This weekend, the women's basketball team was playing for many things. They were playing to sweep Cornell on the season. They were playing to upset Columbia. But perhaps the biggest thing the Bears were playing for this weekend was their seniors. And in the final games of the season, Bruno dominated the Big Red, 74-58, and fell hard to the Lions, 54-41.
Brown 74, Cornell 58
Friday night, the Bears (8-20, 5-9 Ivy) traveled to Ithaca, N.Y., where they snapped a three-game losing streak by claiming the victory over Cornell (7-20, 2-12).
Lindsay Nickel '13 and Aileen Daniels '12 led the way for Bruno, each scoring career-highs of 23 and 22 points, respectively. The team shot 52 percent from the field, far above the season average of 32 percent.
Cornell led by six with 12:31 left in the first half, but Brown gained a 35-30 advantage heading into the locker room.
Bruno retained the lead for the rest of the game behind near-perfect free throws — missingjust one of 16 chances — and strong play in the paint.
"We run offenses that have a lot of options — many of which are inside — and Cornell focused heavily on our shooting game, which really opens up the inside," Daniels said. "We simply have good passers who looked in the post."
Brown led by as many as 20 points on the evening.
Columbia 54, Brown 41
Saturday's contest was the last of the season for the Bears, but the players weren't able to carry over the success from the night before.
Only two Bears made it over the five-point mark on the evening. Daniels led the way with 14 while Courtney Lee '10 netted six.
With 4:05 remaining in the first half, Bruno went on a run and cut the Lions' 14-point lead down to just four at the half. In the second half, Brown came out with strong defense and tied the game with 16:50 remaining.
Columbia (18-10, 9-5) slowly pulled away behind a dominating performance by Judie Lomax, who had 20 points and a school-record 27 rebounds on the evening.
It was a tough ending to the careers of seniors Lee, Natalie Bonds '10 and Christina Johnson '10.
"It is going to be really hard to see our seniors go," Nickel said. "I don't think it has actually sunk in yet that they won't be back on the court with us next year. But all three have had such an impact on the program in their four years, and they will be truly missed."
The Bears finished the season sixth in the Ivy League. Brown will take a week off and begin postseason training on Monday.