New York, N.Y. – Brown mounted a frenetic second half comeback bid, but was unable to overcome a 19-point halftime deficit, falling to Columbia, 83-78, at Levien Gymnasium Saturday evening.
The Bears fall to 11-11 overall, 2-4 in the Ivy League, having played five of their first six games on the road. Columbia improves to 10-9 overall, 4-2 in Ivy play.
Bears' senior Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX) led all scorers with 20 points, while grabbing a team high six rebounds.
Trailing by 19 points at the half, 47-28, the Bears clawed back and drew to within nine points, 62-53, on a trey by Corey Daugherty (Barrington, RI) with 11:39 left in the game.
Senior Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) cut the deficit to eight points, 69-61, with a trey at the 6:41 mark, and Brandon Anderson (Mahwah, NJ) drew the Bears even closer, 77-71, on a trey with 2:47 remaining.
The comeback bid continued with Spieth cutting Columbia's lead to four points, 79-75, on two free throws with 1:54 left in the game.
Spieth then blocked a shot by Columbia's Mike Smith with 43 seconds left, but the ball fell in the hands of Lions' forward Lucas Meisner for a dunk and an 81-75 advantage.
The Bears came back to within three points once again, 81-78, on a Spieth trey with 20.8 seconds left, but two free throws by Luke Petrasek sealed the game for Columbia with 23 seconds remaining.
Petrasek paced five Columbia double-figure scorers with 18 points, while grabbing a game high seven rebounds. Smith added 16 points and Jake Killingsworth tossed in 14 points for the Lions.
After traveling from Ithaca, New York, the night before, the Bears seemed to have little in the gas tank and struggled to match-up against Columbia's multiple zone defenses, falling behind by a 33-19 margin in the opening 13 minutes. Brown was able to connect on just 8-of-23 field goals and 3-of-10 shots from beyond the three-point arc during the opening span.
Columbia extended its lead to 24 points, 45-21, on dunk by Luke Petrrasek with 3:27 left in the half. A 7-2 Brown spurt to end the half, sparked by Spieth's four points, cut Columbia's lead to 47-28 at intermission.
Brown returns home to the Pizzitola Sports Center next weekend to battle Harvard on Friday, February 10 at 7:00 pm, and Dartmouth on Saturday, February 11 at 6:00 pm.