Sarju Sizzles in Yale Loss at Army

Nyasha Sarju. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Nyasha Sarju. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Freshman Guard Scores 15 Points on 5 3-Pointers in Bulldogs' Loss


WEST POINT, N.Y. — The Yale University women's basketball team received a spark from freshman guard Nyasha Sarju on Saturday, but it was not enough to prevent the Bulldogs from dropping their fourth straight loss.

Sarju scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, but Army used a 12-3 run in the second half to pull out a 53-47 victory in non-league play at Christl Arena.

Sarju is the first Bulldog to make at least five 3-pointers in a game since Megan Vasquez had six against Columbia on Feb. 12, 2012.

Sophomore guard Sarah Halejian scored 12 points with four rebounds for the Bulldogs (1-6), while junior guard Janna Graf and junior center Zenab Keita each added seven points.

Anna Simmers scored a game-high 24 points with seven rebounds and five steals to lead Army (7-1). Kelsey Minato added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Black Knights.

Yale was just as hot at the start of the game, opening with a 10-0 run, with Keita scoring Yale's first five points.

The two teams traded points through the middle of the first half, but Yale maintained the 10-point lead thanks to a pair of free throws from freshman forward Meredith Boardman that gave the Bulldogs a 20-10 lead with 8:43 left in the half.

The rest of the opening half was all Army as the Black Knights closed the half with a 12-0 run to take a 22-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. Simmers scored six of her points in the run.

Yale had opportunities to limit or even prevent Army's run at the end of the half, but the Bulldogs missed nine shots and had four turnovers in the final 9:09 of the half. The Bulldogs' last field goal of the half came on Keita's layup at the 9:32 mark.

Yale continued to battle in the second half, trading points with Army until Vasquez sank a pair of free throws with 13:26 left to give Yale a 32-31 lead.

Army regained control with a 12-3 run behind seven points from Minato that turned Yale's lead into a 43-35 deficit with 9:21 left.

The Bulldogs scored the next seven points, five of them by Halejian, to trim the deficit to 43-42 with 7:16 left, but that was as close as they could get. Army scored the next six points to put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs.

Army outrebounded Yale 41-29, while the Bulldogs shot 16-for-51 (31.4 percent) in the game. The Black Knights made 21-of-51 shots (41.2 percent), but just 1-of-8 from 3-point range, and outscored the Bulldogs 28-18 in the paint.

Yale returns to the friendly confines of John J. Lee Amphitheater on Tuesday to take on Atlantic 10 foe Fordham at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity