The women’s basketball team (2-6) snapped a two-game losing streak Tuesday with a close win at Hartford University (0-6). Over the weekend, the Bears competed in the TD Bank Classic, a four-team tournament held at the University of Vermont. Brown finished in fourth place after falling to Vermont (2-4) in the first round and the University of North Dakota (2-4) in the third-place match, with shooting struggles contributing to both losses.
Brown 72, Hartford 68
Forward Mya Murray ’24 kicked off Tuesday’s action with a block on the game’s first possession, followed by three straight baskets on the other end of the court. Murray remained aggressive throughout the win, leading the team with 21 points and five blocks. The team found success by “coming ready to play and being aggressive,” Murray said.
Despite the pressure of Brown’s halfcourt defense, the Hawks were able to make tough mid-range shots and score off turnovers. After a brief stint on the bench, Murray returned to action with an immediate two points to continue her scoring effort. But Hartford made a difficult three-pointer to end the first quarter, which brought Brown’s lead down to two points. The Bears moved the ball well in the quarter, with six of the team’s seven field goals coming off assists.
Brown’s defense continued to enforce the start of the second quarter, forcing turnovers that created an open three for forward Amanda Latkany ’25 and transition layups for Murray and guard Charlotte Jewell ’24. But the Bears struggled to score in the halfcourt. Neither team’s offense was able to get much going to end the half, and Brown held onto a 29-25 lead.
At the start of the half, the Hawks looked aggressive, drawing fouls and limiting the Bears’ offense. Guard Isabella Mauricio ’25 responded with an assist to guard Kyla Jones ’24 and a three-pointer, the first of six Brown threes in the quarter. Jewell’s three-pointer came next, forcing a Hartford timeout and giving the Bears a nine-point lead. The Hawks responded immediately with a three-pointer of their own, but Mauricio sank one in return.
Hartford fought for every rebound and scored off turnovers to narrow Brown’s lead to three, but Jewell and Mauricio each hit another three-point shot. Again, the Hawks responded with a three out of a timeout, but Murray contributed to the Bears’ three-point barrage to regain a nine-point lead. Brown finished the quarter with a 51-44 lead, with six of its seven field goals coming from three-pointers. Mauricio led the charge, making half of the Bears’ threes and finishing the game with 15 points and a game-leading eight assists.
“Historically, we haven’t had the best runs in third quarters,” Mauricio said. “We really tried to focus on getting defensive stops, and that’s what fueled our offense.”
Hartford opened the final quarter with a three off a turnover, but Mauricio stayed hot, responding with her own basket from beyond the arc. But the Hawks defense started to stop the Bears, and a three-pointer with the shot clock expiring brought Brown’s lead down to two.
Murray charged ahead, putting up seven points and two blocks in the quarter to help the Bears take an 11-point lead. But offensive rebounds and timely threes brought the Hawks within five with less than 90 seconds to go. After fouling the Bears on consecutive possessions, Hartford made a three-point shot to bring their deficit down to three with 36 seconds remaining. Jones made two free throws on the other end, and the Hawks, unwilling to go down without a fight, drilled another three-pointer to make it a two-point game. With only one second left on the clock, Jewell secured the win by sinking two free throws.
Brown 46, Vermont 79
After the Catamounts sunk a shot behind the arc on their first possession of the game, Jewell responded with a corner three-pointer, Brown’s first points of the TD Bank Classic. Jones stole the ball on the defensive end, leading to a transition layup by Murray. With these five quick points, the Bears took an early 5-3 lead, but this would be Bruno’s last lead of the game.
Vermont gained the advantage after a 15-2 run. Jones was able to score on a layup out of a timeout, but Brown did not score for the remaining four and a half minutes of the quarter. Though the Bears were able to find “a lot of good looks” according to Head Coach Monique LeBlanc, they could not finish and shot 3/17 in the quarter.
Up 18-7 at the start of the second quarter, the Catamounts continued to score with four straight points. Brown was able to get back on the scoreboard after Jewell hit another three, but Vermont answered with a three-point shot on the other end. The Bears continued to turn the ball over and struggle to make shots. Brown found some offense by scoring off turnovers, drawing fouls and pulling down offensive rebounds. Mauricio made a three-pointer toward halftime, but again, the Catamounts responded with their own. Down 22-38 at halftime, the Bears struggled to find any consistency, and their 11 first-half turnovers proved to be costly.
Vermont picked up where it left off to start the second half, creating efficient offensive possessions through its passing — the Catamounts finished the game with 25 assists compared to the Bears’ eight. A Jones layup and corner three by forward Emma Laszewski ’24 closed the third quarter, but Vermont took complete control on both ends of the floor in the period, outscoring Brown by 15 points and forcing seven turnovers.
The Bears’ defense was able to get more stops in the fourth quarter. But turnover issues persisted, and they could not make shots. Twenty-nine of Vermont’s points in the game came off Brown turnovers. A layup by center Gianna Aiello ’25 with three minutes and 39 seconds left was Brown’s last score of the game. Mauricio, the Bears’ leading scorer with 13 points, scored six in the fourth quarter. The Bears’ inefficiency, shooting 30% from the field and 18% from three, could not compete against the highly efficient Catamount offense, which shot 53% on field goals and 50% from beyond the arc.
Brown 46, North Dakota 65
Brown came out aggressive to begin the TD Bank Classic consolation match, forcing two quick turnovers and showing high energy on defense. A Mauricio layup, a jumper by forward Chantal Nadia ’24 (starting in place of Murray), a three by Mauricio and two free throws by Jones put the Bears up 9-2 early. Mauricio led the team in scoring again, finishing with 20 points and making four of her eight three-point attempts.
“The response to North Dakota a day later was really good,” LeBlanc said. “I thought we played really hard on Sunday, and that was good to see.”
UND responded, taking the lead after nine unanswered points, but guard Maddie Mullin ’23 came back with a three-point make. Brown could not convert off late quarter turnovers by the Fighting Hawks and had trouble scoring. UND finished the quarter on a 10-1 run to establish a 21-13 lead.
The Bears played good defense in the first half of the second quarter but could not knock down a shot until Jones made a layup four and a half minutes into the period. Mauricio hit a three-point field goal, and Nadia made a layup off her offensive rebound, bringing Brown within seven points. But the Fighting Hawks controlled the final two-and-a-half minutes of the half, going on a 10-2 run to give them a 39-24 lead. The Bears were able to find good shots in the quarter, but they could not convert, shooting 5/20 from the field.
Brown’s offense found success to start the second half. The Bears cut the deficit to 10 by scoring five in a row. UND answered, but Brown was still able to score with a Latkany free throw and Jones layup.
But the Bears’ success would not continue. Brown’s energetic defense gave them opportunities to score, but the Bears struggled to capitalize. After a brief scoring drought by both teams, Mullin responded to a three by the Fighting Hawks with a basket of her own. UND in turn responded to a mid-range basket by Mauricio with two free throws. Brown could not put a dent in its 15-point deficit, with both teams scoring 13 points in the quarter.
The Bears faced similar struggles in the fourth quarter. Even when they found open shots, they could not finish. Brown scored intermittently in the last ten minutes but couldn’t put together a run, only scoring nine points in the final quarter. The Bears shot 3/15 in the fourth, capping a 27% shooting performance both from the field and from three-point range in the game.
“Right now we’re getting shots from the right people in good spots, and we need to continue generating those,” LeBlanc said. “We’ve just got to stay with it and keep hunting great shots.”
The Bears will return home to face the New Hampshire Wildcats (3-3) Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sport Center.