Bulldogs Sink NJIT, 68-58

Mady Gobrecht. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mady Gobrecht. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEWARK, N.J. – The formula has been simple for the Yale women’s basketball team this season: play defense and win. Entering Saturday afternoon’s contest at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Bulldogs had held opponents to 60 points or fewer in all of their wins in 2009-10. The recipe held true on Saturday, as the stingy Yale defense surrendered just 58 points to the Highlanders en route to claiming a 68-58 road victory. Junior Mady Gobrecht led three Bulldogs scoring in double figures with a game-best 16 points.

“NJIT is a tough team”, said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale. “We’re happy to get out of here with a win”.

The Bulldogs, currently in the midst of a seven-game road trip, move to 5-8 and snap a five-game losing streak with the victory. NJIT falls to 5-9 in defeat.

Gobrecht shot 5-for-8 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line to account for her 16 points. The junior forward also had six rebounds, including five off of the offensive glass, and a career-best six blocks. Senior Melissa Colborne had 13 points for the Bulldogs, and freshman Megan Vasquez reached double figures for the seventh straight game with 12 points. Freshman Allie Messimer matched her career high with nine points, and sophomore Michelle Cashen contributed eight points and seven rebounds. Junior Yoyo Greenfield netted four points, while freshmen Alicia Seelaus and Ericka von Kaeppler and senior Haywood Wright each added a deuce.

Weight also led a dominant Yale rebounding effort with 10 boards as the Bulldogs outrebounded the Highlanders by a convincing 48-30 margin, including a 30-13 differential in the second half.

Taiwo Oyelola netted 14 points and Kehinde Oyelola scored 12 points to lead the NJIT offense, as Yale held Jessica Gerald, the Highlanders’ leading scorer, five points below her season average with 10 points.

The Highlanders opened the contest on a 5-0 run, but Yale responded promptly over the ensuing 5:49 with a 9-2 run to grab a 9-7 lead. The two squads remained within two points to a 16-16 deadlock at the 8:36 mark. At that point, the Bulldogs began to control the action, led by six points from Colborne, to claim a 28-20 edge late in the first half. Yale would lead by as many as nine points in the frame en route to entering the intermission holding a 36-28 advantage.

Messimer led the Bulldogs, who shot 45.2% (14-for-31) from the floor, with nine first-half points. Gobrecht added eight points, while Wright pulled down seven rebounds in the half as Yale held a slim 18-17 edge on the glass. Kehinde Oyelola led all players with 11 points before the intermission for the Highlanders.

The Yale defense held fast to start the second half, opening up a 58-48 advantage on the back of a 5:42 stretch without a field goal by NJIT. The Highlanders broke out of their drought in a big way with an 11-2 run to trim the Yale lead to a single point at 50-49. The Bulldogs would keep the home team at an arm’s length, however, answering with a 10-1 run keyed by six points from Gobrecht to regain a double-digit cushion at 60-50. The Highlanders would hang tough to the final whistle, but the Bulldogs hit eight of 10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal a 68-58 victory.

Taiwo Oyelola led all players with 10 second-half points, and Gobrecht netted eight points after the intermission to pace the Yale offense.

The Bulldogs open up the Ivy League season on Friday, Jan. 15 in Providence, R.I. against Brown. Action from Pizzitola Memorial Sports Center tips off at 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity