In a league where players don't play for scholarships but rather for love of the game, it's almost certain that emotions are going to run high. On their final home stand, the women's basketball team left it all on the court as they fought for the upset against the Ivy League's second-ranked Harvard and a determined Dartmouth.
But the Bears still couldn't come up with a win, falling to Harvard, 65-54, on Friday night and Dartmouth, 51-29, the next night.
Harvard 65, Brown 54
Bruno put the Crimson on their heels early in the game, leading by nine points with 7:02 left in the first half. Brown was able to force 11 turnovers and box Harvard into taking tough shots.
"They are the underdog with nothing to lose," said Harvard Head Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. "They are deep, young and athletic. They played strong — exactly how we thought they would."
With five minutes left in the half, Harvard settled into the game and went on a run to cut the Brown lead to just two. Bruno called a time out at 1:39 to try and stop the Crimson's momentum. But it didn't phase Harvard, as the visitors continued to roll and ended the half with a five-point lead.
Brown came out of the locker room and regained the lead in the early minutes, at one point leading by as much as six.
It wasn't without mishaps though. Just eight minutes into the half, tri-captain Natalie Bonds '10 fell to the floor holding her ankle. She had to be helped off the court, but eventually returned to the game favoring her other ankle.
Emotions flared with four minutes left as a technical foul was called against Bonds after she ran into a Harvard player who was throwing her elbows.
"I'm the most aggressive on the team," Bonds said. "I play better when I'm mad."
Brown finished the game shooting 32 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line. Aileen Daniels '12 led the Bears with 17 points.
Dartmouth 51, Brown 29
Saturday evening, Bruno had a chance to move up in the Ivy League standings when they hosted the Big Green. But instead, the Bears were blown out after an uncharacteristically poor performance.
Brown missed all 15 attempts from three-point range, and shot just 19 percent from the field. The Bears — who normally shoot over 70 percent from the line — made just 42 percent of their free throws.
The leading scorer for the Bears was tri-captain Christina Johnson '10, who had eight points.
Dartmouth led by as many as 31 points, and placed four players in double-digit figures.
The ladies travel to Cornell Friday night and Columbia Saturday for 7 p.m. tip-offs, their final ones of the season.