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Women’s basketball splits weekend home games

Bears defeat Dartmouth Friday, fall to Harvard Saturday

<p>The win against Dartmouth, the Bears’ second Ivy League victory of the season, was spearheaded by the complimentary play of Isabella Mauricio ’25, Grace Arnolie ’26 and Kyla Jones ’24.</p><p>Courtesy of Emma Marion via Brown Athletics</p>

The win against Dartmouth, the Bears’ second Ivy League victory of the season, was spearheaded by the complimentary play of Isabella Mauricio ’25, Grace Arnolie ’26 and Kyla Jones ’24.

Courtesy of Emma Marion via Brown Athletics

The women’s basketball team (9-12, 2-7 Ivy League) defeated Dartmouth (2-21, 0-9) 82-76 Friday but lost to Harvard (14-7, 7-2) 74-61 Saturday at the Pizzitola Sports Center. 

The weekend marked the beginning of the Bears’ second half of Ivy League play. “Every game we play is an opportunity to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and figure out new ways to improve on offense and defense,” wrote Head Coach Monique LeBlanc in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “Now that we’ve played everyone … once already, we are evaluating that last match-up and looking at our game plan to make adjustments for round two.”

“We obviously didn’t get the start to Ivy League play we wanted,” wrote guard Isabella Mauricio ’25 in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “But I think going into the second half of this season with a reset mindset that we can still beat anyone we play, no matter the rankings, is huge.” The win against Dartmouth, the Bears’ second Ivy League victory of the season, was spearheaded by the complementary play of Mauricio, Grace Arnolie ’26 and Kyla Jones ’24. Mauricio and Arnolie combined for 48 points, with Mauricio tying her career high of 27 points. Jones put up a double-double, scoring 17 points and collecting 11 rebounds.

Friday’s game got off to a rocky start for the Bears, with the team scoring their first points after four minutes of play off a layup by forward Alyssa Moreland ’26. Dartmouth took advantage of Bruno’s inconsistent shooting to pull ahead 25-18 by the end of the first quarter.

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But in the second quarter, Brown looked like a different team. Spurred by two early three-pointers from Mauricio, Bruno began to rally, improving their field goal percentage from 33% in the first quarter to 71% in the second. Trailing 36-34 with two minutes left in the quarter, the Bears went on an 8-0 run to overtake Dartmouth 42-36 at halftime.

Dartmouth was able to tie the game three times in a tighter third quarter, but the Bears — led by an 11-point quarter from Arnolie — defended their lead. Arnolie’s impressive offensive showing, including a four-point play after a successful three from the wing and subsequent free throw, helped the Bears pull away 62-58.

Down 76-72 with thirty seconds left in the fourth quarter, Dartmouth turned to fouling, hoping to force missed free throws and then regain possession. In a high-stakes situation, Mauricio — who was fouled three times by the Big Green — went 6-6 from the line to help propel Brown to an 82-76 victory.

The following evening against Harvard, the Bears aimed to pick up where they left off. “We did a good job defensively of holding Harvard below their season averages and did a much better job taking care of the basketball this time around,” LeBlanc wrote. This year, Harvard is shooting 44.7% on field goals and 34.6% on three-pointers; on Saturday, they shot 42.6% from the field and 31.3% from beyond the arc.

Mauricio and Arnolie each made three-pointers in the game’s opening minutes, but after a 7-0 run by the Crimson, the Bears faced a 20-12 deficit entering the second quarter.

While several Brown players put up impressive scoring efforts, the team was not able to secure a victory. In the second quarter, Jones scored two unanswered layups and a jump shot on consecutive plays, but by halftime, Harvard had pulled away to take a 41-28 lead. This gap increased in the third quarter after Harvard reached its largest lead of the game at 64-44.

They “have a lot of players who can score,” Jones said. There are “a lot of people on the court that you have to defend, and I think we lost a few key players a couple times and they were able to get some wide-open looks, and that really killed us.”

Even though three players — Arnolie, Jones and Mauricio — each posted double-digit scoring efforts, and forward Ada Anamekwe ’26 secured a season-high 12 rebounds, the Bears fell to the Crimson by a final score of 74-61. 

“Unfortunately, Harvard was able to capitalize on their 17 offensive rebounds which resulted in 21 points,” LeBlanc wrote. The Bears were instead only able to secure eight offensive boards and recorded just two second-chance points. Bruno also surrendered 15 turnovers, while the Crimson only handed the ball over eight times.

The Bears will return to action on the road against Cornell Saturday at 2 p.m.

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“We’re all disappointed, but this game is over, it’s in the past,” Jones said. “I think if we take what we did today and do it against Cornell, we should be able to get a win.”

“This next game against Cornell is really important for us as a program,” Mauricio wrote. “That alone should motivate and lift us up this week in preparation.”

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