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Women's basketball splits on New York road trip

Co-captains Clarke ’14 and Bikofsky ’15 lead Brown scorers in both contests

A road trip to New York brought the Bears their first Ivy League win of the season this weekend. Brown beat Columbia 79-57 Saturday after losing to Cornell 80-70 Friday.

“We wanted to come out with positive energy and turn things around, because it’s still early in the season,” said co-captain Lauren Clarke ’14, who led the Bears (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) with 45 points this weekend.


Cornell 80, Brown 70

Friday’s game started with a three-point shot made by Sophie Bikofsky ’15. Unfortunately for the Bears, this was one of the few moments they were ahead — Bruno held the lead only three times for a combined 97 seconds through the whole game.

“We kind of had a lapse for four or five minutes and dug ourselves into a hole, and then we had to fight back,” Clarke said.

By the 10:34 mark in the first half, Cornell (11-7, 3-1) had taken a 24-14 lead. But with an eight-point run over four minutes, the Bears quickly got back into the game and caught up with the Big Red. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, and at halftime Cornell held a 35-33 lead.

The Bears came out of the locker room with a newfound energy. With some early points, they managed to take the lead once again when Clarke made a shot from beyond the arc with 17:16 left. But this would be Brown’s last lead, as Cornell quickly regained the advantage on its next play. The rest of the half went smoothly for Cornell, who maintained a comfortable lead of five to 10 points until the final buzzer.

Cornell’s Shelby Lyman led all scorers with 24 points, closely followed by Clarke, who scored 22. Bikofsky also finished the game in double digits, tallying 13 points.

Cornell curiously did not call on its bench much — reserve players scored only five points, and none were on the court for more than 15 minutes. But this didn’t seem to harm the Big Red, as they notched their fifth win in six games.


Brown 79, Columbia 57

Unlike Friday’s game, when the Bears trailed most of the night, Bruno jumped out to an early lead Saturday that it would hold for the rest of the game. This time, it was Columbia (4-14, 1-3 Ivy) who struggled to catch up to Brown — but to no avail. This resulted in a resounding first Ivy victory of the season, marking the end of a four-game losing streak.

“Everything came together, and we played really well as a team,” Clarke said. The win “gets the momentum going for the team, gives us that confidence boost.”

Back-and-forth scoring runs by both teams characterized the first 10 minutes of the game. The Bears surged ahead 8-0 in the first two minutes, but the Lions rapidly reacted and tied it up with 15:11 on the clock.

The Bears responded with a one-sided campaign, making five shots in as many minutes to jump ahead 17-8. Bruno carried this nine-point lead to the end of the half, making the score 31-22 at the break.

The second half saw much of the same dominance from Brown, and the Lions did little in terms of staging a comeback. The Bears managed yet another scoring run with 11 straight points in three minutes, putting them up 47-28 with just over 13 minutes to go. The 20-point lead proved too much for Columbia to overcome, and the two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half.

Clarke once again led the Bears with 23 points. Bikofsky added 18, making 5 of 8 attempted treys, while Sophie Beutel ’14 scored a career-high 11 points. Tori Oliver led Columbia with 21 points.

One of the Bears’ goals is always to hold the opposing team under 60 points, Bikofsky said. Brown’s defense worked well against Columbia, recording 13 steals and allowing only a 31.4 percent conversion rate from the field for the Lions.

“We made some defensive adjustments that we needed to,” Bikofsky said. “We were out-rebounded by Cornell, but then we out-rebounded Columbia.”

Next weekend the Bears will host Harvard and Dartmouth in the Pizzitola Center on Friday and Saturday, respectively.



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