February 19, 2005

Bears Falter In Final Seconds Against Princeton

Feb. 19, 2005

Box Score

Princeton, NJ - The Brown women's basketball team (14-8, 7-3) fell on the losing side of a back and forth battle with Princeton on Saturday night as the Tigers scored the game-winning field goal with 20 seconds left in a 53-50 showdown at Jadwin Gym. Sophomore Katy Digovich's put-back lifted Princeton to a 51-50 lead after junior Sarah Hayes had given Brown a one-point lead with a pair of free throws. Digovich iced the win with two free throws in the final seconds, handing Brown its third league loss of the season. Senior Holly Robertson scored a season-high 24 points on 9-13 shooting in the loss.

The start of the game was a back and forth battle before the Tigers went on the attack, registering eight unanswered points to grab hold of a 22-13 lead by the 8:26 mark. A jumper in the key by Hayes ended the Bears drought and kick started a 5-0 drive. McAfee, who has been red-hot from long range as of late, drilled one from downtown to cut Princeton's lead down to four, 22-18, with 5:58 showing on the clock.

A nice look from Lauren Nestor to Casey Lockwood underneath gave the Tigers a six point lead, 25-18, but Robertson answered back at the other end to swing the lead back down to four heading down the stretch.

A hook by Robertson in the post held the Tigers lead to four, 27-23, with 1:43 left in the half as Princeton shot three straight air balls on their own end. Reminiscent of last night's performance, Robertson continued to chip away at the Tigers lead with another basket inside. Against Penn, the 6-5 center scored eight straight points in the closing minutes of the first half to help keep Brown in reach. Her bucket this time around with 27 seconds left brought the Bears to within two at halftime, 27-25.

For the second straight game Robertson tallied 16 first half points to lead all scorers. Ariel Rogers led Princeton with eight points, with half of them coming from the charity stripe. Brown dominated the glass in the half, out-rebounding the Tigers 21-13, including a 9-2 edge on the offensive end.

A ball fake by Hayes gave the Bears scoring leader an open look, tying the score at 29 all in the opening minutes of the half as she began to catch fire. Knocking in three straight shots, Hayes caught up to the Tigers with each play.

Another hook in the post by Robertson broke a long-standing deadlock but once again the two teams found themselves in another jam, 39 all, for over four minute of play. Princeton's Katie Digovich finally broke the dry spell with an offensive put back with 7:38 left to play in the game.

Katy O'Brien's third trey of the game gave the Tigers a 44-39 lead with 6:51 on the clock. The Bears went without a point for nearly seven minutes before Robertson put a much needed end to Brown's cold shooting at the 6:21 mark.

O'Brien hit another three to give the Tigers a six-point lead before Digovich extended the lead to eight, 49-41, with a put-back underneath with just 3:48 left until the final buzzer.

A pair of three throws by senior Andre Conrad, who made the game-winning free throw the last time the Bears faced the Tigers, cut the lead to six with 3:21 left. A turnover on the ensuing possession by the Tigers gave Brown the ball back and it took full advantage of it by nailing a three to come within three, 49-43. Kelly recorded the basket, her first basket of the game.

The key free throw shooting of Robertson made it a one-point contest, 49-48, with 2:31 left to play. Hayes made an incredible play on the other end, taking away a certain lay-up from the Tigers as she leap up in the way of a pass to a wide open Princeton player underneath the basket. As a result of the play Hayes was fouled and she calmly sank both free throws to give the Bears a one-point lead, 50-49, with 1:46 left.

Digovich continued her attack on the offensive glass with what proved to be the game-winning put-back with 20 seconds left in the game. She ensured the Princeton victory by giving the Tigers a three-point cushion with a pair of free throws in the waning seconds of the game despite not one but two last second three-point attempts by the Bears.

Junior Jackie Vocell had a decent look at the basket with the clock running out but her attempt fell just wide of the mark. With 1.7 seconds left, Hayes made a steal on the inbounds from deep in three-point territory but once again the shot just didn't fall for the Bears.

The key difference in the second half proved to be offensive rebounding as Princeton was able pull down ten more than the Bears, who now slip to third place in the Ivy standings behind Harvard, which sweep both of its games this weekend.

Brown will face the top two teams in the league in Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend at the Pizzitola Center. The Bears match-up with the Big Green on Friday will be televised locally by Cox Sports Television. On Saturday, the Bears will honor its two seniors (Conrad and Robertson) as the game will be the last home game of their Brown careers. In addition, Brown will be holding its annual Blitz The Pitz promotion, where all fans will receive a free t-shirt. Tickets for the game will be just $1.