Sports

Rebounding margin proves damaging in women’s basketball’s pair of Ivy losses

Alexander ’16 finishes weekend at 990 career points after disappointing weekend on the road

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, February 29, 2016

Jordin Alexander ’16 dribbles down the court away from a Harvard defender. Her fourth quarter scoring outburst brought her closer to 1,000 career points, but it was not enough to bring Bruno to a victory over the Crimson.

The women’s basketball team lost two hard-fought games on the road against Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend, extending its Ivy League losing streak to six games.

Bruno (13-13, 1-11 Ivy) opened the weekend at Dartmouth (12-16, 7-5) Friday, losing a 60-56 game that came down to the wire. Dartmouth came out of the gate strong, grabbing a 34-21 lead at halftime.

“We didn’t come out with the best start,” said guard Shayna Mehta ’19. “We were outrebounded, which is something we’ve been struggling with all season, and that kind of killed us.”

Indeed, Dartmouth controlled the glass for much of the game, outrebounding Brown 36 to 29.

After falling behind 39-21 with 6:19 left in the third quarter, Brown mounted a comeback, going on a 13-3 run sparked by a three-pointer from Mehta, who had nine points in the game.

Guard and captain Jordin Alexander ’16 led Bruno’s rally, netting 20 points, dishing four assists and hitting a jumper with 3:00 left in the fourth quarter to cut Dartmouth’s lead to 55-54. But clutch free-throw shooting by Dartmouth’s Amber Mixon helped the Big Green finish with a victory.

Bruno looked to bounce back from its defeat against Dartmouth, traveling to Cambridge Saturday to play the Crimson (14-11, 9-3), which was celebrating the team’s Senior Night.

For the second straight night, Brown struggled through the first three quarters, falling into a 65-53 deficit to begin the fourth quarter. Bruno failed to contain Harvard’s three-point shooting, as the Crimson shot a lethal 13-for-28 from beyond the arc.

Poor defensive scheming may have been the root cause of Harvard’s success from three-point territory: “We waited too long to switch from a 2-3 zone to man defense,” said guard Rebecca Musgrove ’17. “We were still in a 2-3 zone in the third quarter, which became a problem.”

Defense was a problem after halftime, as Harvard extended its lead in the third quarter by knocking down a deadly 62.5 percent of its shots from the field, including five threes. But Bruno may just have caught Harvard on the wrong night, as the Crimson rode the energy of a raucous Senior Night crowd. Harvard senior Shilpa Tummala scored 24 points on 7-for-12 shooting while collecting 12 rebounds. “She must have been hyped for her senior night, making six threes,” Mehta said. “We had hands in her face, and she was still making contested threes and having a great shooting night. It was a tough game playing away from home, … a crazy atmosphere and tough to guard them when they kept hitting difficult shots.”

Much like the night before, Bruno mounted a late comeback, trimming Harvard’s lead to 69-65 with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter. Harvard pulled away in the final minutes, and Brown never cut the lead to any less than eight points the rest of the way.

Rebounding was once again an issue for Bruno as Harvard dominated the interior, outrebounding the Bears 48-30. Mehta added 13 points and four rebounds for Bruno, while guard Megan Reilly ’18 and forward Janie White ’18 came off the bench to contribute a combined 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting.

For the second straight night, Alexander was Bruno’s star, leading the team’s fourth quarter charge while stuffing the stat sheet: She scored 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, while adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Alexander’s scoring outburst brought her to 990 career points, and, as a 14.4-point-per-game scorer this season, she has an excellent shot to eclipse the 1,000-point threshold Friday at home against Columbia.

Bruno, now 1-11 in Ivy League play, looks to finish the season strong in its final weekend of competition with games against Columbia Friday and Cornell Saturday.