GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sophomore guard Shayna Mehta scored 24 points, but Brown University women's basketball fell to UNC Greensboro, 87-84, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Women's Basketball Invitational at Fleming Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
The Bears (17-13) held a lead as large as 14 points in the third quarter and maintained a 73-69 edge with 4:26 to play, but the host Spartans (19-14) rallied to take an 85-78 lead with 17 seconds left and held on for the win.
Mehta (San Francisco, Calif.) scored over 20 points for the third time in the last four games, for the fifth time in the last eight, and for the eighth time overall this year. She tied her career high with six assists, came up with four steals, and hit 4-of-10 shots from 3-point distance.
Sophomore forward Erika Steeves (Montreal, Quebec) tallied 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds while junior forward Janie White (Clarksville, Tenn.) totaled 15 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman guard Justine Gaziano (Natick, Mass.) netted 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting for her 21st contest in double figures in 24 games played this year, and sophomore guard Taylor Will (Arlington Heights, Ill.) added nine points and four assists.
For UNCG, Bailey Williams scored a game-high 27 points with six assists, Nadine Soliman netted 19 points, Alexus Willey scored 13 points, and Te'ja Twitty tallied 12 points and eight rebounds.
Making its second-ever appearance in a national postseason tournament, Brown finished the year with 17 wins, its most since winning 18 games in back-to-back years in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The Bears played 30 games in a season for the first time, made their latest run into March in program history, and set a school record with 2,169 total points.
Brown took its largest lead of the game at 55-41 with 5:45 to go in the third quarter after a layup from White. UNCG responded with a 9-2 spurt to pull within 57-50 at the 4:03 mark. Baskets from Will, Mehta, and Gaziano kept Brown up 63-60 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Spartans cut their deficit to 63-62 with 9:00 remaining behind a 12-2 run before two free throws from White and a jumper from Gaziano stemmed the run. UNCG tied it at 67-67 with 5:56 left, but a 3-pointer from Mehta put the visitors back up 73-69 with 4:26 to go.
An 8-2 run from the hosts gave UNCG a 77-75 lead with 2:28 remaining, its first lead since midway through the first quarter. A layup from White kept Brown within 80-78 with 1:48 to play, but UNCG scored the next five points and held on for the win despite late 3-pointers from Will and Mehta.
The Bears took a 14-8 lead at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter behind 10 straight points. Mehta scored five points during the run, and White hit a 3-pointer. A Mehta wing 3-pointer after an offensive rebound from sophomore Mary Butler (Bangor, Maine) gave Brown a 19-12 edge, and the Bears still led 19-17 at the end of the opening period.
A 3-pointer from the top of the key from Steeves pushed Brown ahead 28-23 with 8:10 to play in the second quarter before UNCG cut it to 28-26. The Bears responded with a 9-2 run, taking a 37-28 lead with 4:56 to go until halftime after a layup from Will.
Mehta closed the half with a 4-point play, sinking a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left and tacking on the free throw to give Brown a 49-38 edge at the break.
UNCG will host Milwaukee in the WBI semifinals on Thursday.
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.