralled seven rebounds — leading that category alongside Aaron Cooley ’25 — and recorded four steals. 

Though consecutive scores helped Cornell pull ahead 6-3, the Bears struck back. Landon Lewis ’26 and Felix Kloman ’24 traded scores — with Lewis hitting a turnaround floater in the paint and Kloman laying the ball over a Cornell defender’s head off the glass. The duo went on a 6-0 run which reclaimed a 7-6 lead for Brown. At that point, the Bears found themselves steadily tangled in a back-and-forth scoring affair that featured eleven lead changes in just eight minutes. Bruno’s offense attacked relentlessly; following a layup by Kalu Anya ’24, successful free throws by Malcolm Wrisby-Jefferson ’27 and a confident triple by Kimo Ferrari ’24, the Bears pulled ahead 18-17 with nine minutes left in the half. 

But the score did not remain close for long. Even as the two teams continued to trade buckets, Cornell pulled away. While the Bears’ offense attacked from inside, the Big Red took advantage of an efficient distance game, going 9-19 from beyond the arc. For every two points Brown scored, Cornell scored three — and with just under three minutes to go in the half, the Bears found themselves down 49-33. With time expiring, Owusu-Anane then led a Bears rally, hitting a layup, a jumper, a dunk and a free throw — single-handedly going on a 7-0 run and proving too difficult for Cornell’s defense to contain. After a jumper with seven seconds left by Lilly Jr., the Bears were able to bring the score to 49-42. 


In the second half, Lilly Jr. — the Ivy League’s lead scorer with 328 points this season — shone. Not only did he score 16 points in the contest — going 6-13 from the field and 3-8 from beyond the arc — but he also led the team in assists, with five. “We did a much better job in the second half of getting quick outlets to (Lilly Jr.),” Head Coach Mike Martin ’04 said in a press conference following the game. “We got going in transition, and (hit threes).” 

Thirteen minutes into the half, Lilly Jr. hit a step-back three from the corner, and even as he faded into the sideline, the ball propelled him to new heights: His successful three-point attempt — bringing his career total to 204 — moved him into the number five spot in program history in three-pointers made. As the game continued, he broke another record, claiming the 20th overall position among Brown’s highest scorers with 1170. 

The game remained close, and with only one minute left, the Bears were down by five points. Once more, the team looked at Owusu-Anane for answers. Double-teamed, he pushed into the paint, where Cornell’s defense — desperate to contain him — swarmed. Owusu-Anane then spun around to find a wide-open Lilly Jr., who hit a three-pointer to bring the score to 80-78. With time running out, the Bears were forced to commit fouls to try to regain possession. Cornell capitalized and pulled ahead 82-78. Fighting for victory, successful free throws by Owusu-Anane and a late three-pointer by Ferrari gave the Bears another five points. But ultimately, the buzzer read 0:00 before Brown was able to overtake the Big Red, who escaped with a narrow one-point victory.

“They present a lot of problems for you,” Martin said in a press conference following the game. “Their pace offensively, their chaos defensively — their balance, their depth, are all strengths of their program … I don’t think our offense was the issue today … If we expect to have different results … we have to be better with our defense.” 

The Bears will next face Dartmouth on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Hanover, New Hampshire. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+. 


Lydell Dyer

Lydell Dyer is a Senior Staff Writer for the sports section. A sophomore hailing from Bonn, Germany, Lydell is studying nonfiction English and political science, and if he's not off "making words sound pretty," you can find him lifting heavy circles at the Nelson.

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