Nov. 19, 2008
Worcester, Mass. - Junior center Matt Mullery scored 18 points and sophomore guard Adrian Williams added a career high 16 points to lead Brown (1-2) to a 62-57 victory over Holy Cross (2-1) at the Hart Center for its first win of the season, and the first career victory for Bears' head coach Jesse Agel.
"Our keys to the game were toughness and rebounding," said an ecstatic Agel after the game. "This was a very tough game against a tremendous program. I'm proud of the way out team responded to the physicality of the game and the Holy Cross pressure."
Williams turned in a gutsy performance after missing Monday's game against George Mason with a foot injury. In addition to scoring 16 points, Williams, the defensive catalyst for the Bears, registered a career high 7 steals, the second best performance in Brown basketball history.
"Day in and day out, Adrian is our most consistent performer," said Agel. "He's a neat kid to know and a great player to coach."
Mullery set up camp in the paint against the taller Crusaders, shooting a perfect 7 of 7 from the field, and 4 of 4 from the free throw line, in scoring 18 points. Mullery also grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots, moving into ninth place in the Brown record book with 59 career blocks.
Holy Cross led, 31-27, at the half, after leading by as many as eight points, but the Bears stayed within striking distance of the Crusaders throughout the second half.
Trailing 49-47, Brown went on a 10-0 run, taking the lead for good, 50-49, on a three-point basket by senior Chris Skrelja with 4:35 remaining in the game. A lay-up by Mullery, a trey by Williams and a basket by senior Scott Friske extended the Brown lead to 57-49 with 2:47 left in the game.
Brown built its biggest lead, 60-51, on two free throws by Mullery with 1:10 left in the game. Skrelja was the hero for the Bears in the game's waning moments, making two steals with less than 30 seconds remaining.
The Bear also received a solid game from sophomore Peter Sullivan with nine points and five rebounds. Skrelja added seven points, four rebounds and four assists, while sophomore Chris Taylor came off the bench to score six points and pull down a team high six rebounds.
The Crusaders were led by Colin Cunningham, who scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists.
The Bears will debut at home on Saturday, November 22, against Northwestern, starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Northwestern will be the first Big 10 team to play in the Pizzitola Sports Center.