February 11, 2011

Bears Earn 56-48 Ivy League Victory over Dartmouth

Providence, RI- Freshman Lauren Clarke scored a team-high 12 points and handed out a career-high six assists to help the Brown women's basketball team to a 56-48 victory over the visiting Dartmouth Big Green tonight at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

Brown won its second straight game and improved to 6-15 overall with a 2-5 mark in the Ivy League. Dartmouth, however, dropped to 5-15 overall and to 1-5 in the league.

While both teams struggled offensively tonight, the Bears picked up the slack with tenacious defense and dominated the Big Green on the boards, 53-35. Sophomore forward Caroline King was a big part of the Bears' effort, pulling down both a game and career-high nine rebounds while adding four points on offense in her 20 minutes of play.

Dartmouth shot just 23 percent from the field in the first half, but was able to gain a lead in the first few minutes of the game. But the Bears chipped away at its deficit as a Lindsay Nickel trey cut Dartmouth's lead to just one, 13-12, midway through the half.

King followed with a layup to give the Bears their first lead of the night, but Dartmouth came right back down the floor and sank two free throws to take it right back.  King answered again with a jump shot to push the Bears ahead by two, two give Brown a lead in which it would not relinquish. The Bears eventually gained a 25-21 lead at the half, with Nickel leading the offense with eight points.

After the intermission, Lauren Clarke hit a jumper to extend the Bears' lead to six, but Dartmouth was able to cut it down to one after a free throw by Faziah Steen at the 15:23 mark. Bruno fired back and pushed its lead back up to six with a trey by Passafuime and a jumper by Nickel, but Dartmouth continued to fight back and evened the score at 34-34 after a three pointer by Steen at 11:22.

However, the Bears stayed mentally tough and went on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 44-34 lead at the 6:50 mark. The Bears kept rolling and buckets by sophomore guard Sheila Dixon and junior forward Aileen Daniels gave Bruno its largest lead of the night, 48-35, with just over four minutes left on the clock.

Dartmouth closed out the game on a 11-4 run to cut its deficit to six, but Lauren Clarke sank two free throws with 34 seconds remaining in the game to give the Bears an eight-point lead to end the game.

The Bears finished the game shooting 33 percent from the field, and was led by Clarke's 12 points and six boards. Nickel helped out with 10 points and tied her career high with seven rebounds.

Dixon pulled down seven boards, netted seven points and handed out five assists in 22 minutes of action, and rookie Maggie Smith grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.

Dartmouth shot just 27 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the arc and was led by Faziah Steen's 13 points and five rebounds. Forward Cassie Cooper added nine points and five boards, and Meghan McFee chipped in with seven points and eight boards.

The Bears are back in action at 7 p.m. tomorrow, when it hosts Harvard in its annual WBCA Pink Zone game. All fans who wear pink will be let into the game FREE of charge, and will be eligible to win a prize pack from a Brown Athletics sponsor. Also, the first 300 fans will receive a breast cancer awareness button!

Live stats will be provided and both Mike Mancuso and Mike Rubin will be calling the action on brownbears.com. Live video will also be available, for a fee.