The women's basketball team picked up its fourth consecutive conference win against arch rival Harvard 58-55 Friday night before falling to a weak Dartmouth squad Saturday evening 57-52. These results were a reversal from just three weeks ago, when the Bears lost to Harvard (13-10, 6-3 Ivy) and sailed past Dartmouth (4-19, 2-7).
Brown 58, Harvard 55
Bruno was up against its Ivy rival for the second time this season last Friday, but this time on its own turf at the Pizzitola Center.
"Every team has to know how to walk onto a different court with confidence," said Head Coach Jean Marie Burr. "And when we played Harvard the first time, we got flustered and couldn't recover."
At home and propelled by their winning streak, the Bears played with confidence and led 31-25 at halftime. The Crimson had a brief 17-11 lead after a quick run in the first half, but three treys from guards Lauren Clarke '14 and Lindsay Nickel '13 put the Bears back safely ahead.
This season, the Bears have been solid on defense to compensate for low shooting percentages. Friday night was no different — the Bears picked up six steals and created scoring opportunities from Harvard's 11 turnovers, while Brown's shooting percentage hovered at just 36 percent in the first half.
"We had great defense, and we needed it — Harvard is one of the best offensive teams in the league," Burr said.
Though Harvard outscored and out-rebounded the Bears 30-27 and 32-20, respectively, the Bears' last defensive move protected their two-point lead. With 12 seconds to go, co-captain Hannah Passafuime '12 took a charge, putting her on the free throw line, where she has been shooting 82 percent this season. She sunk one of two, enough to put the Bears three points ahead for a final score of 58-55.
Dartmouth 57, Brown 52
A strong defensive showing was not enough to overcome Saturday's low shooting percentages for the Bears. The close game Saturday did not resemble the two teams' previous matchup, in which the Bears trampled on the second-to-last team in the league 74-50.
The Bears put up significantly more shots than the Big Green but were shooting just 27 percent from the field, their second-lowest field goal percentage of the season.
But the Bears' defense was able to keep the game close — the squad had 14 steals and scored 23 of their 52 game points off of Dartmouth's turnovers.
"The intensity was there," Burr said. "But we folded into their game plan. We put up too many, too early, and it put us back on defense too often."
Brown was down 26-22 at the half but went on a 7-0 run right after the break to cut their deficit to two. Passafuime also sunk treys at critical times to tie the score.
With 30 seconds on the clock and an even score, Dartmouth guard Faziah Steen found an opening and netted a three to take the advantage. Brown attempted to slow the clock by fouling, but Dartmouth guard Nicola Zimmer followed through on two free throw attempts to take the game 57-52.
"It was a tough lesson," Burr said. "This week we want to refuel and work on stepping up defense and develop our bench."
After two weekends at home, the squad will get back on the road to take on Cornell (10-13, 4-5) Friday evening and Columbia (2-21, 0-9) Saturday for its second-to-last weekend of the regular season.