Nov. 18, 2005
New Britain, Conn. - Senior All-American point guard Jose Juan Barea scored a game high 22 points and handed out nine assists to lead Northeastern to a season opening 67-53 victory over Brown, in the opening round of the Mohegan Sun Classic held at Central Connecticut Sate University.
Barea, a two-time first team all-league selection, scored 13 first half points for the Huskies to help Northeastern to a 32-22 halftime advantage. Brown got off to a sluggish start, falling behind by an early 20-7 margin. The Bears battled back with a strong defensive effort to trail by 10 at the half, with Luke Ruscoe leading Brown with seven first half points.
Northeastern took control of the game at the outset of the second half, outscoring the Bears 15-4 to open the half on its way to building a 47-26 lead with 15:12 left in the game.
Brown battled back despite shooting just 19 percent (4 of 21) from three-point range for the game. The Bears pulled to within eight points of the Huskies, 61-53, with 2:54 remaining on three consecutive treys, two by sophomore Damon Huffman and one by sophomore Mark MacDonald.
Ruscoe registered a double-double for Brown with 11 points and 10 rebounds, connecting on 5 of 9 field goals. Huffman also scored in double figures for the Bears with 10 points, while junior Sam Manhanga added 8 points.
The 5-11 Barea connected on 8 of 19 field goals to lead Northeastern, while also grabbing eight rebounds. Janon Cole chipped in nine points for the Huskies.
The Bears will be back in action on Saturday against Birmingham Southern in second round action of the Mohegan Sun Classic. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.