PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Jordon Bronner (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) dropped 23 points and Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas) added a career-high 15, but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team lost its non-conference finale to Brown University 72-68, Tuesday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Brown opened the game by jumping out to an 8-3 lead three minutes in. Tavon Blackmon got it started for the Bears, nailing back-to-back three's from the right shoulder. Cedric Kuakumensah added two free-throws for the Bears, while Bronner scored UNH's first points of the game on a three-pointer of his own.
UNH and Brown went back and forth over the next five minutes, with Brown holding a 16-12 advantage with 12:19 remaining in the half. The Bears then launched an 8-0 run to take a 24-12 lead. Sean McGonagill nailed a three-pointer to start it off, Dockery Walker followed with a layup, and McGonagill capped it with another three.
Bronner led all scorers at the end of the half with 14 points. Smith pitched in with seven points on 2-4 shooting in the frame.
Brown stormed out of the gate with a 13-4 run to start the second half. McGonagill netted a jumper to start things off for the Bears. After Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) and Bronner netted layups, Kuakumensah finished a fast break dunk for Brown. Steven Spieth then hit a jumper from the left elbow, followed by two Norman Hobbie free-throws. McGonagill ended the run with a trey and a layup to put Brown ahead 54-35.
Following a layup by Blackmon to extend Brown's advantage to 21 points, UNH responded with a 14-4 run to cut the lead to seven points. Konan started it for UNH when he buried two free-throws. Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) and Bronner then scored the next five points on two layups and a free-throw, before Blackmon hit a layup for Brown.
Four straight free-throws, two from Konan and two from Smith, brought UNH within 12, and a jumper from Armstrong trimmed the lead to 65-55. Walker put Brown back up 12 before Armstrong hit a layup and Konan nailed a three to bring UNH back within seven points, 67-60.
UNH would cut the lead to four points after a three from Armstrong, but two Spieth free-throws iced the game for the Bears, eventually taking a 72-68 victory.
McGonagill scored 23 points on 7-12 shooting including 4-8 from downtown to lead the Bears. Blackmon added 14 points and Walker netted 10 for Brown which improves to 7-6 on the season.
Bronner paced the Wildcat offense with 23 points on 7-15 shooting. Smith chipped in with a career-high 15 points and Konan notched a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds) for UNH which falls to 2-12 on the year.
Brown shot 45.3% (24-53) from the floor including 50.0% (14-28) in the first half. The Wildcats hit 33.3% (21-63) of its shots and 81.0% of its free-throws (17-21) during the contest.
UNH returns to action Thursday night when it travels to Binghamton University for an America East Conference battle with the Bearcats at 7:00 p.m. The Wildcats return to Lundholm Gym on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m when it plays host to America East Rival UMBC. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.