February 4, 2006

Bears Hand Princeton First Ivy League Loss, 49-47

Feb. 4, 2006

Box Score

Providence, RI - Brown and Princeton have a history of playing close games and Saturday's game at the Pizzitola Center was no exception as the Bears hung on for a 49-47 win. With the victory, Brown moves into second place in the Ivy standing behind undefeated Dartmouth with a 5-1 Ivy mark. The loss for Princeton snapped a seven game win streak as it entered the game undefeated in the League with a 4-0 record.

Senior Colleen Kelly led Brown with 13 points while senior Jackie Vocell chipped in with ten. Senior Sarah Hayes finished with nine points, ten rebounds and five steals.

Up by 13, 45-32, with 12:21 left to play, Princeton made it a two-point contest, 45-43, by the 8:09 mark with an 11-0 run. The game then came to an absolute stand-still as neither team scored for the next four minutes of play.

Hayes finally ended the drought with a jumper at the 4:09 mark, giving Brown a four-point edge, 47-43. A little over a minute later, Kelly threaded a perfect pass to Hayes for an easy lay-up to push the lead up to six, 49-43.

Senior Becky Brown, who owns the fifth best shooting percentage in the country, got Princeton back to within four while sophomore Meagan Cowher, daughter of Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher, made it a two-point game, 49-47, with 1:29 on the clock.

With a chance to take a four-point lead, sophomore Annesley O'Neal stepped to the line for a pair of free throws after taking the ball strong to the hoop with one minute left to play. O'Neal ended up missing both free throws but Hayes came up huge when she coughed up the offensive rebound, allowing Brown to milk more time off the clock.

Kelly's lay-up with 37 seconds left rimmed out and Brown pulled down the rebound to give Princeton the ball with 37 seconds left and a chance to win or tie. With 18 seconds on the clock, Casey Lockwood's jumper fell short but the Tigers were able to maintain possession and get the ball inside to Brown with three seconds left.

Time seemed to freeze at the Pizzitola Center as the whistle was blown for a foul while Brown went up for a lay-up. Luckily for the Bears, Brown's shot rolled off the rim, forcing Princeton to try and tie the game at the free throw line. A 58 percent shooter at the line, Brown succumbed to the pressure, missing both free throws.

From the start, it was a very physical battle as Brown worked overtime on the offensive glass, getting five offensive boards in the first four minutes of the game. The team struggled, however, to cash in on its second chance opportunities as it started off shooting just 22 percent.

By the eight minute mark of the first half the teams split for just 24 points with the Bears making only four of 21 attempts despite hauling in ten offensive rebounds, while the Tigers got off just 12 shots.

Brown was finally able to get things going with an offensive put-back by sophomore Annesley O'Neal followed by a three by Kelly to give the Bears a 17-12 lead. Another three by Kelly pushed Brown out to a 21-14 lead by the 5:14 mark while a 9-0 run gave the Bears a 32-18 lead at the half.

For the game, Brown out-rebounded Princeton by a 40-30 margin, with the Bears registering 22 offensive boards. Freshman Catherine Schaper hauled in a season-high nine rebounds while Kelly and junior Lena McAfee added five each as well.

Brown will travel to Cornell and Columbia next weekend, looking to catch up to Dartmouth in the Ivy standings.