January 25, 2014

Second-Half Rally Falls Short; Bulldogs Fall At Brown

Sears Scores 17 Points To Pace Yale

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Yale was in the midst of a big comeback with six minutes left in Saturday's Ivy League game at Brown. The Bulldogs had cut what was once an 18-point deficit down to eight and seemed to have momentum of their side.

Sean McGonagill put an end to that in a hurry. McGonagill converted a four-point play and then hit a three-pointer on Brown's next possession. Just like that, the Bears were up by 15 points, and from there they cruised to a 73-56 victory before a crowd of 1,868 at the Pizzitola Center.

McGonagill, the Ivy League's leading scorer, finished with 29 points. He was 8-of-11 from the field, including 7-of-9 from three-point range. He did all that despite picking up two early fouls and playing only seven minutes in the first half.

"He was terrific," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Every time we made a mistake, he hurt us."

Justin Sears scored 17 points to pace the Bulldogs, who were looking to sweep the season series from Brown. Yale beat the Bears 74-67 last Saturday in New Haven.

McGonagill was good last week, finishing with 17 points, but he had to work hard to get them. He was 5-of-13 from the field, played all 40 minutes and committed six turnovers. He did not have a turnover in the rematch and his shots were more in the rhythm of the offense.

Yale, meanwhile, struggled offensively. The Bulldogs shot just 36.2 percent from the field in the game and were 3-of-17 from three-point range.

"We did a poor job of finding guys," Jones said.

Yale (7-9, 1-1 Ivy) managed to get to the free throw line 38 times but made only 19.

The Bulldogs were just 9-of-19 from the foul line in the first half and found themselves trailing 38-25 at the intermission.

Yale slowly clawed its way back into the game in the second half. Two free throws from Sears had the Bulldogs within five, 52-47, with eight minutes left. That was as close as they would get, thanks in large part to McGonagill.

"We missed free throws throughout the first half, and that hurt us," Jones said. "In the second half we were better, and we had our chances."

Javier Duren (13 points) and Armani Cotton (12) also finished in double figures for the Bulldogs.

Dockery Walker contributed 10 points for Brown (9-7, 1-1 Ivy).

NOTES: Jones took part in a brief ceremony prior to the game that honored Newport, R.I., native Heather Abbott, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing. She presented the game ball to the officials…  Both coaching staffs wore sneakers to support the Coaches vs. Cancer® program as part of the 11th annual Suits & Sneakers weekend. By wearing sneakers, participating coaches help raise awareness about cancer and the importance that nutrition and physical activity play in reducing one's risk of the disease… Brown outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-30 in the game… Yale returns home to host Columbia next Friday at 7 p.m. The Lions are 2-0 in the league after this afternoon's win at Cornell.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity