VESTAL, N.Y. – Sophomore guard Shayna Mehta scored a game and season-high 29 points, and sophomore forward Erika Steeves posted a double-double on 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to power Brown University women's basketball to an 83-72 win at Binghamton University on Sunday afternoon at the Events Center.
Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) netted 21 points in the second half to propel the visiting Bears (3-3) past the Bearcats (1-5). Brown scored over 80 points for the third time on the season, held a 47-37 rebounding advantage, and made 23-of-26 free throws in the victory.
"I'm really proud of the team," Brown head coach Sarah Behn said. "Binghamton is a very good team. They are very athletic. They have several weapons from the perimeter, and they have an interior game. We won the rebounding battle by 10, and I think we showed a lot of improvement on defense. The team defense was great."
Mehta scored over 20 points for the second time on the season and for the seventh time in her career while adding six rebounds. In the second half, she made 7-of-11 shots from the field, 3-of-5 shots from 3-point distance, and 4-of-4 free throws. She tied a career high with 10 made field goals in the game.
Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) totaled her second double-double of the season and the fifth of her career, eclipsing her previous career high of 12 boards with her 18-rebound performance. Steeves made 8-of-9 free throws in the game and chipped in four assists.
Sophomore guard Taylor Will (Arlington Heights, Ill.) scored 18 points and hit 8-of-9 free throws. Will held Binghamton's Imani Watkins, the 16th leading scorer in the nation, to five points in the second half.
Will and Mehta each played the full 40 minutes, and freshman guard Abby O'Keefe (St. Louis, Mo.) tacked on eight points.
Mehta sparked the Bears coming out of halftime, scoring 13 points in the third quarter to help turn a 37-33 halftime deficit into a 55-47 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
Mehta knocked down a pair of triples to open the half bringing Brown within 40-39 before the Bearcats went ahead 43-39. The Bears then scored nine unanswered points to pull ahead 48-43 at the 5:15 mark of the third quarter. The Bears closed the frame on a 16-4 run with a Mehta triple giving the visitors a 55-47 lead.
Brown pulled ahead 61-50 with 7:52 remaining in the fourth quarter behind a pair of baskets from Steeves, capping a 22-7 streak. Will and Mehta accounted for all of the Bears' points as the Bears maintained a 73-64 edge with 2:58 to go. Brown netted 10-of-12 free throws inside of the final two minutes to seal the win.
The two teams played within a 6-point window throughout the first quarter. A corner 3-pointer from Mehta and a conventional 3-point play from Steeves gave Brown an early 10-9 lead. An O'Keefe wing trey and then seven straight points from Will put the Bears up 20-18 before Binghamton finished the opening frame with a 21-20 lead.
O'Keefe and Mehta each connected from behind the arc to push Brown ahead 28-26 with 4:17 to go in the half. An O'Keefe 19-foot jumper made it 30-26, giving the Bears the first two-possession lead of the game and capping a 10-3 run. The Bearcats closed the half on an 11-3 spurt to bring a 37-33 lead into the locker room.
Neither team held an advantage of larger than five points in a first half that witnessed eight ties and 13 lead changes.
For Binghamton, Watkins finished with a team-high 21 points to pace four Bearcats in double figures. Rebecca Carmody grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.
Next, Brown hosts the inaugural Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament from Dec. 3-4. The Bears open play at the tournament against Rhode Island on Saturday, Dec. 3 at approximately 3:00 p.m.
Video of all Brown women's basketball home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on ILDN.TV/BROWN.
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.