Dec. 29, 2003
Birmingham, AL - The Brown women's basketball team returned to the court on Monday, Dec. 29 in Alabama after a three week break, taking on the University of Alabama-Birmingham in its Lady Blazer Invitational. The Bears, trailing most of the game, made a late run in the second half, coming to within four but the Blazers were able to hold on for a 57-50 win.
Sophomore Colleen Kelly (Rochester, NY) led Brown with 13 points, including two treys. Kelly added a team-high three steals and four rebounds as well. Sophomore Sarah Hayes (Beaufort, SC) followed with a season-high 12 points on 6-10 shooting.
The trip to Birmingham was a homecoming for senior leading scorer Nyema Mitchell. She finished with six points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals as several family and friends looked on in the stands.
Brown struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 29 percent as UAB went into the locker room with a 34-24 advantage. Freshman Lena McAfee (Reston, VA) made her collegiate debut in the half, contributing two points off a rebound. Mitchell led the Bears with all six of her points coming in the first half. Hayes added six points as well.
Brown, down by as many as 14 in the second half, charged its way back in a matter of minutes late in the game. The Bears pressure defense forced three straight UAB turnovers and led to four quick points on breakaway lay-ups by Kelly and senior Tanara Golston (Evanston, IL).
Junior Holly Robertson (Cochrane, Alberta) made a huge defensive rebound next time up the court and followed it up with her marquee hook-shot to bring Brown to within five with 3:56 remaining. After two missed free throws by the Blazers, Golston went 1-2 from the line to bring the score to 51-47. Four points was as close as the Bears would get as UAB went on to score two straight buckets and added two free throws to pull back up by ten. Kelly added a late three point basket for the 57-50 final.
Despite the loss, the Bears defense continues to be strong as it forced 25 turnovers and allowed just 57 points. UAB was averaging 13 turnovers and 72 points a game coming into the match.
Brown will play the winner of the UT-Martin/San Diego State game tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the consolation match of the Lady Blazer Invitational.