February 13, 2004

Women's Hoops Gives Harvard All It Can Handle In Front of Record Crowd

Feb. 13, 2004

Box Score

Providence, RI - The Brown University women's basketball team took two-time defending Ivy League Champion Harvard down to the wire in front of a record-setting crowd at the Pizzitola Center on Friday night. The Bears held the lead, including a eight point advantage at the half, for a good portion of the game but the Crimson caught fire in the final 15 minutes to pick up a 70-64 win.

A new school record was set as 1,989 fans cheered the Bears on in the game, which was televised nationally by the YES Network. The previous record of 1,832 stood for 13 years. Senior Nyema Mitchell led Brown with 26 points, tying her career-high, and seven rebounds. She shot a sizzling 11-13 from the field. Brown falls to 10-10 and 3-4 in Ivy play on the season.

The game went back and forth in the opening minutes with the lead changing hands ten times before Brown put together a 13-4 run to close out the half up by eight, 34-26. Second chance points fueled the drive as Brown was able to beat Harvard the punch on the boards.

The rally started with junior Holly Robertson (Cochrane, Alberta) converting off a missed shot to put the Bears up 23-22. Sophomore Colleen Kelly (Rochester, NY) returned to the line-up and knocked in two of her seven to put the Bears up by three shortly after.

Sophomore Sarah Hayes was relentless on the boards as she continued the Brown drive with a put back under the basket. Hayes finished the game with five rebounds, including four offensive.

Hayes hit nothing put net on a jumper from the near corner to put Brown back up by five after Harvard hit two free throws on its previous possession. Harvard's Hana Peljto, the second leading scorer in the nation, hit the Crimson's lone field goal in the final eight minutes of the half at the other end of the court.

Brown came right back though as Kelly hit a huge three-pointer to push the lead to six, 32-26.Senior Tanara Golston (Evanston, IL) closed out the half with a spectacular spin move to the paint, giving Brown an eight point lead going into the half.

Brown maintained the momentum with the crowd behind it as it pressed its lead to ten on a jumper by Mitchell in the opening minutes of the second half. Harvard then cut the lead down to six but the Bears sprung the lead back to ten on four straight free throws by Robertson.

The Crimson showed why they are the number one offensive team in the league by putting up ten points in just two minutes, quickly chopping Brown's lead to two with 13:05 left on the clock. Peltjo gave Harvard its first lead since the first half on its next possession, draining a deep three.

The one-two punch of Peljto and Reka Cserny, who average a combined 42 points a game, bolted Harvard to a ten-point lead by the 8:35 mark. Brown didn't let up though as Mitchell responded with a big three point play followed by put back to bring the Bears to within five.

Hayes made it a two-point game with two key free throws with 1:47 left but Harvard continued its hot shooting, nailing a jumper deep in the corner to regain a five point lead. Mitchell swung it back to a three-point game next time up the court but once again the Crimson flourished under the pressure, draining a jumper from the circle to put the game away.

Hayes finished the game with 15 points while Robertson chipped in with 12 along with seven rebounds. Golston dished out six assists. The Bears forced 24 Harvard turnovers compared their 16. Harvard shot nearly 50 percent from the field and had nine treys on the night while Brown shot 41 percent.

Brown will battle Dartmouth tomorrow night at the Pizzitola Center at 7 p.m.