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Bulldogs Rally Falls Short At Furman

Lena Munzer. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Lena Munzer. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Graf and Halejian Pace Yale In Scoring

Greenville, S.C. - The Yale women's basketball team twice got within a point after trailing by eight points in the second half, but Furman used a late spurt of four straight points to hold on for a 66-61 win on Wednesday night.

Yale (3-4) led 38-34 with 16:42 to play following a jumper by Sarah Halejian, but Furman responded with a 13-1 run over a span of 3:27 to build an eight point lead. Sarah Durdaller scored five straight to give Furman the lead, before Whitney Bunn closed the run out with three straight points to make it 47-39 with 13:01 to play.

The teams traded baskets on the next five possessions before four straight points by Brigid Morrissey gave Furman (2-4) a 54-46 lead. Janna Graf responded with a steal and layup on back-to-back possessions to start a 9-2 spurt by Yale. Following a pair of Paladins free throws Nyasha Sarju hit a three-pointer and after a defensive stop, Halejian hit a pair of foul shots to get the Bulldogs within 56-55 with 5:40 to play.

The Paladins pushed their lead back to five points before Yale mounted one last charge. The Bulldogs' defense pitched a shutout over the next 3:24 and a Graf layup was followed by foul shots from Amanda Tyson and Hayden Latham in that span to get Yale within 60-59 with 1:06 remaining.

Furman held off the rally with a layup from Brittany Hodges and two foul shots by Morrissey to push the lead to five points and provide enough cushion for the win.

The teams played a close first half, but Yale took its largest lead at 18-10 after consecutive baskets by Meredith Boardman and Meghan McIntyre. After Furman trimmed the lead to two points, but Zenab Keita and Lena Munzer combined for five straight to push the lead back to seven points.

Furman tied the score at 28-28 with seven straight points, capped by a three-pointer from Allison Beasley, before Halejian hit two foul shots to give Yale a two-point lead at the break.

Halejian narrowly missed a second straight 20-point game and finished with 19 points, five rebounds and four steals. Graf turned in a solid all-around game with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, with seven rebounds and three steals. Latham, playing in her hometown, scored eight points with four rebounds and five assists. The Bulldogs held a 43-35 advantage on the glass.

Brittany Hodges posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Shianne Goodwin added 12 points off the bench. Holli Wilkins and Whitney Bunn each chipped in with 11 points. The Paladins shot a blistering 56.5 percent from the field after halftime to finish at 40.4 percent for the game. Furman was also 17-of-19 at the foul line, while Yale was just 9-of-15.

The Bulldogs are off until Dec. 4, when they return to John J. Lee Amphitheater to host Bryant. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.