On Saturday, the women’s basketball team (10-12, 3-7 Ivy) defeated Cornell (9-14, 2-8 Ivy) on the road in Ithaca by a score of 76-48. The 28-point disparity between the Bears and the Big Red marked the largest margin of victory for Brown against another Ivy League team since they beat Columbia by 35 points in February 1995. The Bears are now 2-1 in the second half of Ivy League play.
Kyla Jones ’24, Isabella Mauricio ’25, Grace Arnolie ’26, Ada Anamekwe ’26 and Alyssa Moreland ’26 started the game for Brown. After just thirty seconds, Jones — the Bears’ leading scorer — propelled her team onto the scoreboard via a layup. Soon thereafter, Cornell tied the game 2-2. This ended up being the only moment of the game in which the Bears did not lead.
The Bears’ dominant offensive first quarter was highlighted by a 16-0 run. Mauricio, who knocked down eight three-pointers in last week’s double-header, kept that momentum going and scored two early triples. Her long-distance shooting was complemented by play from Moreland and Anamekwe in the first quarter — the pair combined for four rebounds and three steals.
“I think that first quarter really solidified for everyone that we could beat Cornell and should,” Isabella Mauricio wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “It gave us a lot of confidence that we built off of for the rest of the game to get that win.”
In the first quarter, Brown’s 2-3 zone defense caused difficulties for the Big Red. “That’s the type of team we are — we really count on our defense to generate our offense,” Head Coach Monique LeBlanc wrote in a message to The Herald. “We were able to get stops on defense which propelled us to … favorable transition opportunities on the offensive end.”
“We need to keep focusing on getting stops on defense and rebounding,” Jones said via Brown Athletics. The Bears did just that: Throughout the game, the Bears corralled 24 defensive rebounds and scored an impressive 27 points off turnovers.
“When we do those two things, we can push the ball in transition, which seems to be one of our offensive strong suits,” Jones continued. “When we get stops and hold teams to low-scoring quarters, it puts us in a good place to win games.”
After falling behind 18-2 with one minute left in the first quarter, the Big Red closed the gap to fewer than ten points by the end of the second. While Cornell won the second quarter, Bruno’s 37-27 lead going into halftime helped them maintain an edge against their conference rivals.
Led by Mauricio, who scored 19 of her 22 points in the first half, Brown averaged 47% from the field and scored five triples by halftime. On the other end, Cornell was unable to score as efficiently, making just 32% from the field. Over the course of the game, the Big Red would attempt 20 shots from behind the arc, with not a single attempt successful.
Coming back from halftime and playing at a higher tempo, the Big Red began to chip away at their deficit. With three minutes left in the third, they pulled within two points of the Bears. At the beginning of the fourth, the game was tight at 49-45 in Bruno’s favor.
“The team is hungry and played with grit,” LeBlanc wrote. “We really played hard and withstood some runs from a tough Cornell squad. It’s always great to see resilience in those moments.”
Galvanized by Mauricio’s sixth successful shot from downtown, Brown regained their earlier prowess. Bruno went on an impressive 23-0 fourth-quarter run to pull away 72-45. Arnolie and Jones — who posted yet another 20-point performance — took over. Jones started the quarter with four successful free throws and ended it with another two layups. Arnolie, one of the team’s leading three-point shooters, contributed by scoring all three of her triples in the fourth.
“I took what Cornell’s defense gave me,” Jones said via Brown Athletics. “I was able to read their rotations, giving me open lanes to the basket or the simple passes to open teammates. My teammates also did a great job finding me in transition for easy buckets.”
“We just need to do what we do best,” she added. “If you hit (three-pointers), shoot (three-pointers); if your specialty is getting to the rim, get to the rim; if it's getting steals, get steals.”
“We’ll need that same grit when we are playing back-to-back games this coming weekend against two of the top teams in the league,” LeBlanc wrote. This weekend, the Bears face Princeton Friday at 7 p.m. and Penn Saturday at 5 p.m. Both games will be played at home and will be available to stream on ESPN+.
“I think we are all excited to pull off some upsets (throughout) the rest of the season,” Mauricio wrote. “Even post-game in the locker room, we were already talking about how fun an upset against Princeton would be … I think we are ready to do it.”