Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cambridge Tops Brookline for 51st Consecutive Win

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

Cambridge, Mass. - For Cambridge the journey may be different, but the destination is exactly the same.

On Tuesday night, the Falcons captured their 51st consecutive victory as, led by Aidan Keefers’ 14 points and seven rebounds, the Falcons knocked off Brookline, 59-53, at War Memorial Gymnasium.

Keefer, a senior, has been a member of the last three Cambridge teams. Now a captain, Keefer realizes that there is certainly a difference between this year’s unit and the previous three.

After all, those teams featured the likes Isaiah McLeod, Dimon Carrigan, and Jakigh Dottin who often led the Falcons to point totals well beyond 75.

This year the Falcons have taken a different approach, as they have yet to score over 70 in each of their first six games.

“No question that this is a totally new team,” said Keefer. “We have been taking it the same way, though. We take it one day at a time no matter whom we’re playing. We just work on the things we have to in practice based on a specific opponent.”

For the second time in the past week the Falcons' streak appeared in jeopardy, as Cambridge and Brookline were tied at 42 entering the fourth quarter.

The Falcons then scored the first four points of the quarter, courtesy of Khai Smith (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Keefer, but Brookline came back to even the score at 48 midway through the stanza.

Cambridge, however, responded with one of their signature fourth quarter runs.

Adrian Williams and Keefer combined for four points and Jonathan Cenescar converted an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Falcons up 55-48 with two minutes left.

“It has been a struggle for us offensively,” said Cambridge head coach Lance Dottin. “We have to get back into practice tomorrow and not go back to our rules of not turning the ball over.”

The Falcons went into the half up seven, 29-22, and early in the third quarter opened up a double-digit advantage.

Trailing 40-28 the Warriors turned to full court pressure in an effort to speed the game up.

The maneuver paid off as Cambridge struggled to get the ball over half court against Brookline’s pressure.

Christian Andrews finished at the basket, and that was followed by treys from Mark Barrett (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Matthew Price to pull the Warriors within 40-36.

The Warriors then tied the game as off a Price free throw, Benjamin Murray came through with a pair of steal-and-scores to even the game up at 42 heading into the fourth.

“We did not do a good job of handling Brookline’s pressure,” said Dottin. “We made a couple mistakes defensively and it cost us.”

Both sides struggled offensively in the early going, but Williams’ five first quarter points lifted Cambridge to a 14-12 lead after one.

The Falcons’ first half lead stretched to as many as 11 as Elliot Harris connected on a runner in the lane and buried a three from the right wing, but Barrett scored five straight points to pull Brookline back within six.

With time winding down in the opening half, Keefer laid it in off a feed from God West to send Cambridge into the locker room supporting a 29-22 advantage.

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