The women’s basketball team started off its week with a commanding win over Sacred Heart before stalling and dropping consecutive contests against Bryant and Colgate.
In their first road contest of the season, the Bears (2-2) handily defeated Sacred Heart 80-66, largely due to the team’s excellent 48 percent shooting. Justine Gaziano ’20 led the way with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc while Taylor Will ’19 added 14. Meanwhile, Erika Steeves ’19 nearly notched a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Bruno raced out to an enormous lead. A layup up from Mary Butler ’19 started a 15-0 run for the Bears to close out the first quarter. The host Pioneers (1-2) struggled to find the bottom of the bucket and ended the game’s first frame shooting a dismal 3-for-19.
The run extended to 20 in the opening minutes of the second quarter before the Pioneers were able to finally stop the bleeding. Bruno’s lead ballooned to as much as 28 before deflating to 18 by halftime.
The second half yielded much of the same for both teams. In the third, Sacred Heart could not whittle the margin down to less than 18, nor could it stop Gaziano, who shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. The Pioneers would get as close as 12 several different times in the game’s final quarter, but Bruno responded each time with runs that eventually put the game out of reach by the final whistle.
Three days later, the team traveled to Bryant (3-0) in a battle of two undefeated teams. Unfortunately for the Bears, they were the ones to suffer their first loss of the season, falling 70-67. Will led the team in scoring for the second time in three games, tallying a career-high 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Guard Shayna Mehta ’19 chipped in 21 points, while Steeves added 10, but the efforts were not enough to overcome a late-game resurgence by the host Bulldogs.
In the first half, little separated the two teams. It was a tug-of-war battle of numerous lead changes and ties with the biggest margin being five points. The Bulldogs held a slim three-point advantage at halftime and a sizable 27-15 rebounding edge.
The Bears opened the third with an 8-0 run in less than three minutes. Bryant responded with an 8-0 run of its own, restoring its lead. From there, the teams kept flip-flopping until Mehta scored five of the team’s last six points in the third, giving Bruno a 50-48 lead going into the final frame.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter. Bryant retook the lead with less than eight minutes remaining and opened up a lead as big as seven. But the Bears battled back within one after a Steeves layup with two minutes left. Yet that was as close as the team came, as the host saw out the game for a three-point victory.
Rebounding was a huge issue on the night for Bruno, as the Bulldogs amassed 47 rebounds to the Bears’ 24, leading to a 19-5 advantage in second-chance points for the host. Bryant’s Naomi Ashley’s four offensive rebounds outnumbered those of the entire Bruno squad.
It was another three days before the squad lost its second consecutive game, this time at home against previously winless Colgate (1-3), 67-62. In an even game where both teams shot below 38 percent, it was the Raiders who had the last laugh. Steeves led the way with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds — plus five assists — while Will and Mehta netted 15 and 10 points, respectively. But the trio combined to shoot an inefficient 14-for-42 total.
The first quarter boded well for Bruno. After a Kathleen Ryan ’20 three-pointer and layups from Mehta and Lames ElGammal ’20 near the end of the frame, the Bears had a 13-point lead. The quarter ended with the host up by 10 on 53 percent shooting while holding its opponent to a 25 percent field goal conversion rate.
Bruno lost some of its shooting rhythm in the second quarter, but the Raiders still could not find theirs, allowing the Bears to enter halftime up by 11.
Colgate came out firing in the second half with a 7-0 run. The visitors shot a blistering 69 percent, while Bruno could only muster three made field goals on 15 attempts. Its lead evaporated, and Colgate entered the last frame up by two.
The Bears attempted a comeback in the fourth and came within one point. But clutch free-throw shooting by the Raiders sealed the game in the last second. Though both teams shot abysmally in the fourth, it was Colgate that did just enough to come out on top by five when the final whistle blew.
The Bears now hope to bounce back against Manhattan at home this Tuesday at 4 p.m.