CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman guard Justine Gaziano scored 16 points, and sophomore guard Shayna Mehta tallied a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds, but Brown University women's basketball fell at Harvard University, 69-59, at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday night.
The Bears (13-7, 4-3 Ivy) gained a 48-47 lead with 2:33 left in the third quarter and remained within 57-56 with 7:53 remaining, but the host Crimson (17-3, 5-2 Ivy) held on for the win despite going without a field goal for the final 6:38.
Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) added five rebounds to her 16-point effort, scoring in double figures for the 12th time in 14 games played this season. Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) tallied her third double-double of the season and the fourth of her career to go with a team-high four assists.
Sophomore guard Taylor Will (Arlington Heights, Ill.) netted 13 points, and junior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) contributed eight points and four blocks. Will and Mehta both scored in double figures for the 16th time this winter.
The Crimson improved to 9-0 at home on the year and held the Bears to 25-percent shooting from the field in the second half.
Four different Bears scored in the first five minutes before a turnaround jumper from Mehta gave Brown a 10-8 edge at the 4:40 mark of the opening quarter. Baskets from White, Will, and junior Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) put Brown up 16-13 before the two teams went to the second stanza tied 16-16.
Despite a pair of jumpers from Mehta, Harvard used a 16-4 run to pull ahead 29-20 with 5:28 to go in the second quarter. A jumper from sophomore Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine) stemmed the run, and a 3-pointer from Mehta pulled the Bears within 31-25. Brown closed the half on an 8-2 streak behind 3-pointers from White and Gaziano to cut the deficit to 36-33 at the break.
After Harvard went up 45-38 with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter, Brown rattled off a 10-2 run to take a 48-47 edge with 2:33 to go in the frame for its first lead since late in the first quarter. Gaziano keyed the run with five points before the Crimson took a 53-48 advantage into the fourth quarter.
With the Crimson up 57-50 early in the fourth quarter, Gaziano netted six straight points on the inside to pull Brown within 57-56 with 7:53 to play. Harvard moved ahead 62-56 before a Mehta free throw cut it to 62-57 at the 6:31 mark. Neither team sored over the next 4:38 before the hosts connected on seven free throws in the final 1:53 to seal the win.
For Harvard, Katie Benzan led all scorers with 19 points alongside six assists while Destiny Nunley posted a double-double on 17 points and 12 rebounds. Jeannie Boehm and Madeline Raster added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Next, Brown plays at Dartmouth on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 4:00 p.m. (ILDN).
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.