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Bears drop two to Penn, Princeton at home

Bruno struggles with energy, bumps losing streak up to four after tough weekend losses

The women’s basketball team (13-6, 1-5 Ivy) continued Ivy League play this weekend, hosting Penn (13-5, 4-1) Friday and Princeton (14-4, 4-1) Saturday. Bruno failed to collect a conference win over the two-day stretch, losing both games.

Penn controlled the first matchup from the tip-off, and that was the story until the game ended 88-55, marking the Bears’ biggest loss of the season. Brown’s offense, usually high-energy, was uncharacteristically muted. Reliable scorers Shayna Mehta ’19 and Justine Gaziano ’20 were the only two players on the team to score double digits, posting 17 and 13 points apiece. Each added five rebounds.

As a whole, the team had a difficult shooting night, making just 21 of 66 total field goal attempts.

But Head Coach Sarah Behn saw the biggest difference in her team’s defense.

“We’re not getting as many stops as we need to at the other end,” Behn said. Utilizing fast-paced ball movement that often led to open looks from all over the floor, the Quakers were tough to stop on offense. They converted on 13 of 35 three-point attempts and scored 38 points in the paint.

The next day, the Bears were unable to bounce back, losing to Princeton 77-62.

“They worked hard today. I was much more pleased with their physical effort today versus yesterday,” Behn said.

The Tigers’ lead, which was 25 at its largest, was cut down to 15 by the end of the game, partly thanks to forward Janie White ’18. The physical matchup gave White an opportunity to show her skills in the post. Tallying 15 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, she proved again why she is an impact player for Brown. Mehta added 17 points.

“I was really pleased with Janie White inside today,” Behn said.

As a whole, the Bears were out of sync, missing pass attempts and struggling to finish at the rim. Once again, their shooting performance was below average, going 23 for 59 overall. The Tigers clogged passing lanes, recording 17 points off of Bruno’s 17 turnovers.

Just a few weeks prior to the start of Ivy League play, Brown lost guard Taylor Will ’19 to a season-ending injury. With Will out, Coach Behn has been calling on her second unit to fill the gap, giving various bench players a starting spot in an attempt to find the lineup that will give her team the most success. Still, she acknowledges the impact Will’s injury has had on the team.

“It has been a pretty monumental hit to take. We’re just still trying to find our way,” Behn said.

Later next week, Brown will travel to New York to take on two more Ivy League foes, playing at Cornell Friday Jan. 9 and at Columbia Saturday Jan. 10.

“We’re just going game by game and trying to get better. We’re on a little skid right here, but this conference is really hard and hopefully we can get it together next week and get some wins on the road,” Behn said.


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