Cooley last-second shot hands Brown men’s basketball comeback win at Yale

Brown men’s basketball led Yale once at John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday.

That lead, 84-81, was the final score courtesy of a last-second shot for the ages by Bears junior guard/forward Aaron Cooley, cementing a remarkable comeback win for the Bears over the Bulldogs in both teams’ regular season finales as they prepare for the Ivy League Tournament.

 “We got our butts kicked on the glass,” Yale coach James Jones observed.

Brown (12-17, 8-6 Ivy) outrebounded the Bulldogs (20-9, 11-3) 39-26 and 16-6 on the offensive glass.

Brown and Yale entered the game as the leading offensive and defensive rebounding teams in the Ivy League, respectively. Something had to give, and it did as Brown won the battle of the offensive and defensive glass.

Bears coach Mike Martin said this was a “great example of our guys showing some resilience. We stayed together.”

Yale led by as many as 15 in the game (55-40), but Bruno clawed back and knotted the game at 73 on a junior forward Nana Owusu-Anane trey with 35 ticks left in regulation.

Yale jumped out to a 77-73 lead in overtime and a trey by junior guard Kino Lilly Jr. tied it at 81. Lilly, the Ivy League’s leading scorer, posted a game-high 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting.

The Bulldogs took possession, but a turnover by sophomore frontcourt anchor Danny Wolf gave the ball back to Brown.

Cooley missed a layup and Jones tried to call a timeout, but the officials did not see him.

Junior guard Bez Mbeng turned the ball over with 20 seconds left, and Martin called a timeout. Brown attempted to run a play for Lilly, but he was well-guarded, and Cooley got the ball in the left corner with five ticks remaining and hit an off-balance, well-guarded three to win it with 0.2 seconds left.

“We played real good defense. Kid just hit a tough shot,” Jones said. “Tip of the hat.”

After a Yale timeout, sophomore forward Nick Townsend threw a perfect strike to Yale junior guard John Poulakidas, who missed a 35-footer at the buzzer.

Yale led 43-36 at the half.

The hosts had won nine straight games against Brown. They shot 52,5% from the field, but it wasn’t enough.

Yale had seven players with nine or more points and were led by senior guard August Mahoney, who on Senior Day notched 16 points. Poulakidas added 14.

Brown sophomore forward Kalu Anya was the day’s leading rebounder with 11 boards, seven off of the offensive glass.

Yale will undoubtedly use the loss as both a motivating and learning tool during this week of practice.

Brown will play Princeton in the first semifinal of the Ivy League Tournament at Columbia Saturday at 11 a.m. Yale will face Cornell at 2 p.m.