Smithfield, RI- Freshman Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) lit up
for a career-high 19 points to lead the Brown women’s
basketball team to a 79-72 overtime victory against Bryant
University. The Bulldogs were looking to avenge a 64-62 loss to the
Bears during the 2008-09 season, but were unsuccessful as the Bears
picked up its second consecutive victory to improve to 2-2 on the
The Bears displayed a confident and patient offense throughout the first half and worked the ball inside and out to find good shots. Ten of 11 Bears added to the scoring in the first 20 minutes of play, as freshman Lindsay Nickel added six points on two-of-two shooting from the arc and Christina Johnson (Oakland, CA) also added six points with a lay-up and perfect shooting from the free throw line.
Despite Bryant gaining an immediate lead after the tip, the Bears bounced right back. Though the Bulldogs out-rebounded Brown 24-17 in the first half, the score was tied on two different occasions and the lead changed hands five times. It wasn’t until Johnson’s two free throws at the 4:40 mark gave Bruno a lead (21-19) that they would not relinquish. The Bears went on a 15-4 run in the final few minutes of the half to gain a 34-23 advantage heading into the break.
The Bulldogs weren’t going to go down without a fight, as Kristin Mraz netted eight points in the first five minutes to open the second half, but Brown’s offense was just as potent after the half. Sarah Delk, Nickel and Aileen Daniels (Waldwick, NJ) all added to the scoring to help Brown hold an 11 point lead.
However, the Bears went scoreless for nearly five minutes as Bryant cut its deficit to just seven. That was when Lindsay Steele (Erial, NJ) nailed a trey to push Brown’s lead back to 10 with 13:00 left on the clock. Bryant brought its deficit back to nine after Lekia Cowen hit a free throw, but Nickel hit her fourth three pointer of the night to extend Brown’s lead to 12 at the 8:47 mark.
Bryant’s Mraz hit her third trey of the night at the 7:09 mark to bring the score to 52-45 as Bryant would not go quietly. Then Brown’s defense got a bit lazy and began fouling, and the Bulldogs slowly began to chip away at their deficit. Brown’s Natalie Bonds fouled out of the game with 6:56 remaining in the period, sending Bennett to the line. Both Lekia Cowen and Kelsey O’Keefe hit treys to bring the Bulldogs within four. Sheila Dixon made one of two free throws at the 3:48 mark for Bruno, but Bryant answered right back with a three from Courtney Schermerhorn to come within two with just 2:51 on the clock.
A lay-up by O’Keefe tied the game at 60-60 with one minute remaining, but the Bears answered with a three by Nickel with 56 seconds on the clock. Bryant came right back with a three by Schermerhorn to even the score at 63-63, and forced Brown into a turnover to regain possession and head the other way. Courtney Lee’s great defense forced Bryant into a traveling violation, sending the game into overtime.
The Bears scored the first five points of overtime after a jumper from Passafuime in the corner, a free-throw by Lee and a put-back by Daniels on a missed free-throw, but Bryant brought its deficit back to two with 1:31 remaining in the first overtime.
Nickel nailed a jumper and Passafuime hit a three from the corner to give Brown a 75-70 lead, and a Bryant foul put Delk at the line with 28 seconds remaining. Delk made both and Passafuime sank two more to extend Brown’s lead to 79-72 and earn the win.
Passafuime netted seven points in the overtime period, and finished with 11 points and eight rebounds on the night. Johnson added 10 points in the win and handed out two assists and had five steals.
Leading Bryant was Lekia Cowen with 15 points and eight boards and Siamone Bennett and Courtney Schermerhorn put in 10 apiece.
The Bears will now travel to Long Island where the squad will compete in the LIU Turkey Classic. Brown is scheduled to play Long Island at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27 and then either Seton Hall or Georgia Tech the following afternoon.