Hosts Delaware And All-American Sophomore Delle Donne
Yale Women's Basketball Game Notes
Saturday marks the first game of the 2010-11 season at John J. Lee Amphitheater for the Bulldogs, who were 8-4 at home last season, including 3-2 against non-conference opponents. Yale is coming off of a tough, 83-64 road loss at Boston University on Wednesday, and opened the season on Nov. 12 with a 74-71 victory at Holy Cross. Tonight, the Bulldogs welcome All-American Elena Delle Donne and the University of Delaware Blue Hens to New Haven for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG APG
G 15 Megan Vasquez 5-8 So. 17.0 6.5 4.0
G 10 Yoyo Greenfield 5-5 Sr. 4.0 3.0 4.0
G 14 Allie Messimer 5-8 So. 10.5 2.5 0.0
F 44 Michelle Cashen 6-0 Jr. 2.0 7.0 1.0
F 41 Mady Gobrecht 6-2 Sr. 10.0 6.5 1.5
Pos. No. Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG APG
G 02 Jocelyn Bailey 6-0 Jr. 4.5 6.0 0.0
G 22 Lauren Carra 5-9 So. 6.0 4.0 3.5
F 05 Vanessa Kabongo 5-10 Jr. 3.0 2.0 1.0
F 11 Elena Delle Donne 6-5 So. 35.0 9.5 2.0
F 12 Danielle Parker 6-5 So. 9.0 7.0 0.0
Last Time Out
Sophomore Megan Vasquez scored 17 points for the second straight game and grabbed 10 rebounds, but it was not enough to keep Yale from dropping its first loss of the season, 83-64, at Boston University. The Bulldogs struggled from the field, shooting 19-for-67 (28.4 percent) for the game and were outscored 52-22 in the paint by the Terriers. Allie Messimer added 11 points, while Mady Gobrecht chipped in with 10.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs head to the Golden State to take on a pair of foes that they have met only once before. Yale will face California on Tuesday, with the game slated to start at 10 p.m. ET. Following the stay in Berkeley, the Bulldogs head east to take on UC Davis, which is located just west of Sacramento. For sophomore Ericka von Kaeppler, the trip is a chance to visit home. She grew up in Palo Alto, which is located just south of Berkeley at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. Two other Bulldogs are going back to play in their home state, but still hours away from home. Captain Yoyo Greenfield is a Los Angeles native, while sophomore Aarica West is from Buena Park, just south of Los Angeles.
The Bulldogs return four starters and seven letterwinners in total from the 2009-10 campaign. Yale also expects sophomore guard Aarica West to return to the lineup after she missed the final 27 games of last season due to injury.
The Fab Four
Yale has bolstered its lineup for 2010-11 with four freshmen that are expected to make an immediate impact. Guard Amanda Tyson, forwards Janna Graf and Alexandra Osborn-Jones, and center Zenab Keita comprise one of the strongest freshman classes during Head Coach Chris Gobrecht's tenure.
The Bulldogs in 2009-10
Following an 11-17 showing in 2008-09 that included a 4-10 record in Ivy League play, Yale made significant strides last season behind the play of freshman Megan Vasquez, who led the team in scoring (11.5 ppg). Michelle Cashen averaged 8.5 ppg and was second on the team in steals (37) and shooting percentage (44.6 percent), which earned her a spot on the All-Ivy Second Team. The pair led the Bulldogs (13-15, 8-6 Ivy League) to a fourth-place finish in Ivy League play.
Coming off of a 21-12 campaign in 2009-10, which ended with a first-round loss to Richmond in the Women's NIT postseason tournament, Delaware returns with a team that is lacking in experience, with only one senior on the roster, but skill and size more than make up for the team's youth. The Blue Hens' star attraction is former UConn recruit Elena Delle Donne, who was an All-American as a freshman and was named to the preseason watch lists for several player of the year awards. However, she is not the only player to watch for. The Blue Hens feature seven players that are 6-foot-2 or taller. Four of those players — Delle Donne, Danielle Parker (7.0), Jocelyn Bailey (6.0), and Jaquetta May (6.0) — are averaging at least 6.0 rebounds per game, with Delle Donne only a half-rebound (35.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) away from averaging a double-double through two games.
Yale has never faced Delaware in its 37-year history. Yale has come close, however, playing a home-and-home series against the Blue Hens' in-state rival, Delaware State. Yale split that series, winning the first game at home, 46-45, on Jan. 12, 2005, before falling at Delaware State, 58-48, on Dec. 19, 2005.
Welcome Back Elena
The Nutmeg State is no stranger to Delaware sophomore sensation Elena Delle Donne. She originally joined the University of Connecticut squad before abruptly transferring to Delaware, her home state. The decision to return to her home seems to be working out just fine, however. She became Delaware's first-ever All-American as a freshman, when she broke 18 school records, including the freshman and school season scoring record of 774 points, which was also the CAA mark. She averaged a conference and school record 26.7 points per game.
Containment Is Key
Delle Donne, a preseason candidate for several national player of the year honors, scored 36 points in Delaware's season-opener, and 34 points against Villanova in Game 2. The efforts in both games give Delle Donne 10 games with 30 or more points, including two already this season and four of her last five games. She has scored at least 20 points in 26 of the 31 games in her short, yet already remarkable collegiate career.
Call in the Reinforcement
Junior transfer Sarah Acker, a 6-4 center, will be eligible to play tonight for the Blue Hens after she was granted a waiver from the NCAA on Wednesday. Acker played one game for Saint Joseph's in the 2008-09 season before transferring to Delaware for personal reasons. During her freshman season at Saint Joseph's, Acker led her team in scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounding (8.7 rpg) and blocks (46). Acker finished her rookie campaign leading the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (59.6), and was third in rebounds and fifth in blocks.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity