Mehta, Gaziano Eclipse 20 Points, Women’s Hoops Falls to Columbia, 90-74

Mehta, Gaziano Eclipse 20 Points, Women’s Hoops Falls to Columbia, 90-74

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior guard Shayna Mehta scored 22 points with five made 3-pointers, and sophomore guard Justine Gaziano netted 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, but Brown University women's basketball fell to Columbia University, 90-74, on Friday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

The Bears (14-10, 2-9 Ivy) pulled within 70-64 with 9:05 left and 74-67 with 6:37 remaining before the visiting Lions (8-18, 2-9 Ivy) held off the hosts' rally. The two teams split the season series after Brown beat Columbia, 84-80, on Feb. 10.

Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) moved into 10th place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,232 career points, passing Margaret Fuchs '91. She now has 66 made 3-pointers this season – the third most in a single season in program history. She scored over 20 points for the eighth time this season and the 21st time in her career.

Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) posted her 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, 1-of-1 shooting from 3-point distance, and 5-of-5 free throws. She eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 11th time this year and 17th time in her career, while adding five rebounds.

Freshman guard Dominique Leonidas (Stone Mountain, Ga.) totaled eight points, a team-high five assists, and four rebounds, junior forward Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) netted eight points, and senior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) compiled six points, five boards, and two blocks.

For the game, Columbia shot 35-of-70 (50 percent) from the floor and 11-of-22 (50 percent) from 3-point territory, while holding a 43-32 rebounding advantage. Brown hit 27-of-64 field goals (42.2 percent) and 7-of-21 triples (33.3 percent).

For Columbia, Camille Zimmerman tallied game highs for points (23), rebounds (16), and assists (six). Imani Whittington (17 points), Paige Tippet (13), Madison Pack (12), and Janiya Clemmons (12) rounded out the Lions' five double-figure scorers.

Neither side held a lead larger than four points in the first quarter as Columbia took a 22-20 edge at the end of one. A 3-pointer in transition from Mehta cut the Lions' margin to 10-9, and her second 3-pointer of the quarter pushed Brown ahead 16-14. A baseline jumper from White gave Brown a 20-19 lead before the visitors hit a trey to close the frame.

A layup from White tied the score at 24-24 before the Lions used a 7-0 streak to pull ahead 31-24. A reverse layup from freshman guard McKenna Dale (Storrs, Conn.), 3-point play from Gaziano, and triple from Gaziano brought Brown within 37-36 with 3:54 remaining in the half. A second-chance basket from junior forward Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine) helped Brown stay within 45-39 of the Lions at the break.

The Lions claimed a 50-39 lead early in the third quarter, capping an 11-1 run. After jumpers from Steeves and White sliced the margin to 50-45, Columbia answered with a 9-0 burst, pulling ahead 59-45 with 5:29 to go in the stanza. A pair of 3-pointers from Mehta helped Brown remain within 70-59 heading to the fourth quarter.

A basket from Gaziano and wing 3-pointer from senior guard Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) cut the difference to 70-64 with 9:05 to play, but Brown could pull no closer the rest of the way. Another bucket from Gaziano made it 74-67 with 6:37 left, and a 3-pointer from Mehta put the score at 80-70 before the Lions closed out the contest.

Next, Brown hosts Cornell tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 24, at 4:00 p.m. (myRITV/ILN) for Senior Day in its final regular season home game at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

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, now available on Apple TV, Roku, and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices.

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.