Brandon Anderson returned to the lineup for Brown on Saturday afternoon, but his team-high 19 points weren’t enough as the Bears dropped a 76-56 decision to Navy at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The first half, a back-and-forth affair with seven lead changes, ended with the Midshipmen on top, 27-26. Both teams struggled from the field, with Navy shooting 29% and Brown (4-3) hitting 37%. The Midshipmen (4-3) found success at getting to the free throw line, getting 13 chances compared to Brown’s three but only converting on six of those opportunities.
With Brown (KenPom No. 240) up 40-38 at the 13:22 mark of the second half, Tamenang Choh committed his fourth foul of the game and headed to the bench. Navy (KenPom No. 256) tied it up on its next trip down and took a two-point lead 30 seconds later. Two free throws from Anderson knotted the game at 42 with just under 12 minutes left in regulation.
The contest was tied at 50 with eight minutes remaining, when Navy’s John Carter, Jr., took control. The sophomore guard would hit back-to-back triples, followed by an old-fashioned three over the next two-plus minutes to give Navy its largest lead, 59-52, of the day.
Even the return of Choh at the 5:53 mark could not help as Bruno would only score four points the rest of the way. The Midshipmen would hit their last six shots and seven free throws in that same time frame to cruise to the victory.
The 20-point loss, the first at home this season, was the largest since a 96-72 defeat to Penn on Feb. 17, 2017 and the biggest nonconference defeat at the Pizzitola Sports Center going back over the last 19 years.
Navy shot 69% from two, 42% from three and 75% from the free throw line in the decisive second half. The Bears were able to connect on 57% from two and 73% at the charity stripe over the last 20 minutes but only 15% from beyond the arc.
Carter, Jr., made six of 12 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 26 points for the Midshipmen. His teammate, junior guard Cam Davis, made 10 of 12 free throws, as he finished the day with a career-high 24 points. For Bruno, Zach Hunsaker scored 14 points (4-for-13 shooting) and Choh added 11 to go along with Anderson’s 19.
With a healthier Anderson leading the way, the Bears, losers of two in a row and three of their last four, will look to get back into the win column on Wednesday against Merrimack.