Amherst, MA- The hot-shooting Minutewomen (1-6) were too much for the Brown women's basketball team (2-5) to handle, as the Bears fell 77-55 to UMass at the Mullins Center on Wednesday evening. Senior guard Cerie Mosgrove led the squad with 20 points, while sophomore forward Shakia Robinson put in 18 points.
The Minutewomen took advantage of the Bears slow start as senior point guard Megan Zullo and Robinson combined for 10 points to start the game to jump out to a 12-0 lead just four minutes into the contest.
With the help of three pointers by sophomore Sheila Dixon and junior Lindsay Steele, the Bears were able to cut their deficit to nine, 19-10, in the next three minutes of play. Then, sophomore Lindsay Nickel netted the next five points and Dixon picked up a steal at the top of arc and went the distance for a layup to come within six of UMass, 23-17, with 7:34 on the clock.
Junior captain Hannah Passafuime drove to the hoop and hit a jump shot in the paint, however, UMass followed with a 7-2 run to shoot ahead 30-19 with just three minutes remaining in the first half. Brown buckled down on defense in the final minutes few minutes and shutdown the Minutewomen offense to outscore UMass 6-2 to head into halftime with a 34-25 deficit.
Mosgrove led the UMass attack with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor, while senior forward Stephanie Lawrence pulled down seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. Brown's Lindsay Nickel threw in seven points to lead the offense and Dixon added five.
The Bears opened up the second half with back-to-back three pointers by freshman Lauren Clarke and Hannah Passafuime, but UMass tallied 12 points in the first four minutes to take a 46-33 lead by the first media timeout. Steele hit her second trey of the game at the 15:07 mark and a UMass turnover led to two made free throws by Clarke to cut Brown's deficit to 47-38.
A Dixon three pointer ended a 9-0 UMass run to put the score at 56-43 with just over ten minutes remaining in the game, but the Minutewomen continued to roll as Dee Montgomery, Mosgrove and Robinson combined for 10 points to gain a 64-46 lead with 6:50 on the clock. UMass continued to penetrate the Bears' defense while also hitting free throws toward the end of the game to gain a 78-55 advantage to earn the victory.
Dixon led Brown with 12 points and five rebounds, as Nickel and Clarke both added 11 points. The Bears shot just 28 percent from both the field and three-point range, but went 11-of-14 from the free throw line. Rookies Jordin Juker and Sophie Buetel pulled down a team-high six rebounds each to lead Brown on the boards.
UMass finished shooting 51 percent from the field and made 7-of-17 three pointers for 41 percent.
The Bears are back in action this weekend when it hosts its annual Brown BEAR Basketball Classic. The Bears will challenge Providence College at 7 p.m. on Friday night, and will then play Florida at 2 p.m. on Sunday. On Saturday, PC will match up against Florida at 4:00 p.m.