PROVIDENCE, R.I. - For the third consecutive meeting, Columbia and Brown played a tightly contested game and for the third straight time, the Bears came up victorious, 64-56, on Saturday.
Despite holding the Ivy League’s leading scorer to 10 points and 2-of-10 shooting, Brown’s (11-7, 3-1) front court picked up the slack. Rafael Maia scored 18 points and grabbed 12 boards, while Cedric Kuakumensah added 13.
The schools jockeyed back and forth, trading the lead five times in the first 10 minutes of action. With 8:28 left in the period, Maodo Lo’s spin move and pretty finish gave Columbia a 20-15 advantage.
Rafael Maia followed with the next six points to put Brown back on top, 21-20, at the 5:52 mark. Petrasek briefly gave the lead back to Columbia, 24-23, with a triple from the right corner, but Maia canned a three of his own and the Bears took a 28-26 advantage to the locker room.
The second half continued to be a see-saw battle for the opening five minutes, but the Lions seemed to grasp control with strong drives to the basket and strong post play from Petrasek and Osetkowski. Osetkowski’s drop-step layup gave Columbia a 39-35 lead with 15:12 to go.
Trailing by five with 10:36 on the clock, Brown made its move. Maia capped a 10-4 run with a second chance hoop and harm to put the Bears ahead for good, 52-49, with 6:06 on the clock. Columbia went on a long field goal drought, but kept it a one possession game for most of the way.
With the score, 59-56, and time winding down, Maodo Lo found some space on the left wing, but his try from downtown rattled off the rim. On the ensuing possession, Brown broke the Lions’ full-court pressure which led to a Kuakamensah flush with 24 seconds left to put the game away.
Columbia’s defense was solid, holding the Bears to 39.3 percent shooting. However, Brown pulled down 11 offensive rebounds, six by Maia, and held an 11-2 edge in second-chance points.
The Lions finish their five-game road swing with games at Princeton on Friday, Feb. 7 and Penn on Saturday, Feb. 8. Both contests are slated for 7 p.m. tips and can be seen and heard on the Ivy League Digital Network.