Providence, RI - Brown freshman guard Sean McGonagill exploded for a career high 39 points, including 28 points in the second half, to tie the Pizzitola Sports Center scoring record and lead the Bears to an 87-79 Ivy League win over Columbia. The win, Brown's first Ivy victory of the season, lifts the Bears to 8-11 overall and 1-4 in the Ivy League. Columbia falls to 12-7, 3-2 in Ivy play.
McGonagill took a knee to his face at practice on Wednesday, missed practice on Thursday, and took the court with a protective mask after receiving 20 stitches. He seemed to turn into Superman against the Lions by scoring 39 points to also tie the Brown freshman, shooting a phenomenal 15 of 19 from the field, including 3 of 4 from behind the three-point arc. He also added six assists and four rebounds.
McGonagill's virtuoso scoring explosion tied the 39 points scored by then freshman Earl Hunt, Brown's all-time leading scorer, against Harvard on January 15, 2000 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Bears' senior Adrian Williams scored 20 points or more for the second straight game, netting 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field, while grabbing six rebounds. Freshman Dockery Walker put together the third double-double of his career for Brown with a career best 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Lions were led by Asenso Ampin with 19 points, while Meiko Lyles added 14 points.
Brown held a 16-15 lead early in the first half after a field goal by McGonagill. Columbia went on a 13-0 run to pull ahead, 28-16, on a lay-up by Noruwa Agho with 7:50 left in the half.
The Bears answered immediately to get back into the game with a 10-0 run of their own, to pull to within 28-26. A strong first half finish gave the Lions a 38-32 lead at intermission.
McGonagill and the Bears came out with a vengeance in the second half and pulled ahead 64-60 following six straight points by Williams, the last three at the 9:00 mark.
Columbia took its last lead of the game, 67-65, on a lay-up by Mark Cisco with 6:54 left on the clock. The Bears steadily pulled away from the Lions, tying the game at 67-67 on a McGonagill 10-foot jump shot, and taking the lead for good, 72-69, on a trey by Williams with 5:34 remaining in the game.
The rejuvenated Bears will be back in action tomorrow evening, February 5, hosting Cornell at the Pizzitola Sports Center, starting at 6:00 p.m.
Pictured: Sean McGonagill '14. photo by dspics.com