NEW YORK – Paced by Sophie Beutel's (Toronto, Ont.) career-high 11 points and Lauren Clarke's (Colts Neck, N.J.) 23 points, the Brown women's basketball team (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) snapped a four-game losing skid with a 79-57 win over Columbia (4-14, 1-3 Ivy) on Saturday night.
Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, Mass.) chipped in with 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from long distance to raise her three-point field goal percentage to 51.3 this season. Brown shot a sizzling 49.1-percent from the field and connected on 9-of-19 attempts from long range (.474).
Tori Oliver led the Lions with 21 points on 13-of-14 attempts from the charity stripe and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds while Taylor Ward checked in with 10 points and three assists.
The Bears got the start they were looking for on Saturday night as they jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead on the strength of treys from Clarke and Bikofsky. The Lions responded with seven straight points before Brown embarked on a 12-3 run to extend its lead to 20-10.
Coach Jean Marie Burr went with a modified starting five on Saturday and it paid off as Jordin Juker (Boise, Idaho) and Natalie Ball (Orlando, Fla.) gave the Bears solid contributions in the first half. Ball chipped in with seven points and gave Brown a strong presence on the glass, pulling in four rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. She finished with nine points and six rebounds total in 26 minutes of action.
The teams traded baskets down the stretch of the opening half as Clarke led the way with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting while Bikofsky added six points on two treys.
Regaining some of their range from earlier this season, the Bears opened the half on a 16-6 run to extend their lead to 47-28 with just over 12 minutes to play. Sophie Beutel led an active Bears defense on Saturday as she recorded two steals while the team combined for 13 steals overall.
Bikofsky and Clarke generated much of their offense in the second half as they each deposited 12 points while Beutel added eight, including a layup at the 11:31 mark to give Brown its biggest lead of the night at 23.
Columbia couldn't draw much closer as a stout Bears defense held the Lions in check, allowing just a 31.4-percent success rate from the field. With the win, Brown improves to 38-17 in the all-time series and 18-10 at Levien Gym dating back to 1987.
Harvard and Dartmouth will visit the Pizzitola Sports Center next weekend as Brown returns home after a 1-2 road trip.