December 8, 2010

Rhode Island Outlasts Brown 71-69 in Double Overtime

Providence, RI- Freshman Lauren Clarke's career-high 24 points and Aileen Daniels' double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds wasn't enough tonight as the Bears stumbled to a 71-69 double overtime loss to Rhode Island tonight at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

The Bears and Rams were even in scoring in the first and second period, as well as the first overtime, but Rhode Island edged Brown by two points after senior Megan Shoniker drained two free throws with three seconds remaining in the game to secure the win.

Clarke was one of four Bears scoring in double-figures tonight, as her six treys broke into the Brown record books to rank her second all-time for three pointers in a game. Sophomore Sheila Dixon recorded her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Schenectady, N.Y. native also added five assists, two steals and a block.

Clarke led the Bears' attack by netting 12 of her 24 points after connecting on four-of-five three pointers in a half in which the score was tied four times and saw five lead changes. Sophomores Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) scored five of the team's first seven points of the game, but the Rams gained a 12-7 advantage after the first five minutes of play. But Clarke drained her first trey of the game to even the score at 12-12 at the 12:40 mark.

Clarke followed up with another three to regain a 15-13 Brown lead, and then went on a 12-5 run to push the score to 27-18 with just under nine minutes remaining in the first half. The Rams, however, chipped away at their deficit and tied the game up after a layup by tonight's leading scorer, Lara Gaspar, to even the score at 32-32 heading into halftime.

Brown acquired a five-point lead just three minutes after the intermission, but Gaspar sank a three as Shoniker followed with a jumper to bring the Rams within one at the 16:38 mark. The lead continued the change hands throughout the second half, as the Bears found themselves down four with just under seven minutes on the clock. A layup by junior captain Aileen Daniels cuts the team's deficit to two, 55-53, and Dixon followed up with a three pointer to take the lead with just under 4:30 to play.

Dixon sank two free throws with 1:52 on the clock to tie the game 61-61, but neither team was able to score to send the game into overtime.

Three minutes went by in the first five-minute overtime period before Daniels put in a layup to take a 63-61 lead. Clarke extended Brown's lead to four after driving to the hoop for layup, but Gaspar and Shoniker came right back with layups of their own to send the game into another overtime.

This time, Rhode Island scored first, as Sherrie Session nailed a jumper just over a minute into the second overtime, but Nickel drove inside the line and hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game at 67 with 1:56 left in overtime. Then, Clarke drained a jump shot 16 seconds later to take a two-point lead, but Emilie Cloutier tied it up with 1:16 remaining in the game.

Then, a questionable call on Brown's Daniels gave the Rams the ball back with six seconds left in the game, and Shoniker drove through the lane and was fouled on her way to the basket before making good on a pair of three throws to clinch the 71-69 victory.

The Bears shot 37 percent from both the field and from beyond the arc this evening, and went 8-of-10 from the charity stripe.

The Rams, paced by Gaspar's 26 points and eight rebounds, shot 40 percent for the game and made just 4-of-19 three's to shoot 21 from beyond the arc. Shoniker finished the night with 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals.

The Bears will not be back in action until Dec. 29-30 when the squad travels to New Jersey for the Hawk Holiday Classic hosted at Monmouth. Bruno will match up against Monmouth at 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 29, and will then play either American or Binghamton the following day.