January 13, 2009

Bulldogs Top Bryant, 77-71

Jan. 13, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Junior forward Melissa Colborne scored a season-high 25 points, and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield matched her career best with 19 as the Yale women's basketball team outlasted the Bryant Bulldogs on Tuesday evening at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven by a score of 77-71.

The contest was the final non-conference game for Yale, which will enter the Ivy League season with a record of 7-7. The 7-7 record marks the second time in seven seasons that Yale wraps up non-conference play at .500. Bryant, which is in its first season as a Division I program, fell to 5-11 with the loss.

"This was an important game for us," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach for Women's Basketball at Yale. "Bryant is a lot like an Ivy League team. We learned a lot about our strengths and a lot about what we will need to work on entering league play."

Colborne's 25 points came on a 10-for-14 shooting day from the field and a 5-for-6 performance at the foul line. She now sits at 983 career points, just 17 shy of becoming the 16th member of the 1,000-Point Club. Greenfield shot 4-for-8 from the floor, including a 2-for-5 effort beyond the three-point arc, and knocked down nine of her 10 free throw attempts, capped by hitting five of six foul shots to ice the game in the final minute.

Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht hauled in 11 rebounds for Yale, dished out a game-best eight assists and added three points. Junior forward Ashley Carter added eight points and senior captain Jamie Van Horne tallied seven.

The two teams split the first 20 points of the contest to knot the score at 10-10 with 14:21 remaining in the half, at which point Yale went on its first run, a 12-4 spurt over a span of 6:15 to build an eight-point cushion. The lead grew as large as 11 points in the half, but an 8-3 Bryant run to finish off the frame closed the gap to six points entering the intermission at 36-30.

Greenfield and Bryant's Kelsey O'Keefe shared the half high with 12 points apiece. Gobrecht led all players with seven rebounds and four assists in the frame. Yale shot 14-for-32 (43.8%) from the floor, 4-for-9 (44.4%) from three-point range and 4-for-5 (80%) from the free throw line in the half. The visitors from Smithfield, R.I. shot 11-for-30 (36.7%) from the field, 0-for-6 from beyond the arc and 8-for-13 (61.5%) from the stripe. Bryant outrebounded Yale, 24-17, but the home team claimed the turnover battle by a 13-11 margin.

Bryant slowly chiseled away at the Yale lead throughout the opening minutes of the second half, and eventually erased it completely as a pair of Siamone Bennett free throws knotted the score at 51-51 with 8:30 remaining. A three-point play by O'Keefe then gave the visitors at 54-53 lead, their first lead since holding a 10-8 edge early in the first half. Yale responded with a three-point play of its own, courtesy of Carter, to tie the score at 58-58 with 6:33 left on the game clock. A 60-60 stalemate with 6:02 remaining was the seventh and final tie of the contest, as it came in the midst of a 12-3 Yale run that pushed the score to 70-63 in favor of the home team with just 2:40 to go. Bryant came as a close as one point from Yale with 1:06 left, but Gobrecht found freshman guard Brianna Segerson under the hoop for a lay-in that brought the lead back to three at 72-69. The visitors missed a jumper on their ensuing possession, and Greenfield nailed five free throws over the final 17 seconds to seal the win for Yale, 77-71.

O'Keefe led all players with 26 points in the loss. She also hauled in 11 rebounds to complete the double-double. Cara Johnson and Jamie Campbell netted 12 and 11 points respectively for Bryant. Yale wrapped up the game shooting 27-for-64 (42.2%) from the floor, 4-for-14 (28.6%) from downtown and 19-for-24 (79.2%) from the free throw line. Bryant shot 25-for-57 (43.9%) from the field, missed all eight of its attempts from deep and shot 21-for-32 (65.6%) from the line.

Yale will look for its third straight victory on Friday night as Brown comes to the Elm City for the Ivy League opener. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater is scheduled for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

video by Neil Horowitz '09, Yale Sports Publicity

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