PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Garrett Leffelman’s fade-away desperation 3-pointer with no time left gave Brown a 61-59 victory over Harvard Friday night at the Pizzitola Center.
The victory turned the tables on Harvard, which defeated Brown three weeks ago thanks to a free throw shot with no time on the clock. Brown moves to 8-19 overall, 2-11 in the league with the win while a tough loss sends Harvard to a 13-14 record, 5-8 in the Ivy.
Trailing throughout the opening half, Brown started the second stanza on a 10-2 spurt to take its first lead since the opening possession of the game. Part of a 19-4 run to start the half, Brown claimed a 46-39 lead with 11:18 left.
The Crimson was 1-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the free throw line to start the last half before the Crimson guards got rolling. Jeremy Lin swished a jumper with 10:58 to go and then bullied his way to the rim for two more on a double clutch for a 46-43 deficit. After a third straight empty possession for Brown, Lin kicked out to Andrew Pusar who drained a triple to tie the game with 8:48 to play.
A 3-pointer from Steve Gruber gave Brown a 50-46 lead with 7:18 left but free throws from Lin and a pull-up triple from Drew Housman forced a Bears’ timeout. Coming out of the timeout, a miscommunication led to a turnover and an easy layup for Oliver McNally and Brown called another timeout with 5:10 left.. Another turnover out of the timeout, on a steal from Lin, saw the Crimson convert again on the other end with a pull-up jumper from Lin to give Harvard a 55-50 following a 9-0 flurry.
The teams matched single free throws and Leffelman drove for a lefty layup to make it 56-53 as the clock wound towards three minutes left. McNally struck again, with a long triple on a kickout pass from Lin for a 59-53 margin with 2:51 left.
Adrian Williams made it a three-point deficit when Brown got two offensive rebounds and three different looks at the rim with 1:21 left. Williams quickly earned his fourth foul against Housman, sending the senior to the stripe where he misfired on his first look. Matt Mullery bullied his way to a baseline layup for a 59-58 margin as the clock moved to an 11-second differential on the game clock. The Crimson could not connect, setting up Leffelman’s off-balance distance shot as the clock expired.
Housman finished with 12 points as four Crimson players finished in double figures. Lin had a big night with 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. Pusar and Wright finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Mullery came up big for Brown time and time again and finished 9-of-9 from the floor for 21 points while being credited with 20 rebounds.
A two of early triples from three different players staked Harvard to an 11-8 lead but Brown consistently answered in the paint. A bucket in the paint for Keith Wright gave the Crimson an 18-12 lead and prompted a Brown timeout at the 10:34 mark.
The lead grew to 25-14 when Lin came down with a rebound in traffic, drove the length of the floor and dished to Pusar for an easy deuce before Lin got on the board himself with a fade away triple at 7:30. The Bears cut the deficit to four on one occasion but the Crimson stiffened, finishing the frame with six big blocks on the interior – two from Max Kenyi – en route to a 35-28 halftime lead.
Harvard returns to the court Saturday at Yale in a 7 p.m. start.