Bulldogs Fall In A Heartbreaker At Army

Aarica West. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Aarica West. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Late Rally Comes Up Short In Final Non-Conference Game of Season


WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Yale women's basketball team had hoped to gain some momentum heading into the start of Ivy League play. Unfortunately, senior forward Erin Anthony and her Army teammates had other ideas.

Anthony had 15 of her game-high 21 points and 11 of her 14 rebounds in the second half as Army quashed a late Yale rally and held on for a 63-56 win on Sunday at Christl Arena on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy.

It was the first loss for the Bulldogs (4-10) to a team from the Patriot League, following wins at Holy Cross and home against Bucknell.

Anthony recorded her second consecutive double-double effort and her seventh of the season. She also had a season-high six blocked shots. Former Lauralton Hall standout Molly Yardley added a career-high three blocks to go along with seven points for the Black Knights (7-8).

Senior guard Nalini Hawkins scored a season-high 15 points, including back-to-back baskets inside the final two minutes that helped Army pull away for good.

Yale (4-10) led 18-17 following a jumper from sophomore Alicia Seelaus with 8:05 remaining in the first half, but Army closed the half with a 13-4 run to go into the locker room with a 30-22 halftime lead.

Yale came out of the break and quickly scored the first five points of the second half to cut the deficit to three points inside the first minute. Army responded with a 7-2 run to re-establish its eight-point lead, a margin that it maintained through the majority of the half.

Yale rallied late behind a pair of free throws from senior forward Mady Gobrecht, who then stole the ball on the following possession, came down the court and drained a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 53-49 with 5:13 left, but that was as close as Yale could get.

Hawkins scored six of her points in the final five minutes and Anthony made four free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

"They just wanted the game a lot more than we wanted it," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "I thought Mady showed up. She did the best job that she possibly could. She fought as hard as she could, but today, she needed a little help. The effort on the boards was horrific and they just played so much harder than we did. Army totally deserved to win that game."

Gobrecht scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to help Yale remain within striking distance. She also had nine rebounds and five assists. Freshman forward Janna Graf had 17 points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who were playing without starting forward Michelle Cashen, who sprained her left ankle earlier in the week.

"We missed some shots, there's no question about that," Coach Gobrecht said of the 21-for-60 (35.0 percent) shooting effort. "There is no question that we missed Michelle today, but we have to have more players than that show up for an away game. Army worked really hard. They take away the easy stuff with their defensive effort and they make you make the tough stuff. We are good enough to make that stuff, but today we just didn't make it. We are a long way away from being a team that can compete for an Ivy League championship."

Yale is off until Friday, Jan. 14, when Ivy League play tips off against Brown at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the YES Network as part of its three-game Yale on YES winter package, which also includes men's hockey (Feb. 5 vs. Dartmouth) and men's basketball (Feb. 18 vs. Princeton).

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity