Sports

At season’s end, Bear pair grabs Ivy honors

By
Sports Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The women’s basketball team wrapped up the season on an upswing, winning its last three conference games to catapult into the top half of the Ivy League. And the good news did not stop there. Last week, Ivy League coaches voted Sheila Dixon ’13 onto the Second Team All-Ivy and Lauren Clarke ’14 to a spot on the all-conference rookie team.

Dixon, a native of Schenectady, N.Y., exploded onto the scene this year after a difficult freshman season. As a first-year, she netted only 100 points all season, averaging 3.6 points per game.

“I struggled last season,” Dixon said. “I had to relearn how Division I basketball works. It was a humbling experience.”

But Dixon put in the time and effort between seasons to improve her game.

Dixon used her disappointing rookie campaign “to work toward getting better,” she said.

“I worked out a lot over the summer,” Dixon said.

Her efforts paid off. In the 2010-2011 season, she led the team in scoring as well as rebounding, averaging 11 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Previous to the All-Ivy award, Dixon also earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors in the last week of the season. She was recognized after leading the Bears to a one-point win over Dartmouth Feb. 26. That night, she walked away with her fourth double-double of the season and a career high in both points and rebounds, with 22 and 14, respectively.

Clarke, a rookie point guard from Colts Neck, N.J., jumped into college basketball seamlessly, starting every game with the exception of two she missed due to injury. As the starting point guard, she led the squad in playing time, averaging 32.5 minutes per game. She also ranked third on the team in scoring, racking up 9.3 points per game.

“It was great coming into this season,” she said. “The team had great chemistry, and my coaches and teammates helped me make it a smooth transition.”

The Bears missed Clarke during her two-game absence. In Bruno’s second league game against Yale, Clarke dove for a loose ball and tore a ligament in her left shoulder. Brown was swept at home by Princeton and Penn during Clarke’s time on the bench.

Like Dixon, Clarke was recognized by the Ivy League during the season. After scoring a career-high 24 points against the University of Rhode Island, she was named the Ivy League rookie of the week. During the state rivalry game, Clarke made her way into the Brown record books. She netted 18 points on six-of-eight shooting from beyond the arc, the second-highest number of points from three-point range in Bruno history.

Both Dixon and Clarke emphasized the entire team’s integral role in their successes.

“You have to have a great team to be able to improve and to get this honor,” Dixon said.

Clarke expressed a similar sentiment. “I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates,” she said. “I could not have accomplished this without them.”