PROVIDENCE, RI (November 29, 2012) – Brown sophomore center Rafael Maia scored 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Bears past the Sacred Heart Pioneers, 69-56, Thursday night in Providence, RI. The Pioneers got 17 points from junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) as they drop their second-straight and fall to 2-4 on the year.
Brown (3-3) dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Pioneers 46-31 on the night and 24-7 on the offensive glass. The Bears had four players in double figures led by Maia but also got 17 points from Tucker Halpern and 16 points from Matt Sullivan. Halpern buried five-of-eight from three, four coming in the second half as the Bears outscored SHU 38-29 over the final 20 minutes.
Sacred Heart (2-4) shot an even 50 percent (12-24) in the first half but still trailed 31-27 at the break. The Bears, despite shooting just 32.4 percent (12-37) and making just three-of-18 from three, went to work on the offensive glass, pulling down 14 offensive caroms for 10 second chance points.
The Pioneers led 19-17 at the 6:41 mark on a Montes jumper but after a one-for-12 start from three, Brown grabbed the lead on Halpern's first three on the next possession. The Bears ended the first half strong as Sean McGonagill buried their only other three of the half and Sullivan got a steal and lay-up in the final minute to run into the locker room with a 31-27 lead.
Brown opened the second half with a 9-2 run capped by a Sullivan three from the right wing for a 40-29 lead at 15:59 forcing SHU head coach Dave Bike to use a time-out. Halpern then caught fire from three and hit four of his five triples on the night over a five-minute stretch.
Halpern opened his long range run with a three at 13:30 and then buried another on the next trip down for a 46-33 lead. A McGonagill three gave the Bears a 49-37 lead with 11:17 left and Halpern followed suit with two more at 9:35 and 8:03 to shove the lead to 12.
Maia put his stamp on the game with back-to-back lay-ups from the post and the Bears had a 61-45 lead with 5:44 to go. Brown's lead hit 17 with 2:53 left as Halpern scored his final points of the night on a runner and the Bears cruised home with a 69-56 win.
In addition to Montes' 17 points, senior Justin Swidowski (Cinnaminson, NJ) chipped in 10 points in his first starting assignment of the season. Montes finished a career-best 10-of-10 at the free throw line in the loss.
SHU is off until Wednesday, December 5th when they play host to the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.