Brown dominates in the second half to take down Penn, 75-63

Senior guards Brandon Anderson and Zach Hunsaker combined for 51 points, including 39 in the second half, to lead Brown over Penn, 75-63, at the Palestra on Friday night.

Despite playing without All-Ivy wing Ryan Betley, who is weekend-to-weekend with a sprained left ankle, the Quakers (12-8, 4-3 Ivy) ran out to an 21-10 lead over the first 10:30 of the contest.  The Red & Blue maintained an 11 point advantage, following a Max Martz layup with a minute to go, but a Hunsaker three and Anderson layup cut the Penn lead to 35-29 at the half.

The Bears (12-8, 5-2) came out of the locker room a different team.

Bruno started out on a 6-2 run over the first 90 seconds, then took control with a 17-1 run to open up a 52-39 lead with just under 13 minutes left in regulation.

The Quakers would not go down easily, recovering with its own 14-6 run to make it a 58-53 game with 5:20 left.

Unfortunately for the home team, that would be as close as it would get.

Brown limited Penn to only one field goal the rest of the way, while Hunsaker and Anderson combined for four layups and a perfect 7-for-7 from the line to close out the victory.

The Bears struggled offensively in the first half, shooting only 39% from the field with one three-pointer and two free throws.  In the decisive final 20 minutes, Bruno only made three treys, but shot 56% from two (50% overall from the field), went 11-for-12 from the line and registered 22 points in the paint.

Defensively, Bruno held Penn to 40% from two and 22% from three on the night. Through the second half, the Quakers were limited to only six baskets with a 33% clip (4-for-12) from inside, 14% (2-for-14) from beyond the arc and eight points in the paint.

Anderson was one point away from matching a career high with 31 points on 55% shooting from the field and 100% (6-for-6) from the charity stripe.  He also added nine rebounds and two assists on the evening. Hunsaker was also one point away from tying his career high with 21 points on 44% shooting and 100% (5-for-5) from the line, as well as four rebounds and steals.

Sophomore forward Jaylan Gainey finished with six points and 12 rebounds, helping the Bears to a 39-39 draw on the boards.

For the Quakers, AJ Brodeur ended with 19 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, and his scoring contribution was even more impressive given how much he was double-teamed by the Bears. First-years Jordan Dingle and Max Martz scored 16 and 10 points respectively, but shot a combined 27% overall and 18% (3-for-17) from three.

The loss was the first for the Quakers in their last six games and also the first against the Bears since Jan. 2017. The Red & Blue, whose Ivy League Tournament hopes took a hit, are now tied with Harvard for fourth place and welcome first place Yale on Saturday night.

The victory marked a measure of revenge for the Bears following Penn’s 58-51 win at the Palestra in a de facto playoff game for the No. 4 seed in the 2019 Ivy League Tournament. The all-important road win is also Brown’s fifth in a row, placing Bruno in a tie for second place with Princeton.  The two teams will match up on Saturday at Jadwin Gym.

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