Nov. 14, 2008
Kingston, RI - In his head coaching debut, Brown coach Jesse Agel left no doubt that he can coach as Brown opened its 103rd season of intercollegiate basketball. His Bears clawed through a hard-fought sea-saw battle against Rhode Island before succumbing to the Rams, 76-74, at the Ryan Center.
Bears' junior center Matt Mullery led all scorers with a career high 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting from the field, while also grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Peter Sullivan also came up with a big game for the Bears with 15 points and a game high nine rebounds.
The Bears held a five point second half lead, 64-59, on a three-point basket by sophomore guard Adrian Williams with 6:44 remaining. But the Bears missed a couple of free throws and Rhode Island went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good, 66-64, on a dunk by Kahiem Seawright with 3:14 left in the game.
In the end, the difference was URI's Jimmy Baron, who scored all 17 of his points in the second half.
"I'm proud of our guys," said Agel after the game. "We fought to the bitter end. I just wish we had made a few more free throws."
Brown carried the play in the first half, grabbing a 33-29 halftime lead after leading by as many as nine points, 31-22, on a lay-up by sophomore Chris Taylor with 3:42 remaining.
Mullery netted 10 first half points for the Bears, while Sullivan netted eight first half points and grabbed five rebounds. The Bears dominated the much-taller URI team on the backboards, 24-19, in the half.
"Our guys did a great job of executing our offense under tremendous pressure," added Agel.
Williams tied his career scoring high with 13 points for the Bears, playing all 40 minutes. Senior forward Scott Friske chipped in with eight points, seven assists and five rebounds.
The Bears will have no time to rest, traveling south to play at George Mason on Monday, November 17.