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Providence, RI- In the final day of the Brown BEAR Basketball Classic, the Brown women's basketball team (3-6) earned a huge 56-50 victory over the visiting SEC's University of Florida (7-2) on Sunday afternoon at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Sophomore Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY) had a big game for Bruno, scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds to lead the squad to victory. Dixon, sophomore Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) and junior Hannah Passafuime (Soquel, CA) were all awarded a spot on the All-Tournament Team after the Bears earned a 1-1 record this weekend.
The Bears showed their resilience today after coming off a loss to Providence College in the opening round of the Brown BEAR Basketball Classic on Friday evening. However, Brown came out refreshed and ready to go, giving the Gators a game to remember.
Despite Florida jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes of play, the Bears roared back and brought themselves within one, 10-9, seven minutes into the game. Florida's Jennifer George scored a layup at the 12:17 mark to take a three-point lead and Ndidi Madu followed with a jumper at the 8:32 mark to take a 14-9 lead, but Bruno went on a 13-7 run to gain a 22-21 lead heading into the half.
It was after a Florida blocking call that Passafuime drained two free throws with 3:53 remaining in the first stanza that gave Brown its first lead of the night, 16-15, but Madu knocked in a jumper in the paint to regain the advantage. Then, Brown junior Lindsay Steele (Erial, NJ) sank back-to-back jump shots from the elbow to give the Bears a 20-19 lead with 2:36 left in the first. The teams exchanged baskets in the final two minutes, but the Bears were able to hold onto their lead heading into the intermission.
Brown continued to roll in the second half as Dixon started off the second period with a trey just 30 seconds in. However, Florida answered with a three of their own by Jordan Jones, but Nickel came down and netted one of her own to take a 30-26 lead. Dixon threw in another three-pointer to boost the team's lead to five, 33-28, which lead to a 30-second timeout called by Florida.
Florida came out and put on the full-court press, but Brown breezed by the pressure giving Dixon a jumper in the middle of the paint to gain a 35-28 advantage with 14:46 on the clock.
Florida crept back into the game as Deaundra Young scored back-to-back buckets to cut the Gators deficit to three (35-32), but Brown Head Coach Jean Marie Burr called a 30-second timeout to settle the squad down and regroup.
Both teams went nearly three minutes without scoring, but rookie Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) broke the silence with a layup at 10:27 to gain a five-point lead.
Florida's Azania Stewart hit a jumper in the paint, got fouled and converted the free throw to bring the Gators back within three, but Dixon hit her third three pointer of the night to take a 41-35 lead with 8:26 left on the clock.
A Nickel free throw pushed the score to 42-37, but Ndidi Madu answered with a layup down at the other end. But once again, Nickel came back down the court to hit her third trey of the game to take extend Bruno's lead to six.
Next, Clarke drained two free throws to give Brown's one of its biggest leads of the night, 47-39, with just under six minutes remaining, but Florida's Madu put in a layup to bring the team's deficit to six.
A Florida shot clock violation gave the Bears the ball back with 1:39 left in the game with a six-point lead, as Passafuime blew by the Gator defenders and threw in a layup with 1:12 on the clock.
Florida rushed back down the floor to lead to a Madu layup, but the Gators were forced to start fouling to try to chip away at its deficit. But Brown stayed calm under the pressure and made three out of four free throw attempts to take
Passafuime netted the first of two free throws before the Gators called a timeout with 23 seconds remaining in game giving Brown a 54-47 lead. Passafuime missed the second, and Dixon grabbed the rebound and put up a jumper that rimmed out, but the Bears were able to pull down a big rebound down at the other end and took a 56-47 lead with eight seconds left in the game. Florida's Lily Svete knocked down a three pointer in the final second of play, but the Bears were just too much for the Gators earning a 56-50 win.
In addition to Dixon's 15 points and seven rebounds, she handed out four assists and picked up three steals in 34 minutes today. Nickel had a solid game going 4-of-9 from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc to chip in with 14 points. She also brought down seven rebounds and handed out two assists. Passafuime was Brown's third player in double-digit scoring as she chipped in with 12 points, had two steals and two assists and four rebounds. She led the Bears from the free throw line going 5-of-6. The Bears shot nearly 40 percent from the field for the game, including a 46 percent effort in the second half.
Florida earned the rebounding battle grabbing 50 to Brown's 34, and went just 4-of-28 from the three connecting on just 14 percent. The Gators shot 30 percent from the field, as two Gators earned double-doubles today. Madu finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Young knocked in 10 points and brought down 10 boards
The Bears are back in action this Wednesday at the Pizzitola Sports Center when they take on the Rhode Island Rams at 7:00 p.m. The game on Wednesday is Brown's last game before the Hawk Holiday Classic at Monmouth from Dec. 29-30.
Brown BEAR Classic All-Tournament Team:
Rachel Barnes, Junior
Mi-Khida Hankins, Senior
Sheila Dixon, Sophomore
Lindsay Nickel, Sophomore
Hannah Passafuime, Junior