KENT, Ohio – Junior Rebecca Musgrove scored a career and game-high 23 points to lead Brown University women's basketball to a 62-57 comeback win over Kent State University at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y.) and senior Jordin Alexander (Fishers, Ind.) combined to score 15 of the Bears' (9-1) 18 points in the fourth quarter as the visitors overcame a six-point halftime deficit to upend the host Golden Flashes (3-7).
"I'm really proud of the team. This might be our biggest win, especially coming off of finals and coming off a break," Brown head coach Sarah Behn said. "Playing at Kent State – they are a really good team in a really good conference."
At 9-1, the Bears are off to their best start since going 11-1 in 1973-74 and have tied for the fourth-most non-conference wins in program history.
Musgrove connected on 5-of-9 shots from 3-point distance and 8-of-15 shots from the field to go with four steals and three assists. Alexander finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists. The pair scored in double-figures for the sixth and eighth times on the year respectively.
"Becca Musgrove was phenomenal. Her leadership and her shooting, 5-of-9 from three, was a great performance," Behn said. "Of course Jordin hit some huge, senior baskets. We don't win that game without those kids making those plays."
Freshman Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds – her third double-figure rebounding game on the season – along with seven points. Sophomore Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) tallied eight points, six boards, and three blocks while rookie Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine) blocked a career-high four shots.
An elbow jumper from Musgrove to open the fourth quarter put the Bears ahead 46-45, and the visitors did not trail the rest of the way, stemming multiple comeback attempts from the Golden Flashes.
After a 3-pointer from Kent State, Musgrove hit a corner trey on the fast break off a pass from sophomore Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) to give the Bears a 51-48 edge just past the quarter's midway point. An Alexander jumper and another Musgrove 3-pointer pushed the team's margin to 56-50 with 3:41 to play. The hosts pulled within one possession twice more, but each time Alexander answered with a jumper along the lane.
Musgrove sparked the Bears coming out of halftime, hitting a 3-pointer prior to making a steal and a layup. Musgrove's five points – alongside four from Steeves – initiated an 11-2 streak that staked the visitors to a 40-39 lead with 5:14 remaining in the third. A second-chance hoop from senior Ellise Sharpe (Tipp City, Ohio) and a basket from Alexander allowed Brown to stay within 45-44 through three frames.
Brown held Kent State to 9-of-32 shooting (28.1 percent) in the second half.
"We were down six at the half, and we kept our composure and chipped away," Behn said. "We went smaller and found a way to cover them better on the perimeter."
The Bears scored seven straight points to take an early 10-7 lead, and a 3-pointer from White put the visitors up 13-9 midway through the first. A layup from Reilly gave Brown an 18-14 edge before the two teams stood tied, 18-18, after one stanza.
The Golden Flashes claimed a 28-22 advantage with 3:50 to play in the first half, tallying eight consecutive points to cap a 14-4 run stretching back to the opening period. Musgrove broke the run with a baseline jumper before a 3-pointer from Steeves pulled Brown within 28-27 at the 2:00 mark. A layup from sophomore Kennedy Martin (Los Angeles, Calif.) kept the Bears within 35-29 at the break.
"Everybody that played for us today made plays whether it was Erika Steeves with her rebounding or Ellise Sharpe getting some tips or Mary Butler's steal," Behn said. "People made huge contributions when we really needed it."
Larissa Lurken led Kent State with 17 points while Jordan Korinek recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Naddiyah Cross dished out a game-best 12 assists.
Next, Brown closes out the 2015 calendar year with games at Fairleigh Dickinson (Tues., Dec. 29, 2 p.m.) and at Saint Peter's (Wed., Dec. 30, 4 p.m.).
Tickets for all Brown women's basketball games can be purchased online, by calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or by walking up to the box office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.