Lowell, Mass. - The game was billed as an historic event for the UMass-Lowell basketball team, playing its first home game as a Division I team with an overflow crowd on hand at Costello Athletic Center. Brown played the spoiler role, though, getting 17 points from junior forward Dockery Walker (Magnolia, DE) and a career high 16 points from freshman forward Leland King (Inglewood, CA) in a 87-76 win over the River Hawks Tuesday evening.
The win extends Brown's record to 3-1 on the season, while UMass-Lowell falls to 0-4 overall.
The Bears had control of the game for over 33 minutes and led by as many as 22 points, 78-56, with 6:38 remaining. UMass-Lowell mounted a late comeback and held the Bears scoreless for the next 4:09, outscoring Brown, 15-0, to pull within seven points, 78-71, with 2:29 remaining on two free throws by Chad Holley.
Brown answered with a lay-up by King and four free throws by senior Sean McGonagill (Brookfield, IL) to put the game out of reach.
"That's two games in a row where our offense carried us," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "We have to do a better job defensively. We're playing a lot of freshmen who sometimes showed flashes of brilliance and other times played like freshmen."
Walker, who missed the entire 2012-2013 season due to injury, came off the bench to score 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, while grabbing nine rebounds.
King registered his first career double-double, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the opening half, while grabbing 12 rebounds. McGonagill, the Ivy League's leading scorer, chipped in with 14 points, while freshman Norman Hobbie (Spring Lake, NJ) tossed in 14 points, all in the first half.
Bears' junior forward Rafael Maia (Sao Paulo, Brazil) dominated the backboards, grabbing a game high 14 rebounds, while scoring nine points.
The trio of Maia, King and Walker helped the Bears to a dominant rebounding advantage, out-rebounding UMass-Lowell by a 57-32 margin.
UMass-Lowell was led by Holley and DJ Mlachnik with 18 points each.
With the score tied, 10-10, Hobbie connected on back-to-back treys to give the Bears a 16-10 lead with 15:59 left in the opening half. Brown kept up the pressure at both ends of the court to extend their lead to 19 points, 35-16, on a driving layup by freshman Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) with 7:54 left in the half. King netted seven points in the 19-6 spurt.
A late first half River Hawk rally cut the Brown lead to 13 points at intermission, 50-37.
When the dust settled after the opening 20 minutes, Brown freshmen accounted for 32 of Bears' 50 points, led by Hobbie, who connected on 4-of-5 treys.
Brown opened up its biggest lead to open the second half, out-scoring the River Hawks 7-0, to pull ahead, 57-37, with McGonagill netting five of the seven points.
Brown plays its fourth game of a five game road trip, traveling to Farmville, Virginia to face Longwood. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.