Gaziano, Mehta Propel Women’s Basketball Past Cornell, 85-59

Gaziano, Mehta Propel Women’s Basketball Past Cornell, 85-59

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore guard Justine Gaziano scored a season-high 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting, and junior guard Shayna Mehta netted 28 points on 9-of-12 shooting to propel Brown University women's basketball to an 85-59 win over Cornell University on Saturday evening at the Pizzitola Sports Center.

In their regular season home finale, the Bears (15-10, 3-9 Ivy) jumped out to a 20-2 lead and built an advantage as large as 33 points early in the fourth quarter on their way to the victory over the visiting Big Red (6-19, 2-10 Ivy) on Senior Day.

Gaziano posted her 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, 4-of-4 shooting from behind the arc, and 6-of-6 free throws. She scored 30 or more points for the first time this season and for the third time in her career.

Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) tallied her 28 points – her season high in Ivy play – on 9-of-12 field goals, 4-of-5 triples, and 6-of-8 free throws. She moved into ninth place on Brown's all-time scoring list with 1,260 career points, passing Nyema Mitchell '04.

Senior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) totaled eight points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. With her four blocks, she now has 76 blocks on the season – the second most in a single-season in school history – and 201 for her career, becoming the ninth student-athlete in Ivy League history with 200 or more career blocks.

Junior forward Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) registered 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting with four rebounds, and senior guard Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) dished out five assists with just one turnover.

For the game, Brown shot a season-best 57.8 percent from the floor on 26-of-45 field goals and connected on 9-of-18 shots from behind the arc. The Bears limited Cornell to 26.2-percent shooting (17-of-65) from the field and 6.3-percent shooting (1-of-16) from distance.

Prior to the game, Brown recognized senior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.), senior guard Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.), and senior manager Oliver Fox (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) for their hard work and dedication to the program.

The Bears scored the game's first eight points and jumped out to a 20-2 lead with 2:51 to go in the first quarter. During the 20-2 run, Mehta netted 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting while the Bears hit 8-of-11 field goals as a team. Brown led 20-5 at the end of the first quarter and held Cornell to 2-of-15 shooting (13.3 percent).

A pair of baskets from Gaziano and a jumper from Reilly kept Brown up 26-7 early in the second quarter. Buckets in transition from White and Gaziano helped stake Brown to a 32-11 edge with 4:23 to go until halftime. A wing 3-pointer from Gaziano with 22 seconds left in the half gave Brown a 39-22 advantage at the intermission.

In the first half, Brown made 15-of-25 field goals (60.0 percent) and held a 15-2 edge in fast break points. The Bears limited Cornell to 6-of-32 shooting (18.8 percent) and 0-of-9 shooting from 3-point distance in the opening 20 minutes.

In the third quarter, the Bears used a 9-0 burst to pull ahead 51-28 at the 5:26 mark behind five points from Steeves and a layup from freshman guard Dominique Leonidas (Stone Mountain, Ga.). In in the final 1:50 of the stanza, Gaziano hit two 3-pointers alongside a layup, and Mehta canned a trey to push Brown ahead 69-40 heading to the fourth quarter.

A triple from Mehta and free throw from White gave Brown a 33-point lead – its largest – at 75-42 with 8:57 to play. Gaziano and Mehta each converted a 3-pointer later in the quarter, and sophomore center Lames ElGammal (Baldwin, N.Y.) netted two free throws for Brown's final points.

For Cornell, Samantha Clement scored 11 points, and Samantha Widmann added eight points and six rebounds.

Next, Brown closes its regular season with Ivy League road games at Princeton on Friday, Mar. 2 at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3/ILN) and at Penn on Saturday, Mar. 3 at 6:00 p.m. (ILN). 

Game Notes:
Brown improved to 52-26 all-time vs. Cornell. The Bears' seniors went 5-3 against the Big Red … Brown eclipsed the 80-point plateau for the 11th time this season … The Bears proved efficient from the floor, posting a season high in field goal percentage (57.8) and a season low for field goal attempts (45) … Justine Gaziano and Shayna Mehta both averaged 25.0 points per game for the weekend. Gaziano shot 17-of-23 (.739) from the floor, 5-of-5 from distance, and 11-of-11 at the charity stripe between the two games … Gaziano scored over 20 points for the 12th time this year and 18th time in her career. Mehta netted over 20 points for the ninth time this season and 22nd career time … Mehta now has 70 made 3-pointers on the year and 194 career made treys … Janie White now ranks eighth in Ivy League history with 201 career blocks.

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.