The women’s basketball team (0-2) lost two road games in Connecticut to start its 2021-22 season. In both games, Brown showed its ability to run a fast-paced offense, but shooting droughts put the Bears in deficits too large to come back from.
Brown 52, Fairfield 76
Brown’s season opener at Fairfield University (1-1) featured a starting five all taking the court for the first time in their collegiate careers. The team’s new faces made immediate contributions. Guard Kyla Jones ’24 kicked off the scoring with a fast break layup, and after a few failed possessions, guard Charlotte Jewell ’24 hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired.
Jones led the team in scoring and assists, finishing with 15 and four, respectively. Her consistent, aggressive drives to the basket defined her play.
“It was the first game in awhile, so everybody, including myself, was not fully back to where they might have left off,” Jones said. “I think for the first game we did pretty well, and I think as the season goes on we’ll get a lot better.”
From the tipoff, the Bears swarmed on defense and regularly applied full-court pressure, which helped keep the game tight through the first half. The Bears’ intense defense and high three-point volume contributed to a close halftime score of 31-27 Fairfield.
Four unanswered baskets by the Stags quickly put the Bears in a 13-point deficit during the start of the third quarter. Six more turnovers ballooned the Stags’ lead to 19. The Bears were outscored 24-9 in the quarter, with 13 of the Stags’ points coming off Brown turnovers.
Early fourth quarter contributions by guard Isabella Mauricio ’25, forward Mya Murray ’24 and forward Amanda Latkany ’25 brought the Fairfield lead down to 13, forcing the Stags to call a timeout. But Fairfield regrouped, and the Bears’ third quarter struggles were too much to overcome.
Jewell had an efficient night, shooting four for five from the field and three for four from behind the arc. After finishing with 11 points and six rebounds, Jewell said the game made her “hopeful” for the rest of the season.
“I thought it was a great first game to learn from,” Jewell said. “I was proud of our cohesiveness and how we were able to stay together and keep each other up.”
Brown 46, Sacred Heart 71
The Bears’ second game of the season against Sacred Heart University (2-0) started off with a made free throw by Murray, but this 1-0 lead would be the last Brown held. The Bears struggled to get any scoring going, letting the Pioneers gain a nine-point lead before Mauricio scored Brown’s first field goal with two minutes and 27 seconds left in the first quarter.
The early offensive approach featured quick three-point attempts by the Bears, but they went 0/11 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. The Pioneers were able to find better looks but were also unable to convert, leaving Brown with only a seven-point deficit after the first quarter.
The Bears found some early second quarter success scoring inside the paint, with contributions by Murray, Latkany and forward Chantal Nadia Moawad ’24. But Sacred Heart’s defense forced turnovers, and the Bears could not score consistently. In the first half, Brown shot 0/14 from behind the three-point line and 7/30 from the field, leaving the team down 16-27 at halftime.
The Pioneers came out aggressive in the third quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points. The Bears were able to get some scoring going through drives, post-ups and free throws, but the continued three-point-shooting woes left Brown down 25 points to finish the third quarter.
“We want to make sure we’re getting a higher quality of threes,” said Head Coach Monique LeBlanc. “Some of our threes were early in the shot clock or they were early in transition, and those are just more difficult shots.”
In the fourth quarter, the Bears played fast and often double teamed on defense. In addition to three three-pointers by Mauricio — Brown’s only threes of the game — baskets by Murray, Jones and guard Grace Kirk ’24 brought the Pioneers’ lead down to 13 and forced Sacred Heart to call a timeout.
The Brown bench roared with every foul call, defensive stop and made basket, but the Pioneers were able to refocus and close the game. Mauricio finished the game as the Bears’ lead scorer with 12 points, and Latkany’s 10 rebounds led the team.
“Our big focus right now is our everyday process and getting better in the thousands of practice minutes in the gym, not identifying with the result after 40 minutes,” LeBlanc said. “We have to stay focused on making sure that our practice every day is at a really high level and that we’re doing all the right things in practice that we want to see translated into games.”