Brown men and women both off to impressive starts

Just two games into the season for both, the Brown men’s and women’s teams are off to great starts.

The Brown men followed up their season-opening 73-71 win at a Bryant squad which has since taken Rutgers to the wire and beaten Cornell with a 75-68 home win over Canisius powered by a career-high 32 points from a resurgent Brandon Anderson, who was relegated to the bench in December of his junior campaign last season.Anderson has 55 points on 16-for-30 shooting from the field, eight steals and seven assists in two games, and even he called the play that resulted in his game-winning stepback jumper with 12 seconds left at Bryant, according to the Providence Journal.

Brown enjoyed frontcourt scoring depth in its win at Bryant via David Mitchell and Matt DeWolf and continue to benefit from the stat sheet-stuffing Tamenang Choh. The Bears could feasibly get out to a 10-0 start, as KenPom gives them at least a 46% chance of winning each of their next eight games and a more than 50% chance in six of them.

The Brown women are not undefeated, having dropped their opener 45-44 versus Bryant at home. But they bounced back with a 76-70 overtime victory at home against defending America East champion and preseason favorite Maine.

The Bears are drawing strength from their defense, an area of great weakness for Brown in recent seasons. Coach Sarah Behn applauded her team’s effort on the defensive end after the Bryant loss and again multiple times after the Maine win, and it’s not hard to see why.

Junior guard Dominque Leonidas exploded for 24 points on 9-for-10 shooting from the field and has 10 assists in five steals in two games. After missing the season opener, Justine Gaziano pushed the Bears over the top in overtime, during which she scored eight of her 12 points, moving her up to fifth place on the program career scoring list.

It’s very early, but it’s encouraging for Brown that both its men’s and women’s squads are showing that they appear to have defenses and scorers that they can rely on.

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