On Saturday afternoon, the women’s basketball team (11-15, 4-10 Ivy) faced Yale (13-14, 7-7 Ivy) in New Haven, Connecticut. In their final game of the season, the Bears posted 53 points — but ultimately failed to overcome Yale’s 63.
“Yale is a tough team,” wrote Grace Arnolie ’26 in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We did our best to have a strong start … Ultimately, we weren’t able to pull it off, but I think we gave it our all.”
The Bears seized the initial momentum through a display of their season-long efficiency from beyond the arc. On the Bears’ opening possession, Alyssa Moreland ’26 battled past a Yale defender, finding Beth Nelson ’26 for a corner three. Playing without Kyla Jones ’24 — the team's leading scorer — Brown soon found its rhythm in the long-distance game.
“Kyla was definitely missed, (and) I think we lacked her ability to get to the rim,” wrote Isabella Mauricio ’25 in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We took a lot of threes against Yale, and I think having (Jones) there would have helped open up an inside game for us. She’s a huge part of our team, offensively and defensively.”
Lacking one of their best paint scorers in Jones, the Bears opted to shoot from afar, scoring their first nine points through triples. Standing in the same spot Nelson had shot from a minute prior, Arnolie knocked down a three from the corner. With 6:21 to go in the first, Mauricio scored from downtown. Starting the game 3-for-5 from deep, the Bears took an early lead and ended the first quarter up 17-10.
“I thought we did a good job taking care of the basketball, and for the most part generated good shot opportunities,” Head Coach Monique LeBlanc wrote in a message to The Herald via Brown Athletics. “We executed our defensive game plan well, but struggled to convert on the offensive end.”
After pulling ahead 23-14 to begin the second quarter, the Bears struggled to maintain their lead. Propelled by an offensive flurry in which they outscored Brown 23-11, the Bulldogs began to stage a comeback. After a 10-0 run, Yale claimed a 24-23 lead. By halftime, the Bulldogs were up 33-28.
“Credit to (Yale) for making it a difficult game for us,” Mauricio wrote. “They have a lot of experience on their roster … so I think when our shots weren’t falling in the second half they were able to close out the game and get the win.”
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs took a double-digit advantage — one they defended for the remainder of the game. Mauricio scored for three from the wing in a promising start to the quarter, and with five minutes left in the third, Brown pulled to within seven points. But soon after, the Bears’ offense began to stagnate. Scoring only nine points in the quarter, Brown was unable to answer Yale’s attack. Heading into the fourth, Yale led the game 49-37.
The Bulldogs maintained a comfortable lead through the final quarter as the Bears ran into foul trouble. With just over three minutes to go, Moreland fouled out of the game. Despite a valiant late-game effort, Bruno fell by a final score of 63-53.
Even though they lost their season finale, the team is proud of their accomplishments over the course of the season, Mauricio wrote: The Bears won five more total games and placed two positions higher in the Ivy League than they did last season.
“This year we definitely took huge strides forward as a team in comparison to last year,” Mauricio wrote. “Being projected as the eighth seed was definitely something in the back of my mind, and I think all of our minds this season, and I’m glad we were able to prove that wrong and move up to 6th.”
“We certainly saw growth as a program this season,” LeBlanc wrote. “We are excited to work in the (off-season) and continue our upward trajectory. Getting into the Ivy tournament and competing for championships is our goal and we are excited to work heading into next season.”
“Through the ups and downs of the season, this team has always had each other’s backs and I can’t imagine a better group of girls to go through my college basketball career with,” Arnolie wrote. “I can’t wait to keep playing with all of them next season and to help each other get better in the offseason.”