Bulldogs' Senior Captain Returns To The Court After 13-Game Absence
ITHACA, N.Y. — Looking for a source of inspiration following last week's tough loss to Princeton, the Yale University women's basketball team found what they were looking for in the return of senior captain Yoyo Greenfield.
Greenfield missed the previous 13 games of the season with symptoms related to a concussion that she suffered in practice the week after Thanksgiving. And although she only played five minutes, she brought an emotional boost to her teammates in time to inspire a comeback at Cornell Friday night.
The last time the Bulldogs saw their captain in uniform was the game at UC Davis on Nov. 26. While her minutes were limited Friday night, Greenfield recognized the return from her concussion would take some time before she was back to full form.
"I had a lot of fun," Greenfield said. "I felt rusty and tired but it was definitely fun to be out there and to be in a uniform warming up with my teammates and to be a part of the team again. I only practiced with contact twice this week. With more practice, hopefully I will be back to my old self soon."
Until then, her teammates proved they can carry the load on the offensive end, putting on a second-half shooting show that powered a late rally that put the Bulldogs back on the winning track.
Sophomore guard Megan Vasquez scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half, shooting 8-for-10 from the free-throw line in the half, to lead Yale to a 57-49 road win over Cornell in Ivy League action Friday night.
Senior forward Mady Gobrecht scored a game-high 18 points, 10 in the second half, and grabbed six rebounds to power the Bulldogs' offense. Freshman forward Janna Graf scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
In her return, Greenfield finished 0-2 from the floor, 0-1 from 3-point range, with one rebound and one steal in five minutes of action, all coming in the first half.
Cornell started the game with a 12-3 run, but Yale (8-11, 4-1 Ivy League) responded with a 12-0 run that started with seven straight points from Gobrecht to take a 15-12 lead.
Over the opening 10 minutes, all of Yale's scoring came from Gobrecht (eight points) and Graf (four points) until Vasquez converted a three-point play at the 9:47 mark to cap the 12-0 run.
Cornell outscored Yale 12-6 over the final 9:32 to go into the halftime break leading 24-21. Sophomore guard Taylor Flynn scored the final eight points of the half for the Big Red.
Cornell scored the first five points of the second half, putting the Bulldogs in a 29-21 hole just 3:35 into the second half before the shots started falling from outside the 3-point arc. Yale drained five 3-pointers to fuel a 21-4 run over the next 9:11, holding Cornell to just one field goal over a 6:49 span during that stretch.
"At halftime, it certainly had all the markings of nightmarish road game," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "We couldn't hit our shots. We looked really out of sync. We were in foul trouble. And we were playing against a real fired up team that was really determined. We just had to keep battling. The big difference was when we started to hit our perimeter shots and Janna made those threes. That was huge.
"Michelle, Megan and Janna all played much better in the second half. They all really have been in a slump lately. It's nice to see them bounce back like that."
Yale made only six field goals in the first half (6-for-26, 23.1 percent) and eight in the second half (8-for-21, 38.1 percent), but five of the eight baskets in the second half came from 3-point range and the Bulldogs sank 15-of-18 free throws in the second half. They were 23-for-29 from the free-throw line for the game.
"The road is like that sometimes," Coach Gobrecht said. "It's hard to win on the road. You just have to hang on. But we have to play better."
Allyson DiMagno and Taylor Flynn each scored 10 points to lead the Big Red (5-14, 2-3).
Yale returns to the court Saturday night at Columbia in Manhattan. The Bulldogs and Lions are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity