WORCESTER, Mass. – The Brown University women's basketball team (5-8) dropped a 83-66 decision to the Holy Cross Crusaders (8-7) during the second annual "Get Fit with the Crusaders Day" on Tuesday afternoon at the Hart Center.
Junior point guard Lauren Clarke led Brown in scoring for the second straight game with a team-high 16 points, followed by freshman Natalie Ball's career-high 11 points. Sophomore guard Sophie Bikofsky grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Bears on the boards, as freshman Natalie Ball grabbed five.
Holy Cross' leading scorer Alex Smith paced the Crusader offense with a game-high 20 points and senior forward Amy Lepley went 4-of-6 from the floor in scoring 13 points for the Crusaders.
Junior guard Lindsay Nickel tossed in nine points on three treys to open the game, giving Brown a 12-2 lead in the first three minutes. Nickel went down with an injury, however, and was out for the remainder of the game, allowing the Crusaders to fight back with a 10-3 run of their own over the next three minutes, cutting their deficit to three, 15-12, at the 13:54 mark.
Just five minutes later, junior guard Brisje Malone added a lay-up at 8:13 and converted the free throw after the foul to even the score at 26-26. Clare Sullivan followed with a jumper to give Holy Cross its first lead of the afternoon at 7:02.
The score was tied, 31-31, with 5:10 remaining, but Holy Cross closed out the half on an 8-1 run to extend its lead to 39-32 at the intermission.
The Crusaders started the second half on a 16-5 run to gain an 18-point advantage over the Bears at the 14:34 mark, 55-37. Holy Cross never looked back, building its largest lead of the night, 78-55, with less than five minutes to go in the game. A three-pointer by Clarke cut Brown's deficit to 17 at the 1:48 mark, but that was as close as Brown would come in the loss. The Crusaders shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and went 17-of-22 from the charity stripe.
The Bears finished the game with 45 percent shooting from the floor, and after 47 percent from beyond the three-point arc in the first half, Brown netted just 3-of-13 treys in the second half.
The Bears will now host NJIT on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in their final non-conference game of the 2012-13 season.