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Bulldogs Push Hoyas To The Brink Before Falling, 66-65

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

Halejian And Sarju Have Big Nights To Lead Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team took Georgetown down to the wire before falling in the final seconds, 66-65, on Tuesday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Sarah Halejian was nearly unstoppable all night as she finished with a season-high 27 points, while Nyasha Sarju added a season-best 17 points of her own. The duo combined to score Yale's first 23 points.

Sarju gave Yale (4-6) an immediate spark off the bench in the first half when she scored 11 straight points, including a run of nine unanswered to give Yale a 21-16 lead at the 8:38 mark.

Georgetown (6-3) came right back to take a 30-21 lead during a spurt when Andrea White had five straight points, but the Bulldogs could not be shaken. Following a three-pointer by the Hoyas' Jade Martin, Sarju hit a pair of foul shots to end GU's run and Meredith Boardman followed with a foul shot of her own before Sarju hit a layup to make it 30-26. Just before halftime, Natalie Butler hit a layup to give the Hoyas a 32-26 lead.

The Hoyas pushed the lead to eight points to open the second half, but the Bulldogs quickly got back within a basket. Five points from Halejian and a three-pointer from Janna Graf sparked an 8-2 spurt that got Yale within 38-36 with 16:15 to play.

White scored eight points in a stretch that saw Georgetown push the lead to 52-40 after a Natalie Butler free throw with 10:00 to go. The Hoyas continued to lead by double-figures until a foul shot by Zenab Keita with 5:55 to play started a run of five straight points for Yale that made it 59-53 after a Lena Munzer foul shot.

Georgetown quickly came back with five straight points from White and Butler to push the lead to nine with 3:46 to play before Yale started its final push.

A foul shot by Keita was followed by a layup from Halejian to make it 64-58 with 2:35 to play. Graf, who scored all 10 of her points in the second half, followed a jumper by GU's Katie McCormick with five straight points of her own to get Yale within 66-63 with 55 seconds to play. A steal by Munzer on the ensuing possession set up one final chance for Yale to tie the game.

On the final possession, Halejian was fouled on a three-point attempt and converted 2-of-3 shots at the foul line before the Hoyas successfully inbounded the ball and ran out the clock for the win.

Yale scored 25 points off of Georgetown's 20 turnovers, but the duo of White and Butler, managed to carry the Hoyas to the win. White finished with a game-high 28 points and 12 rebounds, while Butler added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs will return to action after final exams to host Saint Peter's on Dec. 19. Tip is set for 6 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity