Looking to bounce back after recent disappointments, Brown’s upcoming 2019-20 schedule was announced by sixth-year head coach Sarah Behn on Wednesday. Like Dartmouth, the 13 game nonconference schedule is heavy on nearby opponents and light on teams that made the postseason.
Over the first half of the season, the Bears will take on local rival Bryant to start the season on November 5, and then take part in the fourth Ocean State Tip-Off in December. Bruno will open up against Rhode Island on December 7 and then face Providence or have another matchup against the Bulldogs the next day.
Brown will also take on fellow New Englanders Maine, Central Connecticut State, UMass Amherst, New Hampshire, Merrimack, Holy Cross and Merrimack, and Fairfield. Before league play starts in mid-January, the team will venture down to the Sunshine State to take on Florida International and South Florida before the start of the new year.
The Bears have only three guaranteed games against non-Ivy opponents with a winning record, while a possible game against Providence would be game number four. Of that group, Maine earned back-to-back bids to the NCAA Tournament, South Florida has eight straight postseason appearances, and the Friars made it to the 2019 WNIT Round of 16.
Brown will start the Ivy schedule with back-to-back games against travel partner Yale on January 17 and 25, before heading on the road for games against Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and Harvard. The team starts a four game homestand on February 14, when it welcomes defending co-champions Penn and Princeton. The Lions and Big Red arrive at the Pizzitola Center the next weekend.
A southern trip to the Tigers and Quakers on February 28 and 29 precedes a final weekend at home, where the Bears will complete the regular season with games against the Crimson and Big Green.
After making the first Ivy Tournament in 2017 and going a program-best 12-1 at the start of the 2017-18 season, the Bears finished the year 3-11 in league play. Things went worse last season as Brown went 9-21 overall and 1-13 in Ivy action.
Four starters graduated from last year’s team, including the highest scoring class in program history. Shayna Mehta, Erika Steeves, Taylor Will, and Mary Butler totaled 4,306 points with Mehta leaving as the school’s second highest scorer with 1,785 points. Behn will welcome a five-person class to fill those roster spots.
The coach will also be without four-year assistant coach Sara Binkhorst, who took the head coaching position at Wheaton College in late June. The school is still attempting to fill that open staff position.
Coach Behn will look to senior guard Justine Gaziano to lead the rebuilding effort. The Natick, Mass., native was named second team All-Ivy in 2017 and earned back-to-back honorable mention awards over the last two seasons. Gaziano finished last year first in the Ivy League for three-point percentage (36%), as well as second in points per game (17.5), total points (526) and made field goals (194). For her career, she is sixth in career points (1,388), made three-pointers made (149) and made free throws (249).
2019-20 Brown Women’s Basketball Schedule
11/5 Tue. vs BRYANT
11/11 Mon. vs MAINE
11/14 Thu. at Central Connecticut State
11/16 Sat. at Longwood
11/21 Thu. at UMass – Amherst
11/24 Sun. at New Hampshire
11/26 Tue. vs MERRIMACK
12/1 Sun. vs HOLY CROSS
12/7 Sat. vs Rhode Island (Ocean State Tip-Off)
12/8 Sun. vs Providence or at Bryant (Ocean State Tip-Off)
12/22 Sun. at Fairfield
12/29 Sun. at Florida International
12/30 Mon. at University of South Florida
1/17 Fri. at Yale
1/25 Sat. vs YALE
1/31 Fri. at Cornell
2/1 Sat. at Columbia
2/7 Fri. at Dartmouth
2/8 Sat. at Harvard
2/14 Fri. vs PENN
2/15 Sat. vs PRINCETON
2/21 Fri. vs COLUMBIA
2/22 Sat. vs CORNELL
2/28 Fri. at Princeton
2/29 Sat. at Penn
3/6 Fri. vs HARVARD
3/7 Sat. vs DARTMOUTH