The women’s basketball team faced Binghamton Sunday looking for a victory to get its season back on track. After a three-game losing streak to multiple non-conference opponents — including in-state rivals Bryant — the Bears (3-3, 0-0 Ivy) went into the weekend with a clear sense of urgency.
Their efforts paid off. Brown took home an 83-72 victory over the Bearcats (1-5), the third time this season that the Bears have scored over 80 points in a single game.
“It was our first long road trip, but we stayed focused the whole weekend,” said veteran guard Megan Reilly ’18. “We felt confident heading into the game and knew that if we played together we’d come out with a (win).”
After a brief Thanksgiving holiday, the team came back to Providence early to return to work and get into the right mindset for its weekend contest.
“We had two great practices in preparation,” Reilly said. “Everyone came back excited and ready to go.”
From the onset, the team’s focus showed, with the Bears putting up 20 points in the first quarter. Multiple players contributed to this effort, including Taylor Will ’19, who scored seven points in the first frame.
But in the second quarter, Bruno’s offense faltered, with only 13 points scored in the entire period. It would be the team’s lowest scoring quarter of the game, and by the halftime buzzer, Binghamton had taken a 37-33 lead.
But the Bears rallied in the second half. In the third quarter, Bruno’s offense surged once again with 22 points. Brown also showcased a full period of lockdown defense, holding the Bearcats to only 10 points in the third. By the end of the quarter, Bruno had taken a 55-47 lead.
“We came out strong in the second half,” Reilly said. “And we started to heat up. (Shayna Mehta ’19) had an unbelievable second half and finished with 29 points. (Erika Steeves ’19) also had a great game, scoring 18 points and grabbing 18 boards. Taylor was assigned to Binghamton’s best player, and she did an awesome job, holding her to only five points in the second half.”
In the fourth quarter, Brown only added to an eight-point lead, with a 22-7 run that was capped off by a late-game jumper by Mehta to put the Bears up by nine with 2:58 remaining.
Binghamton forced Bruno to the line repeatedly as the clock counted down to zero but to no avail. The Bears went 23-for-26 in free throws down the stretch and closed out their 83-72 victory by sinking 10 from the free-throw line.
The Bears will continue their season this weekend against the University of Rhode Island in the first round of the Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament. “If we continue to stay focused, share the ball and play hard on both ends of the floor, I have a lot of confidence that we will do well,” Reilly said.
The Bears will start Ivy League play, with a conference double-header against Princeton and Penn Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, respectively.
“We have been doing much better lately but still need to continue to work on the little things, like skill work and defensive positioning,” Reilly said. “We really needed this win, and it’ll give us the momentum we need.”