Brown Upsets Bryant in Smithfield for Statement Rivalry Win

The Brown men’s basketball team came away with a 72-60 victory over Bryant Friday night at the Chace Athletic Center. The Bears, who led by 20 at halftime, never trailed a Bulldog team that recently took down the ACC’s Syracuse.

“You knew Bryant was going to make a run there, they are such a talented team,” head coach Mike Martin ’04 said. “But I thought we set the tone right away defensively tonight. I loved the confidence we played with offensively in the first half. We want to be a program that is continuously improving. It’s all about development, individually and collectively. Tonight was just another day in our journey, in our season.

“We are really pleased with the win, we’re really happy for our players. Hopefully we can continue to grow going forward.”

Paxson Wojcik led all scorers with a career-high 18 and added four rebounds. Kino Lilly Jr. had 15, five rebounds, and five assists, while Kalu Anya posted a career-high 15 points on a 6-for-8 shooting night, in addition to his seven rebounds and two blocks. Aaron Cooley was the fourth Bear in double figures as he also posted a career-high of 14 points.

Malachi Ndur, in his first collegiate start, led the Bears with nine rebounds and added two points, two assists, and one block. In his first collegiate action, Landon Lewis played 11 minutes, scored two points, grabbed one board, and blocked one shot.

Wojcik and Lilly were tied for the team lead at +17 on the night.

The Bears started fast with two buckets by Cooley, one by Wojcik, and one by Ndur to open the game with a 9-0 run.

Even when the Bulldogs started to get a couple to go, Brown kept up the pressure up and a three by Kimo Ferrari made it 23-5 with 12:20 to go in the first.

One of a handful of Bears to have a big first half, Anya’s layup with 33 seconds to play in the opening frame gave Brown a 20-point lead at 44-24 headed into the break.

As a team, the Bears shot 56.3% in the first half, including 37.5% from three.

Bryant opened the second half with a run of their own, scoring seven before Brown’s first bucket to cut the lead to 44-31.

But the Bears wouldn’t quit as they battled back from their slow start in the second to stretch their lead back out to 18 with 9:32 to go after a Lilly three.

The Bulldogs would twice cut the lead to nine, but a 9-0 run from the Bears over the final couple of minutes, despite a late bucket from Bryant, put the game out of reach and preserved the victory.
Lilly was huge for Brown down the stretch, at one point scoring seven straight to keep the Bears comfortably ahead. He has scored in double digits in all eight games this year and his five assists on the night were a season-high.

On the night, Brown shot 54.9% from the field and 40% from three. Their six blocks as a team were a season high, as were their 72 points.

The Bears will look to win their fourth game in a row when they travel to Hartford this Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.

Categories: Sports