NEW YORK, N.Y. – Junior forward Janie White scored a career-high 18 points, sophomore guard Shayna Mehta totaled a double-double on 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Brown University women's basketball beat Columbia University 76-59, on Friday night at Levien Gymnasium.
Brown will meet Cornell tomorrow, Saturday, Mar. 4, at 5:00 p.m. (ILDN) with the winner earning the fourth and final berth into the inaugural Ivy League Tournament.
The Bears (15-11, 6-7 Ivy) outscored the Lions (13-13, 3-10 Ivy) 25-8 in the second quarter and 23-13 in the third quarter to overcome an early 21-15 deficit and to sweep the season series. Brown has swept the series in back-to-back years.
"I'm really proud of my kids. We've been playing really hard," Brown head coach Sarah Behn said. "We had some bench points tonight. That gave us a spark, and then we started to defend better after the first quarter. This was a great win, and we're just going one quarter at a time."
White (Clarksville, Tenn.) hit 7-of-10 field goals and 2-of-2 shots from 3-point distance as part of her career-best scoring effort along with four steals and three blocks. She scored in double figures for the first time this season and for the 15th time in her career.
Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) totaled her fourth double-double of the year while sophomore guard Taylor Will (Arlington Heights, Ill.) netted 14 points on 5-of-7 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws.
Sophomore forwards Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) and Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine), and freshman guard Justine Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) posted eight points apiece. Steeves grabbed six boards, Butler went 4-of-4 from the field, and Gaziano hit a pair of 3-pointers. Freshman guard Abby O'Keefe (St. Louis, Mo.) added seven points, knocking down two 3-poiinters.
Mehta scored in double figures for the 22nd time this season and has averaged 17.8 points per game in four career games against Columbia.
Will scored six points, including a steal and score, in the opening 4:23 to keep Brown within 9-8 of Columbia. A top of the key 3-pointer from Mehta brought Brown within 12-11, but the Lions maintained a 21-15 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Bears started the second stanza on a 12-2 run to gain a 27-23 advantage with 5:39 to play until halftime. Four different Bears scored during the run, which included a wing 3-pointer from O'Keefe. Brown used a 10-0 burst later in the frame behind a pair of triples from White and Gaziano to pull ahead 37-25. A conventional 3-point play from White helped give the Bears a 40-29 lead at the break.
Brown hit 4-of-4 shots from 3-point distance in the third quarter and outscored Columbia 23-13 to take a 63-42 edge into the fourth quarter. A pair of 3-pointers from Gaziano and O'Keefe gave Brown a 50-35 lead with 5:25 left in the frame. Another pair of treys from Steeves and White made it 56-37. A 3-point play and then an up-and-under move from White pushed Brown ahead 63-40 with 0:57 left in the period.
The visitors sealed the game in the fourth quarter behind four points apiece from Will and Butler.
For Columbia, Camille Zimmerman – the Ivy League's leading scorer – posted a double-double on 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Video of all Brown women's basketball home contests and all Ivy League games, home and away, will be broadcast live on ILDN.TV/BROWN.
Tickets for all Brown women's basketball games can be purchased online, by calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or by walking up to the box office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.