Junior guard Justine Gaziano ’20 notched 35 points last weekend as the women’s basketball team breezed past Bryant University 84-68 at the Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament. Coming off Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors last year, Gaziano was named to the All-Tournament team and averaged 30 points per game against Bryant and the University of Rhode Island. The Natick, Massachusetts native is 14th all-time in scoring for the Bears and a recipient of the Royce Sports and Society Fellowship. For her standout performances in Bruno’s tournament play, she has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.
Herald: You scored a career-high 35 points last weekend against Bryant. How did it feel to be such a big part of the team’s offense?
Gaziano: It was just in the flow of the game and everyone on our team was contributing and doing well. … There were definitely some things we struggled with, but we were able to all come together, and I just happened to be hitting a lot of my shots that game.
You also led the team in scoring against URI. Do you feel like you’re hitting your stride on offense?
I’ve really just gotten into a flow of what I can do and (a flow of) the team as a group all working together and sharing the ball, which has been a great part of our success. We’ve been racking up the assists as a team, which has definitely allowed us to do well on offense.
You’ve recently been named the Ivy League Player of the Week. What does that award mean to you?
It’s a really nice honor that it’s recognized by the Ivy League, but … I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my team and the way that we’re able to work together.
You recently scored your 1,000th college point and sit 14th in all-time scoring for Brown. Do you focus at all on reaching milestones like that?
A thousand points was a goal I’ve wanted to reach since I came to Brown. I didn’t know when it was going to happen but it’s one that I’ve been working toward and wanting to reach, so it was really great that I was able to reach that milestone. But now I know that there’s even more that we can all achieve as a team.
What are you focused on achieving next?
Just continuing to be the best player and teammate that I can be to put our team in a position to do well.
You currently lead the team in three-point percentage. Is that a part of your game you try to work on specifically?
I think three-point shooting has always been something that’s been a strength of mine and something I’ve really worked toward. So, when I’m in a game, (my three-point shot is) something I look for on offense. … And I think recently I’ve gotten into the flow of shooting.
What is the team expecting from the rest of the season as you approach Ivy League play next semester?
We’ve definitely struggled in a few games, but it showed us what we need to work on so we can be successful in the Ivy League, which is what we see as most important. It’s been a good way for us to recognize some of our weaknesses and things we need to work on so that when we do get into conference play we’ll be able to capitalize and do well.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.