Brown all-time moment No. 7: Sean McGonagill scores 39 points with a smashed face

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Brown is next because Sean McGonagill was also Stanley Ipkiss once.

Sean McGonagill solidified his place as one of the truly great players in Brown (and indeed, Ivy) history on Feb. 4, 2011. But what made the No. 10 entry in our countdown such an outstanding moment actually happened two days before.

In practice Feb. 2, McGonagill had his face smashed while grappling for a loose ball with teammates Dockery Walker and Josh Biber. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and his upper lip had to be reattached to his gums. The accident resulted in 30-plus stitches and a visit to the plastic surgeon.

McGonagill was told not to play for roughly four weeks.

Nevertheless, McGonagill returned to game action against Columbia two days after the accident with a mask to protect his face … and proceeded to drop 39 points on the Lions, despite being a freshman who was known mainly for his ball distribution up to that early point of his career. Brown defeated Columbia, 87-79.

McGonagill went 15-for-19 from the field and notched six assists and four rebounds while playing all 40 minutes, breaking the Pizzitola Center record for field goals in one game.

“Maybe it’s the face mask, but I just felt real confident playing basketball,” McGonagill told the Brown Daily Herald.

Co-captain Adrian Williams called him ‘The Mask’  referring to the movie starring Jim Carrey. Regardless of what you call him, McGonagill set the foundation here for his four-year run as one of the toughest and most crucial players to his team in Ivy basketball – with a scar to prove it.

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