Returning home victorious after its trip to California to compete in the Turkey Tip-Off Tournament, the women’s basketball team looked to continue its winning ways Tuesday, facing off against Holy Cross. The Bears (5-1) defeated the Crusaders (3-3) 82-78 in a fast-paced and high-scoring matchup.
Holy Cross’ hot shooting streaks contributed to multiple swings in momentum, hitting 14 of 27 three-point attempts. The shots fell especially hard in the first half of the game, which helped the Crusaders jump out to a seven-point lead at the half with the score 39-32.
Brown Head Coach Sarah Behn felt the impact. “Mostly the difference in the game was how many threes they were making. … So when a team is that hot and we’re still able to find a win, I’m happy about that.”
Adjustments to adapt to the Crusader’s aggressive defense paid off for Bruno at halftime, as the team scored 50 points in the second half, compared to just 32 in the first. “They were putting a lot of zone on us, so we were just trying to work on our spacing and decision making,” Behn said. “We did a little bit better job in the second half.”
Guard Shayna Mehta ’19 not only provided an offensive spark for the Bears by dropping 28 points, but also was dominant on the defensive end, grabbing seven steals. Mehta energized Brown’s defensive effort, which led to multiple scoring opportunities. The Crusaders also turned the ball over 15 times, allowing the Bears to score 21 points off of those turnovers.
The final minutes of the close contest featured high-stakes free throw shooting from both teams. With 32 seconds left in the game, Holy Cross failed to convert on a free throw that would tie the game. Taylor Will ’19 found herself on the line with six seconds left, shooting a free throw that would put the game out of reach for the Crusaders. The final point of Will’s 12-point performance was tallied on a foul shot, which put the Bears ahead by four points to win the game. Will also grabbed 10 rebounds for Bruno.
Behn was ultimately pleased with her team’s balanced stat sheet and bench performance. Four players scored in the double-digits. Along with Mehta and Will, Justine Gaziano ’20 added 16 points and 5 rebounds and Janie White ’18 added 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and four blocks. “I was really happy with the bench,” Behn said. “I know some kids only played a few minutes, but they really helped us.”
The team looks to recharge after its cross-country trip and the high-energy game, shifting its focus to the Ocean State Tip Off tournament, hosted this weekend at Providence College. “Hopefully now we’re going to get our systems back because we’ve got a big weekend ahead,” Behn said. Brown’s first matchup of the tournament is Saturday against Providence.