Tucker Halpern’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Brown Over Columbia, 61-58
New York, N.Y. –With just 1.1 seconds remaining and the score tied, 58-58, junior forward Tucker Halpern converted a trey on an inbounds pass as the final buzzer sounded to lift Brown to a 61-58 Ivy League win over Columbia.
The win gives the Bears a road sweep of Columbia and Cornell for the first time since 2003, and extends their record to 12-14 overall, 6-6 in the Ivy League, good for third place in the league standings. Columbia falls to 12-14 overall and 4-8 in league play.
Columbia tied the game, 58-58, on two free throws by Alex Rosenberg with 3.2 seconds remaining. Brown inbounded the ball and called timeout at their own bench with 1.1 seconds left.
Brown head coach Mike Martin drew up a play in the huddle that the Bears executed perfectly. Senior Matt Sullivan inbounded the ball across court to Halpern, who caught and shot in one motion, barely rippling the net as the final buzzer sounded.
"We never practiced that play before," said Martin. "Matt made a great pass, but it was the hard cuts by Sean McGonagill and Stephen Albrecht, and a screen by Cedric Kuakumensah, that sold the play and freed up Tucker."
Brown senior Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 17 points and became the 26th player in Brown basketball history to score 1,000 career points, reaching the mark on a steal and a conventional three-point play with 9:09 left in the game. Sullivan now has 1,007 career points for the Bears.
Sullivan's 17 points came on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and 9-of-13 shooting from the free throw line. McGonagill, a junior guard, tossed in 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.
The Lions were led by senior Brian Barbour, who scored 18 points, and freshman Lo Maodo, who added 14 points.
Brown rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit, 31-20, for the second time this season against the Lions, and grabbed a 55-53 lead following two free throws by Kuakumensah with 3:35 left. Sullivan's lay-up on a fast break with 3:04 remaining gave the Bears a 57-53 lead.
A free throw by Rosenberg and two free throws by Barbour cut Brown's lead to 57-56 with 41 seconds left on the clock. Sullivan connected on a free throw with 39 seconds left to put Brown up by two points, 58-56.
In the opening 20 minutes, Brown built a 16-11 lead with 10:19 left following a trey by McGonagill. The Lions responded by out-scoring the Bears 20-4 for the remainder of the half to grab a 31-20 advantage at halftime.
Barbour's 11 points led the Lions in the opening 20-minutes, and Columbia held a 17-8 rebounding advantage.
Brown returns home for the final weekend of the 2012-2013 season, hosting Penn on Friday, March 8 at 7 pm, and Princeton on Saturday, March 9, at 6 pm. Brown seniors Stephen Albrecht, Matt Sullivan and Tyler Ponticelli will be honored Saturday evening in pre-game ceremonies.