Brown Holds Off American 72-67
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Junior forward Rafael Maia’s (Sao Paulo, Brazil) scored 14 points, leading four Brown players in double figures, as the Bears earned a hard-fought 72-67 win over American University and its best start in 14 years.
Brown improves to 6-2 overall, its best start to the season since 2001-2002 when the Bears opened with a 7-2 mark. American falls to 3-5 overall.
Brown held a 72-67 lead at the half, but the Eagles pecked away to trail by just two points down the stretch, 69-67, with 2:01 remaining, on two free throws by Charlie Jones.
With the Bears clinging to the two-point advantage, Brown sophomore forward Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA) grabbed a rebound on a missed trey and coolly hit two free throws with 14.1 seconds remaining
to ice the game, giving Brown a 71-67 lead.
Maia connected on 6-of 9 field goals in scoring his 14 points.
Bears’ senior guard Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL), the Ivy League’s leading scorer, was held to 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while handing out five assists. Freshman forward Leland King (Inglewood, CA) and freshman guard Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) chipped in with 11 points each for the Bears.
Kuakumensah grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and finished with eight points and two blocked shots. Freshman forward Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX) added seven points, five rebounds and five assists.
Overall, the Bears shot 52-percent from the field (27-52), while American out-rebounded the Bears by a 31-28 margin.
John Schoof led the Eagles with a game high 15 points and six rebounds, while Marko Vasic finished with 12 points.
The Bears opened up a nine point lead, 30-21, on a steal and layup by Blackmon with 4:14 left in the opening half, capping a 7-0 run.
Brown later extended their lead to 12 points at the half, 39-27, following a basket by McGonagill and lay-up by Maia just before the halftime buzzer. Maia scored 9 first half points to lead the Bears on 4-of-5 shooting.
American came storing back from a 12-point halftime deficit to pull to within one point of the Bears, 46-45, on a trey by Marco Vasic with 14:56 left in the game. Eagles’ 6-10 center Tony Wroblicki picked up his fourth foul with 14:25 remaining and the Bears responded with an 8-0 run to grab a 54-45 on a Blackmon layup at the 12:19 mark of the second half.
Brown plays its final game of the fall semester on Tuesday, December 10, hosting Albany at the Pizzitola Sports Center, starting at 7:00 pm. Following the game, the Bears will be idle for exams until a December 22 matchup with Northwestern in Evanston, IL.