Gaziano Scores 25, Women’s Basketball Falls Late at Cornell, 70-68

Gaziano Scores 25, Women’s Basketball Falls Late at Cornell, 70-68

ITHACA, N.Y. – Sophomore guard Justine Gaziano scored a game-high 25 points and tied the game on a 3-pointer with under a minute to play, but Cornell University scored the game winning basket with just over a second to go to take a 70-68 decision over Brown University women's basketball at Newman Arena on Friday night.

The Bears (13-7, 1-6 Ivy) tied the game at 68-68 on a 3-pointer from Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) with 52.4 seconds left, but a layup from Cornell's Samantha Widmann with 1.2 seconds remaining lifted the host Big Red (6-14, 2-5 Ivy) to the win.

Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) netted her 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, 5-of-5 shooting from behind the arc, and 4-of-4 free throws. She scored over 20 points for the ninth time this season and tallied 25 or more points for the second time in her last four games.

Senior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) posted her fifth double-double of the season on 14 points and 13 rebounds alongside four assists and three blocks. She made 6-of-13 field goals.

Junior guard Shayna Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) netted 13 points with three assists while junior forward Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

A conventional 3-point play from Mehta and 3-pointers from Steeves and Gaziano knotted the score at 57-57 with 8:24 to play. A 6-0 run, including four points from Mehta pushed Brown ahead 63-59 with 4:11 to go. Cornell responded, taking a 64-63 lead prior to a layup from White that gave Brown a 65-64 edge with 1:49 left.

The Big Red pulled ahead 68-65 before Gaziano netted her 3-pointer to tie it at 68-68 with 52.4 seconds on the clock. Brown forced a turnover on the next possession, but the Big Red secured the rebound on the next play, and Widmann followed with the go-ahead layup.

In the fourth quarter, Brown made 8-of-13 field goals and 3-of-4 treys while Cornell connected on 6-of-14 field goals and 3-of-4 triples.

Brown connected on 4-of-4 shots from 3-point distance to open the game with Gaziano hitting a trio of treys and Mehta making a triple to keep Brown within 15-14 at the 5:14 mark of the first quarter. Four straight points from Gaziano gave Brown a 19-18 edge before Cornell grabbed a 23-19 lead at the end of the frame.

A layup from Gaziano, four points from White, and a second-chance basket from Steeves knotted the score at 27-27 with 5:58 to go in the second quarter. The Bears closed the half on a 7-0 run, including a 3-point play from Mehta and four points from Gaziano to take a 34-31 advantage at the break. Brown held Cornell to eight points on 4-of-15 shooting in the second quarter.

Layups from senior guard Megan Reilly (Norwood, N.J.) and White completed an 11-0 run for Brown as the Bears took a 38-31 lead early in the third quarter. Baskets from freshman guard McKenna Dale (Storrs, Conn.) and White kept Brown in the lead, 46-42, before Cornell used a 7-0 streak to pull ahead 49-46. Cornell led 51-48 entering the fourth quarter.

For Cornell, Widmann posted team highs for points (21) and rebounds (nine). Christine Ehland totaled 15 points and eight boards, Janee Dennis netted 13 points, and Danielle Jorgensen compiled 12 points, five assists, and five steals.

Next, Brown plays at Columbia tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6:00 p.m. (ILN).

Video of all Brown women's basketball home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku, and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices.

Tickets for all Brown women's basketball games can be purchased online, by calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or by walking up to the box office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.