After a disappointing start to the Ivy season, the women's basketball team was in need of a boost. On Saturday night, Bruno changed gears and picked up a key win against Cornell only one night after a big loss to Columbia.
Columbia 72, Brown 49
On Friday, the Bears (5-15, 1-5 Ivy) traveled to New York City where they failed to snap their seven-game losing streak, dropping the ball to the Lions (5-15, 2-4 Ivy).
Columbia jumped out at the start with an eight-point lead at 14:37, but Brown kept them at bay with a team-wide shooting effort. The Lions led by as much as 11 in the first half, but by halftime the Bears had cut the lead to five.
But Bruno could not keep up the pressure in the second half, and the deficit ballooned to 20 points with 7:37 remaining in the game. The difference ultimately increased to 23, and the Bears dropped to 0-5 in the Ivy League.
"We came out strong in the first half, but in the second half, their three-point game and inside game really took us out," said Head Coach Jean Burr.
The Bears could not match Columbia's efficiency, shooting just 33 percent from the field compared to the Lions' 41 percent.
"The difference in shot percentages determined the game," Sheila Dixon '13 said. "They shot really well. We've been in a shooting slump the last couple of games, and it really continued through Columbia."
The defeat was the fifth conference loss in a row this season and left the Bears in need of a spark to change their game.
"At Columbia, we really hit rock bottom," Dixon said. "We said, ‘We're done. We're losing. We are through with that. It's time to come together as a team and step up.'"
Brown 66, Cornell 53
Bruno brought that positive attitude to Ithaca, N.Y. on Saturday. They quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first five minutes and only increased the margin throughout the first half. The Big Red (5-15, 2-4 Ivy) pulled within six points, but Bruno retained their lead and headed into the locker room with a comfortable 16-point advantage.
Point guard Lauren Clarke '14 was back in action on Saturday night after recovering from a shoulder injury. She put up eight points in the first half and 13 for the game, making her the second-highest Brown scorer of the night.
"It's really nice to have Lauren Clarke back at point guard. She added a lot of leadership and minutes for us this weekend," Burr said.
Co-captain Hannah Passafuime '12 led the Bears in maintaining their edge over Cornell in the second half. Passafuime scored nine points right off the bat, extending Bruno's lead to 21 points at 15:37.
Brown held that momentum for the rest of the game. The team shot 44 percent from the field, a vast improvement from the previous weekend's 22 percent shooting percentage against Penn.
"Basketball is a game where you sometimes have droughts, and you just have to play through that — depend on each other more," Burr said. "They came through on Saturday with passing and shooting."
The Bears hope to continue moving up in the Ivy ranks this weekend.
"In the Ivy League right now, it's any man's game — we just have to come out with that intensity," Dixon said. "We'll be ready to go."
The team returns home to face Dartmouth Friday before hosting Harvard the following night.