Brown Wraps Up Non-Conference With Nail-Biting Win

Junior forward Obi Okolie (Ajax, Ontario) came off the bench to score 14 points and freshman guard Desmond Cambridge (Nashville, TN) added 13 points to lead Brown (7-6) to a 70-69 win over NJIT (7-8) in the Bears’ final non-league game of the season.

Brown had to hang on in the final seconds after Highlanders’ guard Diandre Wilson knocked down a trey with 40 seconds left to cut Brown’s lead to 70-69.  Bears’ sophomore guard Brandon Anderson (Mahwah, NJ) was unable to connect on a jump shot in the lane with 13 seconds remaining, giving NJIT a chance for the win.

Wilson grabbed the rebound and jetted down court, pulling up for an off-balance trey from the top of the arc that was off the mark with three seconds remaining. The ball hit the side of the rim and fell out of bounds as the final buzzer sounded.

"We found a way to win when we weren’t at our best," said Brown head coach Mike Martin.  "Credit NJIT, who came out with tremendous defensive energy and speed. We allowed NJIT too many rhythm treys in the first half and did a good job of defending the trey in the final 20 minutes."

Brown held NJIT to 25-percent shooting (3-of-12) from beyond the 3-point arc in the second half and 34-percent overall shooting (8-23). The Bears connected on just 4-of-16 (25-percent) treys for the game.

Okolie connected on 6-of-10 field goals and grabbed three rebounds for the Bears. Cambridge, a three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, connected on just 4-of-13 field goals, but played aggressively on the defensive end with five rebounds and three blocked shots.

Anderson scored 12 points for the Bears and handed out a career high six assists, while freshman Tamenang Choh (Lowell, MA) scored a career high 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, while grabbing four rebounds. Brown senior Jason Massey (Cooper City, FL) pulled down a game high eight rebounds.

Anthony Tarke paced the Highlanders with a game high 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Shawndale Jones and Shyquan Gibbs each chipped in with 13 points.

The Highlanders led by as many as 10 points in the opening half, 26-16, with 9:20 remaining following a trey by Zach Cooks. Brown clawed its way back in the game with a 9-3 run to trail by two points, 29-27, on a Cambridge trey at the 5:52 mark.

Trailing 38-35 at the half, Brown tied the game 50-50, on a trey by sophomore Zach Hunsaker (Orem, UT) and grabbed the lead for good, 53-50, on a trey by Okolie with 10:00 left in the game.

Okolie’s trey sparked a 13-2 Brown run that ended in a 63-53 Brown advantage with 5:58 remaining on a Cambridge jump shot.

The Bears are idle until Friday, January 12, when they travel to New Haven, CT, to open the Ivy League season against Yale. Tip-off is 5:30 pm at the John Lee Amphitheatre. All of the Ancient Eight schools will be vying for a berth in the four-team Ivy League Post-Season Tournament at the Palestra, in Philadelphia, March 10-11, 2018.