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“By Any Means”: Women’s Basketball takes low-scoring 35-31 victory over Dartmouth

Bears hang on despite shooting 19.7% from field

<p>Grace Arnolie ’26 led the Bears to out-rebound the Big Green 57-43.</p><p>Courtesy of Emma C. Marion via Brown Athletics</p>

Grace Arnolie ’26 led the Bears to out-rebound the Big Green 57-43.

Courtesy of Emma C. Marion via Brown Athletics

In a defensive duel at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Saturday afternoon, the Brown women’s basketball team (13-5, 4-1 Ivy) held off Dartmouth (6-11, 0-5 Ivy) to seize a tense 35-31 victory. The game featured Brown’s fewest points scored and allowed this season by a wide margin, as well as the second-fewest points the Bears have won with in program history, according to Brown Athletics.

“No one ever likes to have a game where their shots aren’t falling. It’s a really frustrating thing, especially when it seems to be everyone on the team,” said Grace Arnolie ’26.

“We’re just always gonna keep pushing even if the game’s not going exactly how we want, and we’re always gonna find a way to win,” Arnolie added. “Today, that was our defense, our rebounding, and just getting gritty when we needed to.”

“We have this phrase that we say — ‘BAM Squad’ — and it stands for ‘By Any Means,’” said Head Coach Monique LeBlanc. “That’s something we have to continue to lean into on nights like this where it’s really tough to get scoring going.”


Neither team’s shots were falling from the get-go, with the Bears going 8-for-34 and the Big Green going 4-for-28 from the field in the first half. Despite their low shooting percentage, Bruno doubled Dartmouth’s score in each of the first two quarters, bringing the score to 10-5 and then 18-9 at the half.

But just when Bruno seemed to be coasting to victory, the Big Green rallied in the second half, going on 10-0 and 8-1 runs in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, to pull two behind. 

“I thought early in the game, we got great looks and they weren’t hitting, and so we just wanted to keep encouraging the team,” LeBlanc said. “It was really hard to just get an easy bucket in this game.”

With the score at 33-31 and Brown having committed three straight turnovers, the Big Green inbounded the ball with just 15 seconds to go. As nerves pinched throughout the Pizz, Dartmouth’s Cate MacDonald was called for a pivotal travel, giving the Bears possession and forcing the trailing visitors team to foul.

At the line — and with the game on the line — Arnolie drained both free throws to seal a 35-31 Bears victory. “I’m happy that I could … put my team in the best position (with) low seconds on the clock,” she said.

Holding Dartmouth to just 31 points, the Bears’ defense now ranks 2nd in the League with 56.2 points allowed per game. This was the Bears’ fifth victory this season while scoring under 60 points.

Ada Anamekwe ’26 was the Bears’ top scorer of the afternoon with nine points. Only one player in the contest — Dartmouth’s MacDonald — broke double-digits with 11.

In a game when the Bears’ offense sputtered — shooting 19.7% to Dartmouth’s 21.7% — Arnolie led a resurgent rebounding effort which ultimately gave Bruno the edge by out-boarding the Big Green 57-43. With the team’s top rebounder Alyssa Moreland ’26 unavailable, Arnolie stepped up to tally 13 rebounds — a new career-high — while Kyla Jones ’24 also racked up double-digits.

“Especially with Alyssa out today … we knew that people who might not usually have a lot of rebounds needed to step up and make up for her powerful presence inside,” Arnolie said.

“We knew we were gonna be the smaller team, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to go and find rebounds and catch them,” Anamekwe said. “Even though we’re the shorter team, we made it a point that we’re going to search (and) scour for every rebound just because that’s who we are as a team.”


Anamekwe spoke to the importance of the lessons the Bears — now sitting at 13-5 after a roaring start to the season — can take from a game they were expected to win over the Big Green, who are currently in last place.

“A win is a win, but obviously this is a teaching moment from us,” she said. “We need to come in and be the tougher team, not the underdog. We need to learn how to play like the tougher team.”

The Bears will now embark on a weekend road trip to face Princeton — the five-time reigning champs — and a Penn team which the Bears hope to battle for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament this March.

“We need to be comfortable playing not as the underdog, (but) I think we might be the underdog in these upcoming games,” LeBlanc said. “So we can embrace that at least for next weekend.”

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Linus Lawrence

Linus is a sports editor from New York City. He is a junior concentrating in English, and when he's out of The Herald office you can find him rooting for the Mets, watching Star Wars or listening to The Beach Boys.

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