NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Sophomore guard Justine Gaziano scored 22 points, junior guard Taylor Will netted 21 points, and Brown University women's basketball defeated Central Connecticut State University, 78-55, on Thursday night at Detrick Gymnasium in its first road game of the season.
The Bears (2-0) opened the game with a 23-0 lead and later used a 24-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to pull away from the Blue Devils (0-3) after the hosts came within eight points midway through the third stanza.
Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) scored over 20 points for the second straight game to open the year and for the eighth time in her career. She made 9-of-17 field goals and added five rebounds.
Will (Arlington Heights, Ill.) posted her fourth career 20-point game on 8-of-11 shooting and tied her career high for the second consecutive night with seven rebounds to go with four assists.
Junior guard Shayna Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) tallied 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals, and senior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) totaled nine points, a game-high eight rebounds, and four blocks. Junior forward Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) added seven rebounds and a career-high five assists.
For the game, Brown held CCSU to 30.6-percent shooting (22-of-72). The Bears out-rebounded the Blue Devils, 55-41, including 20 offensive rebounds.
The Bears opened the game on a 23-0 run over the opening 7:15. Will led the team during the run with 10 points while Gaziano netted seven points. Brown jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes, took a 20-point lead with 3:38 to go in the first, and did not allow a point until the 2:36 mark of the period. Brown held CCSU to 15.0-percent shooting in the stanza and led 23-7 at the end of one.
Brown started the second quarter with 10 straight points, pulling ahead 33-7 with 5:50 remaining until halftime for its largest lead of the half. Mehta and White each scored four points during the burst. The Blue Devils responded with an 11-0 run, cutting their deficit to 33-18 with 2:40 left in the half. White canned a 3-pointer to end the frame as Brown led 36-18 at the break.
After the hosts used a 10-0 run to slice their deficit to 36-28 at the 5:55 mark of the third quarter, the Bears outscored the Blue Devils 13-4 over the rest of the frame to re-gain a 49-32 edge. Will converted three baskets, and junior forward Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine) connected on a pair of jumpers to catalyze the run.
The Bears extended their edge to 60-34 with 7:58 left, completing a 24-6 run that included a wing 3-pointer from Mehta. A 3-pointer from Will made the score 69-40 with 5:35 left before a 3-pointer from senior guard Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) and a basket from freshman guard Savannah Lewis (Westlake Village, Calif.) sealed the win.
For CCSU, Andi Lydon scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting and tied for the game high with eight rebounds.
Next, Brown hosts No. 20 California on Sunday at noon at the Pizzitola Sports Center, marking the team's first-ever home game against a Pac-12 opponent and second-ever contest against a Pac-12 foe overall.
Brown improved to 8-6 all-time vs. CCSU. The Bears have won six of the last seven meetings … Shayna Mehta, Justine Gaziano, and Taylor Will scored in double figures for the 45th, 23rd, and 22nd times in their respective careers … Gaziano has scored 22.5 points per game to open the year … Freshman Savannah Lewis made her collegiate debut.
Video of all Brown women's basketball home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Network.
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.