December 31, 2005

Bears Close Out 2005 with 67-55 Victory Over Alabama State

Dec. 31, 2005

Box Score

Atlanta, GA - The Brown women's basketball team closed out 2005 on a positive note, earning a 67-55 victory over Alabama State in the consolation game of the Georgia Tech/Atlanta Marriott NW Holiday Invitational. Senior Colleen Kelly lead the way once again for the Bears with 20 points, including two key buckets in the waning minutes of the game. Senior Sarah Hayes added 15 points in the win, Brown's fourth of the season as it improves to 4-6.

Both teams got off to slow starts with Brown struggling from long range and Alabama State having difficulties keeping control of the ball. A three by Rhonda Brown gave Alabama State a 12-9 lead at the 11:56 as it went on to grab a 15-9 lead by the midway point.

The Bears took their first lead of the game, 17-15, since the early going with a pair of free throws by sophomore Annesley O'Neal, who earned her first career start in her home state of Georgia. The freebies capped off an 8-0 drive for Brown, which started in similar fashion with another pair of free throws by O'Neal.

After Alabama State retook the lead with four unanswered points, Brown responded with a 12-3 run to close out the half. A lay-up followed by a three pointer by Kelly with under a minute to play, pushed the Bears out to a 29-22 lead at the half.

Hayes led all players with nine first half points, including four during the 12-3 spurt. Both Hayes and Kelly recorded four steals as Brown totaled 12 in the half. Both team shot just 30 percent from the field as the Hornets were led by Latille Ross's five points.

Brown continued its run into the second half as Kelly drilled a three to open the half, extending the lead to ten, 32-22. The Hornets exploded with a 10-0 run spanning 1:56 to tie the game up at 34 all with 15:00 minutes left to go.

Kelly continued her key three-point shooting as she nailed another to give the Bears a slim 39-34 lead by the 13:46 mark. A free throw followed by a jumper in the corner by freshman Jaclyn Goldbarg extended Brown's lead to six, 42-36.

Heading into the final stretch, the Bears clung to a five point lead, 54-49. Timely free throw shooting by Hayes and junior Katie Barr extended Brown out to a 58-51 lead by the 3:55 mark while another three point bomb by Kelly, her third of the game, pushed the lead to eight soon after. Feeling the hot hand, she knocked down a long range two off a nice ball fake, upping the advantage to ten.

Forced to foul, the Hornets forced the Bears to ice the victory with free throws as they walked away with the 67-55 win.

Brown will return home to face Maine on Saturday at 2 p.m. before opening up Ivy League play at Yale the following Saturday.