Eighty years after Brown’s appearance in the first ever NCAA Tournament, the Bears won their first postseason tournament game Wednesday night, also setting a program record for wins in a single season.
Brown defeated UAB, 83-78, at the Pizzitola Sports Center in the first round of the CBI, with senior guard and Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Obi Okolie extending his collegiate career at least one more game with a career-high 26 points on the strength of 7-for-14 shooting from three-point range.
Brown (20-11) led by as many as 13 points 5:18 into the second half but was tasked with finishing strong after UAB (20-15) made it 64-64 with 5:27 left.
Fortunately for the Bears, their deep shooting touch continued. Okolie hit a three-pointer for the Bears to retake the lead and another with 1:58 remaining, and Chris Sullivan made a triple 48 seconds later to give Bruno a 75-70 lead.
Three UAB layups allowed the Blazers to get the ball down 81-78 with six seconds left, but a Chris Sullivan steal clinched the win, with George Mawanda-Kalema finishing the game off with a layup.
Brown notched the win without Desmond Cambridge, who announced on Twitter a day earlier he was transferring.
The Bears will face Loyola Marymount on the road at Gersten Pavilion Monday at 7 p.m. PST.