Tigers Claw Their Way Past Brown 69-65
Saturday, February 15, 2014
GoLocalProv Sports Contributor
Princeton senior guard TJ Bray tossed in a game high 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field to lead Princeton to a 69-65 comeback win over Brown in an Ivy League game at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The loss drops the Bears to 12-9 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League, while Princeton improves to 14-6, 2-4 in Ivy play.
Brown trailed 59-50 with 6:24 remaining and battled back to pull to within three points, 61-58, on a layup by freshman Leland King with 2:33 left in the game. The two teams exchanged baskets and Princeton remained in the lead, 65-62, with 50 seconds remaining following a layup by Bears’ center Rafael Maia.
A defensive stop by the Bears, forcing a Tigers’ shot clock violation, gave Brown the ball back with 12.9 seconds remaining and down by three points.
Freshman Steven Spieth knocked down two free throws with 6.1 second left on the clock to bring the Bears to within one point, 65-64.
Bray went to the free throw line for the Tigers with 4.2 seconds remaining and converted both free throws. King was fouled with 3.5 seconds left, hit the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Princeton gained possession and guard Chris Clement iced the game by hitting two free throws.
“We have to play better defensively,” said Brown head coach Mike Martin, whose team was out-scored in the paint by a 44-28 margin. “Princeton has five guys who can shoot, dribble and pass the ball. Our goal was to stop the three-point basket and they took advantage of that with layups.”
The Bears can’t dwell on the loss for long with Penn coming to the Pizzitola Sports Center Saturday evening. “We have to turn the page and focus on Penn tomorrow.”
Senior Sean McGonagill led the Bears with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds. King came off the bench to score 15 points, while junior forward Rafael Maia tossed in 13 points for the Bears.
Bray’s 26 points came on a variety of layups, free throws and treys. In addition to his 10-of 14 shooting from the field, Bray hit 2-of-3 treys and 4-of-4 free throws. Will Barrett and Steven Cook each chipped in with 10 points for the Tigers.
Brown opened up an early eight-point lead, 23-15, following a layup by junior Dockery Walker at the midpoint of the opening half. The Tigers quickly rallied to tie the game, 28-28 on a lay-up by TJ Bray with 4:03 remaining.
The Bears went back up seven points, 35-28, on a basket by King, before settling on a 35-32 lead at intermission.
Bray’s layup with 17:23 remaining gave the Tigers their first lead, 42-41.
McGonagill’s three-point play with 11:49 remaining gave Brown its last lead, 50-49. Princeton held the Bears scoreless for the next 5:40 and built a nine point lead, 59-50.
Brown returns to the hardwood on Saturday evening, February 15, hosting Penn at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Tip-off is 6:00 p.m.