Yale Suffers First Loss of Season

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

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Leading 32-29 with 2:28 left in the first half, the Yale University women's basketball team appeared to be in a strong position nearing the halftime break, but Marist closed the half with an 11-2 run that knocked the Bulldogs down and they could not find a way to recover in the second half in a 78-64 defeat at McCann Arena Friday night.

Junior guard Megan Vasquez scored a team-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Bulldogs (2-1) from dropping their first game of the season.

Yale opened the game with a 6-2 run that showed some promise against a Marist team that nearly defeated Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Marist scored the next four points to tie the game at 6-6, but Yale responded with a 5-2 run to jump back on top 11-8.

That was the script for 17:32 of the 20-minute first half. Anytime Yale opened up a small lead, Marist would respond to close the gap or even overtake the Bulldogs by a point or two, and then Yale would respond with a small run of its own to jump back on top.

Marist stopped following that script in the final 2:28, when Casey Dulin scored six points in a 8-0 run that helped the Red Foxes go ahead 37-32 and take command of the game. Yale freshman center Arrice Bryant stopped the run with a short jumper to cut the gap to 37-34, but Leanne Ockenden drained a 3-pointer with time running out to send Marist into the locker room with a 40-34 halftime lead.

Marist refused to fall back into the pattern from the first half and opened the second half with a 8-3 burst that opened the lead up to 11 points (48-37) with 15:08 remaining. 

Yale tried several times to claw back into the game and managed to cut the deficit to 61-56 with 7:56 left, but Marist regained control with a short 7-0 run that put the Red Foxes ahead 68-56 with 5:20 left.

Bryant was the only other Bulldog in double figures. She scored eight of her 10 points in the first half to finish with the first double-figure scoring effort of her young Yale career. She also had a team-high eight rebounds. Janna Graf added nine points and four rebounds.

Corielle Yarde led the Red Foxes (1-1) with 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Yale will travel to Texas next week for three games beginning with a highly anticipated showdown with Baylor. It will be Yale's first-ever game against a team ranked No. 1 in the country.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity