Burlington, VT – Vermont's Niki Taylor scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead her squad to a 66-56 victory over the Brown women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at Patrick Gymnasium.
The Bears had two players score in double digits, with junior point guard Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) leading the way with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals. Sophomore guard Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA) added a career-high 16 points and pulled down five rebounds in Brown's loss, as the squad dropped to 1-2 on the year.
With 44 percent shooting from the field, including a 54 percent mark from beyond the arc, the Bears raced out to a 31-27 lead over the Catamounts in the first half. Bikofsky and Clarke combined for 22 points in the first 20 minutes of play, and helped the Bears build a 13-point lead with 7:53 remaining in the stanza.
Bikofsky drained back-to-back three pointers to give Brown an 11-4 lead just eight minutes into the game, and a jumper by senior captain Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY) made it 13-4 with 11:23 on the clock. Bikofsky netted her third of four treys at 7:53 to give Brown its largest lead of the night, 21-8, but Vermont rallied and went on a 15-7 run over the next five minutes to come within five, 28-23, of the Bears.
Bikofsky nailed her fourth trey to extend Brown's lead back up to eight with 1:25 remaining in the half, but a layup and two free throws by Niki Taylor with five seconds left brought Vermont within four at halftime.
Vermont picked up the defense in the second half and held Brown to 30 percent shooting from the floor and just 23 percent from the arc. The Catamounts also kept a close eye on Bikofsky, holding her to just four points in the final 20 minutes.
The Catamounts evened the score less than a minute into the second half, and gained their first lead of the night, 36-34, at the 16:17 mark after a layup by Tierra Shumpert. Taylor added a free throw to extend Vermont's lead to four, but Clarke hit two treys to knot the game at 40-40.
The game remained close over the next eight minutes, but Vermont began to pull away and gained a 12-point lead with 24 seconds left after a free throw by Shanai Heber.
Senior captain Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to cut Brown's deficit to 10, and that was as close as the Bears would come, as Vermont would capture the 66-56 win.
Dixon ended the night with seven points and two rebounds, while both Nickel and Ellise Sharpe (Tipp City, OH) added four points apiece.
Lauren Buschmann added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Catamounts, and Tierra Shumpert ended the night with nine points and three assists.
Vermont edged Brown in rebounds, 36-32, and shot 43 percent from the field for the game.
The Bears are back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 21, for a 7 p.m. game vs. the University of Rhode Island.