November 8, 2012

Brown Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Providence, R.I. - The Brown University women's basketball team begins its 39th season at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 10th, at the Pizzitola Sports Center against St. Peter's College. The Bears, who lost three players to graduation, return 11 letterwinners and welcome four newcomers to the 2012-13 roster.

In her 25th year as head coach, Jean Marie Burr was named the 2012 Cox Rhode Island Division I Women's Coach of the Year after leading her team to a 16-12 record and a fourth place finish in the Ivy League with a 7-7 mark. The Bears won the Brown Basketball Classic title with victories over in-state rivals Rhode Island and Providence College, and Burr hit a milestone last season, picking up her 300th career victory with a 74-50 win at Dartmouth on February 18th.

Senior co-captains Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY) and Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA), along with junior point guard Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) will lead the Bears' backcourt this season.

Dixon, the Cox Sports Rhode Island Division I Women's Player of the Year in 2012 and a second team All-Ivy selection, led the team in scoring and rebounding with 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Starting in all 28 games, Dixon scored in double figures in 19 of 28 games, recorded three double-doubles, and was named the team's Defensive MVP.

Clarke, a recipient of the team's Coaches Award, started in every game for the Bears and averaged 34 minutes on the floor. She contributed nine points per game and brought down 3.5 rebounds. Clarke also handed out a team-high 77 assists, which ranked sixth overall in the Ivy League.

Nickel, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward was third on the team in scoring with 9.6 points and second in rebounding at 5.0 per game. She shot 44 percent from the field and was 40 percent from beyond the arc. She was an All-Tournament team selection at the Brown Classic and scored in double figures in 13 games.

Also adding depth to the backcourt are returners Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA), sophomore Katie Mahoney (Colchester, CT) and Nelly Weledji (Overland Park, KS). Bikofsky, a recipient of the team's Most Improved Player award, shot 80 percent from the free throw line and was 38 percent from the floor. In addition, rookies Jordin Alexander (Fishers, IN) and Elise Sharpe (Tipp City, OH) will look to contribute immediately.

The Bears will look to senior co-captain Caroline King (Valencia, PA), junior Sophie Beutel (Toronto, ON), junior Jordin Juker (Boise, ID) and junior Maggie Smith (Lilburn, GA) to lead the frontcourt this season.

King, a 2011 recipient of Brown University's Bessie H. Rudd award, competed in just 11 games last season due to injury. During the 2010-11 season, King saw action in 23 games and received the team's Hustle Award. She pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in a victory over Dartmouth, and shot 33 percent from the floor.

Beutel, who competed in 23 games for the team last season, averaging 12 minutes per game, earned the team's Sixth Player Award at the conclusion of the year. With her improvements made during her first two years, she will be relied on heavily to contribute on both ends of the floor.

Smith and Juker combined for 51 games on the floor last season and provided the Bears a spark when needed. Juker earned the team's Hustle Award for consistently being one of the hardest working players on the floor

Also adding depth to the frontcourt will be newcomer Natalie Ball (Orlando, FL), Jessica Eason (Mansfield, MA), Maddy Page (Irvine CA) and Carly Wellington (Lake Oswego, OR).