Dec. 6, 2002
The Brown University Women's Basketball Team will host the Bank RI Brown Classic this weekend Saturday and Sunday December 7-8 at the Pizzitola Gymnasium. The tournament field features the Lafayette College Lions, the Drexel University Dragons, the University of Vermont Catamounts and the Bears.
Brown will face Lafayette in the first round of the tournament at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, which will be followed by a Drexel, Vermont match-up at 3:00 p.m. The consolation game will be played a 1:00 p.m. on Sunday with the Championship game following at 3:00 p.m.
Brown will face Lafayette for the fourth time, the Lions lead the series 2-1. The last contest between the two teams came during the '87-'88 season, the Lions defeated the Bears in the game 64-39. Brown has only played Vermont once throughout the 28 years of collegiate competition. The Bears fell to the Catamounts 81-69 in the contest which was during the '92-'93 season. The Bears have never faced the Drexel Dragons, this could be their first meeting if they meet up in the second round of the tournament.
The is the 11th year of the Brown Classic, where the Bears have won two of the last four tournaments, capturing second place six times and fourth place twice. . In the tournament's first year, Brown was joined by Vermont, Kent State and Villanova. The Bears beat Villanova 60-59, but took second at the Classic, losing to eventual NCAA qualifier Vermont, 81-69.
The following year, the field included Notre Dame, Wagner and Wisconsin. Brown downed Wagner, 76-48, in the opener, but once again fell in the championship game, as Notre Dame took home the title with a 58-54 win.
The 1994 Classic featured Davidson, Loyola College of Maryland, and UNC-Greensboro, and the Bears, who advanced to the title game with a 70-42 win over Davidson, fell to Loyola in the championship game. In 1995, Brown was defeated by Siena in the opening round, 72-60, while Mt. St. Mary's defeated Furman 72-66 to advance to the title game. In the consolation game, Furman took third with a 74-72 OT victory over the Bears, while Mt. St. Mary's claimed the title with a 76-69 win over Siena.
The last six tournaments have seen the likes of Texas A&M, Marshall, Bucknell, Indiana State, Canisius and Army, as well as several other schools, participate in the Brown Classic. Brown won its first title in 1998, defeating IUPUI 70-65 and Tulsa 79-65 to win its first championship. The Bears followed that up with a pair of wins over High Point and Howard in 1999 to claim their second straight title. Center Rachael MacDonald was named tournament MVP, while Rada Pavichevich was named to the All-Tournament team.
In the 2000-2001 Classic the Bears came in fourth, falling to Canisius 81-70 in the first round before losing to Butler 57-55 in the consolation game. Last season the Bears defeated Army 65-56 in the first round, but went on to fall to Texas A&M 75-65 in the championship game to capture second place.