Providence, R.I. – Rider's Sironda Chambers lit up for a career-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor to lead the Broncs (3-3) to a 57-47 victory over the Brown women's basketball team (2-5) in the first game of the Brown Basketball Classic on Saturday.
Junior point guard Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) led Brown in scoring for the third consecutive game adding 15 points and six rebounds, and was followed by senior captain Lindsay Nickel (Los Altos, CA) with seven points and five boards. Sophomore guard Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, MA) led Brown's rebounding effort, pulling down a career-high 10 boards.
"We just need to be more aggressive and play through our options on offense because we have a lot of scoring threats, but we need to build on that chemistry against pressure," said Head Coach Jean Marie Burr. "I was really happy to see Sophie (Bikofsky) on the boards, and the aggressive play defensively keeping them off the boards."
Despite 15 first-half turnovers by the Bears that Rider turned into 11 points, Brown ran out to a 30-24 halftime lead on 50 percent shooting (9-18) from the floor, while holding Rider to a dismal 27 percent (9-33). Brown also out-rebounded the Broncs, 21-15.
Rider came out of the intermission fired up, and started the second half on a 9-2 run. Free throws by Mikal Johnson brought the Broncs within one, and a Caitlin Bopp layup put Rider on top, 33-32, with 16:42 remaining.
With the score deadlocked at 36-36 with just under 15 minutes on the clock, Rider went on a 17-3 run to boast a 14-point lead with 5:26 to go. The Broncs would allow Brown to just eight points in the final minutes, and secured a 57-47 victory to earn a spot in the Brown Classic's Championship game tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Rider shot 41 percent from the field (12-29) in the second half (12-29) and held Brown to 17 percent (4-24). The Broncs had 20 more shot attempts than Brown, 62-42, as Brown converted just four in the final 20 minutes. Brown dominated on the boards, 46-32, and made 16-of-25 free throws.
Caitlin Bopp helped out the Rider offense with a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and MyNeshia McKenzie added eight points and six boards.
The Bears will now take on the loser of the New Hampshire-Quinnipiac game tomorrow at 4 p.m., as Rider advanced into the championship at 4 p.m. against the winner.