Bulldogs Battle Past Penn, 58-51

Michelle Cashen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Michelle Cashen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

PHILADELPHIA – Defense and rebounding have been the hallmarks of the Yale women’s basketball team’s success in 2009-10, and Friday night at Penn was no different. The Bulldogs held host Penn to just 51 points and outrebounded the Quakers , 35-27, en route to claiming a 58-51 Ivy League road victory at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Freshman Megan Vasquez led Yale offensively with 16 points, and junior Mady Gobrecht put forth a well-rounded effort with seven points, nine rebounds and five assists.

“This was a typical tough Ivy road game,” said Chris Gobrecht, Yale’s Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball. “Penn played one of its best games of the season, and we’re happy to be leaving with a win.”

With the win, Yale improves to 7-10 overall and 2-1 in Ivy League play. The Quakers fall to 1-15 on the season with an 0-2 Ancient Eight tally.

Joining Vasquez in double figures for the Bulldogs was junior Yoyo Greenfield, who netted 14. Sophomore Michelle Cashen had nine points and five rebounds, and senior Melissa Colborne had six points. The Yale scoring was rounded out by four points from senior Ashley Carter and two points from senior Haywood Wright. As a team, Yale shot 38.9% (21-54) from the field, 28.6% (4-14) from three-point range and 66.7% (12-18) from the free throw line.

Kim Adams (16 pts.) and Sarah Bucar (14 pts.) both scored in double figures for Penn, as the Quakers shot 44.2% (19-43) from the floor, 25% (3-12) from downtown and 71.4% (10-14) from the charity stripe.

The Quakers started off the scoring with a Kim Adams layup, but that bucket would be Penn’s only field goal over the first 4:23 as a Vasquez trey started a 7-2 Yale run that put the Bulldogs on top, 7-4. Penn stormed back with the next five points to reclaim the edge at 9-7, but Yale would once again respond in kind with a 14-1 run over next 6:39, which featured points from five different Bulldogs, to build a double-digit lead at 21-10. Yale would lead by as many as 12 points in the frame and took a 10-point cushion into the locker room with the score sitting at 26-16.

Vasquez led all players with 12 points in the first half, while Gobrecht hauled in a half-best five rebounds. Adams had five of the Quakers’ 16 first-half points, and Jess Knapp led Penn on the glass with four rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 37% (10-27) from the field, 40% (2-5) from three-point range and 80% (4-5) from the line in the first half, while Penn shot 31.6% (6-19) from the floor, 33.3% (1-3) from beyond the arc and 60% (3-5) from the free throw line.

The second half stayed relatively even, which was enough for the Bulldogs to maintain a three-possession edge for much of the frame. Penn, however, put forth a 5-0 spurt late in the half to trim the Yale lead all the way down to four points at 45-41. A Gobrecht jumper swiftly squashed the Quakers’ rally and keyed a 7-2 run to give Yale a more comfortable advantage at 52-43 with just 2:03 left on the clock. Penn shot well the rest of the way to keep the score close, but the Bulldogs maintained their intensity until the final buzzer and left the City of Brotherly Love with a 58-51 victory.

The big difference in the contest came on the offensive glass, where Yale turned 10 rebounds into 10 second chance. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs limited Penn to two offensive rebounds, netting no points from the offensive boards.

The Bulldogs will be back in action tomorrow, as they head to Princeton for a 6 p.m. game with the Tigers. Princeton is currently 14-2 overall and 2-0 in league play after defeating Brown this evening, 75-44.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity