December 2, 2012

Second Half Comeback Fuels Brown Victory over New Hampshire

Providence, R.I. - Led by junior Lauren Clarke's (Colts Neck, NJ) 16 second-half points, the Brown women's basketball team (3-5) erased a two-point deficit at halftime to come away with a 50-43 victory over New Hampshire (3-4) in the consolation game of the Brown Bear Basketball Classic. For her outstanding efforts over the weekend, Clarke earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.

Behind Clarke's team-high 16 points and four steals, sophomore Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA) netted 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, while senior Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) knocked in 10 points and added four steals.

New Hampshire's Cari Reed led the Wildcat offense with a double-double on a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds to also earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

"The team displayed amazing defense and made a tough comeback while overcoming our scoring drought," said Head Coach Jean Marie Burr.  "Jordin (Juker) increased the team's energy by taking three charges, Sophie's (Bikofsky) had another big night on the boards, and Lindsay's (Nickel) steals charged our offense.  Also, Lauren (Clarke) showed great leadership and set the tone for a strong second half enabling us to get a lead on the boards.  It was a great victory over a team that was selected for post season play in 2012."

Brown's shooting woes continued into the first half against the Wildcats, as the Bears hit just 6-of-24 shots from the field for 25 percent shooting. However, the Bears showed great composure turning the ball over just four times, and converted eight of the team's 16 first-half points off New Hampshire turnovers to be within two points, 18-16, at the intermission.

New Hampshire jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game, but a trey by Nickel broke Brown's 9:53 silence. The Bears then went on a 13-6 run which was completed by a Bikofsky three pointer to tie the score 16-16 with three minutes left in the half. New Hampshire's Cari Reed snuck in a layup with one second on the clock to give the Wildcats a two-point edge heading into halftime.

The game was tied twice in the first few minutes of the second half, but a three by Bikofsky gave Brown its first lead of the night, 23-30 at the 17:29 mark. A layup by Reed tied the game at 31-31 with 8:37 to go, and a jumper by Ariel Gaston put the Wildcats ahead by two. But Nickel hit a big three at 6:43 to give Brown a lead they never relinquished.

Brown gained as much as an eight-point lead after a free-throw by Bikofsky with 2:14 remaining in the game, but the Bears ended the night with a seven-point victory over the visiting UNH Wildcats.

The Bears shot 36 percent from the field in the game, including a 48 percent performance in the second half. The Bears also hit 5-of-9 three's (56 percent), but went just 9-of-22 for the game. The Bears were out-rebounded 43-28, and finished the game with just 12 turnovers, their second lowest performance of the year.

The Bears will now break until Friday, December 28, when the squad plays Maryland at noon in the first game of the Terrapin Classic.