Syracuse, New York – Brown's strong late game rally came up short, despite junior guard Matt Sullivan scoring 19 of his career high 26 points in the second half, as Brown fell to Albany, 77-68, in the first game of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off , played at the Syracuse Carrier Dome.
The Bears will compete tomorrow afternoon (November 15) at the Carrier Dome in second round NIT Season Tip-Off action at 4:00 p.m., facing the loser of tonight's match-up between #5 Syracuse and Manhattan.
Sullivan's 26 points came on 8 of 18 shooting from the field, including 5 of 9 from behind the three-point arc and 5 of 5 shooting from the free throw line. Bears' sophomore guard Sean McGonagill, last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year, chipped in with 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Senior guard Jean Harris added eight points and five rebounds for the Bears.
Trailing 41-29 at the half, Brown turned up its intensity on both ends of the court and gradually chipped away at the Great Danes' lead. It really turned into a game when Sullivan connected on two free throws with 3:36 remaining to pull the Bears to within five points, 67-62.
Both teams exchanged baskets and free throws over the next two minutes and Brown could get no closer than five points again, 71-66, following two free throws by junior Tyler Ponticelli with 57 seconds remaining.
The game may have been decided on the backboard, where Albany out-rebounded the Bears by a 42-30 margin
Albany had the better of play in the early going, extending a 6-4 lead into a 16-4 advantage with 12:15 left in the first half following a 10-0 run.
The closest Brown got in the first half was nine points, trailing 32-23, following two free throws by McGonagill with 4:27 left. The Great Danes led by as many as 14 points in the first half, 37-23, before settling on a 41-29 lead at intermission.
Albany junior guard Gerardo Suero slashed to the basket for a game high 29 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the field and 9 of 11 shooting from the free throw line. Junior guard Logan Aronhalt registered a double-double for the Great Danes with 19 points and 13 rebounds.