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Women's basketball team looks to build on experience and chemistry

Co-captains Clarke and Bikofsky scored 366 and 245 points, respectively, for the Bears last season

The Bears will launch their season 1 p.m. Sunday when they play against Lafayette College in the Pizzitola Center.

Bruno hopes to improve on last season’s losing record (9-19, Ivy 3-11) which left the team in seventh for the conference.

Head Coach Jean Marie Burr said the main goal for the season will be to “bring our seventh championship back to College Hill.” The last time Bruno took home the title was in 2006.

“Right now we’re kind of the underdogs in the Ivy League, so we have a lot to build up,” said Natalie Ball ’16.  “But I think right now we’re in a strong position to do really well this year.”

The Bears lost three seniors from last season, who together scored just over 30 percent of the season’s total points.

“We did lose a few seniors last year, and even though they’re going to be hard to replace, we’ve really grown a lot as a team throughout the preseason,” said Jordin Alexander ’16. “We have the potential to do big things this season.”

To make up for the loss, three new players were recruited over the summer.

“We really were very selective with what we needed to bring in,” Burr said.

The Bears will also have a more experienced team this year, with five seniors on the squad. Co-captain Lauren Clarke ’14 said this will improve the squad’s chemistry. “We’re definitely looking to use our experience to our advantage as an older team now,” she said.

Alexander said team-building skills were an important part of preseason. “One of our main focuses (is) just to get everyone on the same page,” she said.

“One of our biggest (goals) is to play as a team, and not win games just individually,” Ball said.

She said rebound success is another element of the Bear’s game where there is room for improvement in the upcoming season. Last season they averaged a rebound margin of -5.4 per game.

Burr said she hopes increased team depth will benefit the Bears this season, since last year they suffered from several injuries.

“I think we have more of an up-tempo team,” Burr said, “as well as more depth to keep that going.”

Bruno’s biggest point threats are Clarke and Sophie Bikofsky ’15, who scored 366 and 245 points respectively last season.

Clarke, who has racked up an impressive 859 points in her Brown career, said reaching 1000 is “a milestone that (she) would like to get to.”

“She’s a prolific scorer, she has the ability to shoot the three, charge for the basket or set up other people,” Burr said.

The team has been practicing since Oct. 1, but physical conditioning started in September. “We have a really long preseason,” Alexander said. “Lots of conditioning, lots of individual work.”

“We’ve just been practicing, preparing for this upcoming weekend,” Clarke said. “So yeah, we’re excited to finally play … and kind of see how all this work is going to pay off, and just see where we are right now, in the beginning of the season, and where we can go from there.”


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