No. 7/14 Arizona State Downs Yale, 82-46

Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women’s basketball team got points from nine different players on Thursday at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, but No.7/14 Arizona State had four players in double-figures and outrebounded the Bulldogs by 40 en route to taking an 82-46 victory. Yale freshman Megan Vasquez had a team-high eight points, while the Sun Devils’ Becca Tobin led all players with 14 points.

With the loss, Yale falls to 2-1 on the season. Arizona State, a team that advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals (Elite Eight) last season, remains unbeaten at 2-0.

The biggest difference in the contest was rebounding. The Sun Devils grabbed 61 rebounds, including a staggering 26 off of the offensive glass that resulted in 24 second-chance points, while Yale had just 21 boards. The Arizona State boasts six players standing 6’2” or taller, while junior Mady Gobrecht was the lone Bulldog in uniform on Thursday night to reach that height.

“We stopped them defensively,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale, “but we also gave them two or three chances to score every trip down the court”.

The Bulldogs’ defense held the Sun Devils’ primary ball-handlers (Danielle Orsillo, Tenaya Watson and Sabrina McKinney) to a combined 3-for-17 shooting performance, but the main post players for Arizona State more than made up for their teammates’ shooting woes with an 18-for-29 day scoring down low.

Vasquez’s eight points mark the second time in three games that the freshman has led Yale in scoring. Senior Melissa Colborne and junior Yoyo Greenfield each chipped in with seven points, and the trio of senior captain Ashley Carter, junior Mady Gobrecht and freshman Allie Messimer netted five points apiece. Sophomore Michelle Cashen and freshman Ericka von Kaeppler each notched four points, and freshman Alicia Seelaus knocked down one free throw to round out the Yale offensive effort. Seelaus also led the Bulldogs on the boards with five rebounds.

Tobin added nine rebounds to her game-best scoring output, and Janae Fulcher had a double-double for the Sun Devils with 11 points and a game-high 10 boards.

Arizona State pulled ahead right from the get-go, as an early 16-0 ran the score to 18-2 midway through the first half of play. The lead grew as large as 21 points in the stanza at 30-9, but the Bulldogs showed signs of life as they ended the period on an 11-4 run to trim the deficit to a more manageable 14 points at 34-20.

The Sun Devils quickly erased that Yale run with an 11-3 spurt to start the second half as the Arizona State post players began to overwhelm the Bulldogs down low. The Pac-10 powerhouse put the contest far out of reach with a 20-7 run that extended the advantage to 33 points at 69-36, and the Sun Devils led by as many as 39 points en route to an 82-46 win.
Yale finished at 13-for-54 (24.1%) shooting for the floor, 4-for-12 (33.3%) from three-point range and 16-for-21 (76.2%) from the free throw line. The Sun Devils shot 31-for-63 (49.2%) from the field, 2-for-7 (28.6%) from downtown and 18-for-26 (69.2%) from the charity stripe.

“We have a lot to work on, but we did a lot of things well against one of the best teams in the country”, said Carter. “We will go into our next game with the same confidence we had tonight.”

The Bulldogs will take a seven-day hiatus from competition before resuming play on Friday, Nov. 27 against Toledo in day one action at the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by the University of New Mexico. Tip-off time from Albuquerque, N.M. is still yet to be announced.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity