Providence, R.I - Trailing by 11-points at the half, Brown mounted a strong second rally that came up short, falling to Cornell by a 69-66 margin at the Pizzitola Sports Center, snapping a six game home winning streak. Senior guard Johnathan Gray led the Big Red with 18 points, and junior guard Sean McGonagill paced Brown with 19 points.
The loss drops Brown to 9-13 overall, 3-5 in the Ivy League, while Cornell extends its record to 13-12, 5-3 in Ivy play.
Trailing, 69-66, Brown had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but senior Stephen Albrecht's trey with two seconds remaining fell off the mark.
"We can't keep digging ourselves a hole in the first half," said Brown head coach Mike Martin, whose team trailed 40-29 at intermission. "We weren't ready to defend at the outset and it cost us the game."
Bears' freshman center Cedric Kuakumensah turned in his second straight dominating performance, pulling down a career high 19 rebounds, and completing the double-double with 13 points. He also blocked four shots, and now has 50 blocks for the season, most by a Brown freshman and second overall in Bears' basketball history.
McGonagill's 19 points came on 8-of-14 shooting from the field for the Bears. He moved into 23rd place on Brown's all-time scoring list, now with 1,029 career points. Brown sophomore Rafael Maia chipped in with nine points.
Gray netted 14 of his 18 points in the opening 20 minutes and connected on 6-of-12 field goals, including 4-of-9 from behind the three-point arc. Sophomore Shonn Miller also scored in double figures with 13 points, while grabbing eight rebounds.
Brown trailed, 24-22, with 4:30 left in the opening half, after a lay-up by senior Matt Sullivan.
Cornell exploded with a 16-7 run to end the half and grab a 40-29 lead after the first 20-minutes.
For the second straight night, Brown clawed its way back into the game and cut the Cornell lead to one point, 57-56, on a Sullivan trey with 6:32 remaining. Cornell answered with consecutive treys by Galal Cancer and Gray to go back up by seven points, 63-56.
McGonagill's trey with 25-seconds remaining pulled Brown to within two points, 68-66. Cancer connected on one of two free throws with 18 seconds left to put the Big Red ahead, 69-66.
Brown is back in action again next Friday, February 22, hosting Harvard at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The game will be televised live on MyRITV starting at 7 pm. The Bears also host Dartmouth on Saturday evening, February 23, at 6pm.