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Cassandra Brown, NCAA Canadian champ, hopes victory inspires girls

04/07/2015 02:48 EDT | Updated 06/07/2015 05:59 EDT
Cassandra Brown says she knows the stereotype: women aren't supposed to beat men in sports.

That made the 22-year-old female champion's victory over her male counterpart in the NCAA's basketball battle of the sexes last week all the sweeter.

"I just hope that it gives inspiration to girls to follow their dreams," Brown said.

"And if they want something – they can get it."

All Canuck final

Born in Vernon, B.C., Brown said she's still coming down from the three-point shooting finale last Thursday in Indianapolis.

Male champion Kevin Pangos is from Holland Landing, Ont. 

The irony of two Canucks competing for an American college basketball crown is not lost on Brown.

"It changes it up," she said. "It was really cool to have two Canadians in the final together."

Brown plays guard for the University of Portland, where she studies communications and sociology. She said she didn't get the call to attend the NCAA tournament until last week.

"I didn't have any time to think about it or prepare myself, so I went into it with no expectations," she said.

She beat seven other women before making it to the final against Pangos, who plays for Gonzaga.

'Take it easy on me'

"I told him to take it easy on me," she said.

He didn't – shooting 20 baskets from various positions around the court in a minute. 

The crowd then followed Brown as she made her way around the court, nailing nine straight baskets before missing the net.

She went on to score a total of 21.

"I didn't actually know what my score was when I was going," she said. 

"But I could kind of feel out from the crowd and everyone going crazy that I had won it."

Brown said Pangos accepted defeat gracefully.

"We were talking after and he said his phone was blowing up with people making fun of him for losing to a girl, but he was great about it. He congratulated me and it was all good."

Brown headed to Tampa after the competition for contests aimed at showing off her skills for the WNBA and overseas teams. She hopes to get an agent soon.

She said she's amazed at all the attention.

"My phone has been blowing up," she said. "I have a thousand Facebook notifications. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, I've been getting a lot of support."

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