November 28, 2012

Cold Shooting Plagues Bears in loss to Bryant

Providence, RI- Led by four double-figure scorers and 58 percent shooting from the field, the Bryant University Bulldogs (1-4) defeated the Brown women's basketball team (2-4), 81-58, on Wednesday evening at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

Brown junior point guard Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) paced the offense with 16 points and six rebounds, including a 7-of-8 performance from the free throw line, and sophomore guard Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA) added 14 second-half points.

"They came out on fire and our defense couldn't keep them out of the paint," said Head Coach Jean Marie Burr. "It was a big adjustment not having Sheila (Dixon) on the court. She is our strongest defender on the court and we had to adapt."

The Bears, playing without Second Team All-Ivy selection Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY), seemed out of sync and shot just 21 percent in the first half. Bryant built a 14-3 lead 11 minutes into the game, but back-to-back three pointers by Clarke, and a turnaround jumper by senior captain Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) cut Brown's deficit to eight.

The Bulldogs recorded seven straight points to extend their lead to 15 with 4:25 left in the first, but the Bears were able to pull within 11 after a free throw by Clarke for a halftime score of 33-22.

The second half was more of the same, as Bryant gained a 20-point lead in the first eight minutes of the stanza with the help of Courtney Schissler's 12 points and Danielle Douglas' six. Bikofsky tried to ignite the Bears' offense with eight straight points to cut their deficit to 17 with nine minutes remaining in the game, but that was as close as Brown would get eventually falling 81-58.

Schissler led Bryant in scoring with a game-high 20 points, followed by Douglas with 16 and Kaitlyn Hinck with 15. The team shot 86 percent from the free throw line, and was 33 percent from beyond the arc.

In addition to a team-high 16 points, Clarke added three assists and three steals in 38 minutes of play. Junior forward Jordin Juker (Boise, ID) also earned a career-high eight points, and grabbed three rebounds in the loss. Brown finished the night shooting 29 percent from the field, and was 77 percent from the charity stripe sinking 17 of 22 attempts.

Brown will now host its annual Brown Basketball Classic, and will compete against Rider University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.