Bulldogs' Comeback Falls Short, Brown Takes Ivy Opener, 64-62

Jan. 16, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team erased a 17-point second-half deficit against Brown in the Ivy League opener on Friday night, to eventually tie the visiting Bears with just 45 seconds remaining. However, the Bulldogs' rally remained incomplete as a pair of Amy Ehrhart free throws with 2.8 seconds left proved to be the difference, as Brown escaped the John J. Lee Amphitheater with a 64-62 win.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 7-8 on the season and 0-1 in the Ivy League. Brown improves to 3-12 overall and 1-0 in league play.

"We have been in a rut since we came back from California," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "And tonight it caught up with us. We have a lot to work on in practice this week."

Senior guard Jamie Van Horne led all players with 16 points. The Bulldogs' captain knocked down four three-point field goals to increase her Yale record to 192 career treys. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht scored 14 points and dished out seven assists. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield netted eight points for the Bulldogs, and junior forward Haywood Wright tallied seven points, a team-best seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Junior forward Melissa Colborne scored five points. She is now just 12 points away from becoming the 16th player in Yale women's basketball history to eclipse 1,000 points in a career.

The Bears jumped out to an quick lead in the first half, breaking an early 7-7 tie with a 7-0 run to build a 14-7 advantage with 14:53 remaining. The Bulldogs responded, however, with an 8-0 spurt, capped by a Van Horne trey, to grab a 21-20 edge with just under 10 minutes left in the half. Brown regained the lead on its ensuing possession, and went on a 10-0 run in the closing minutes of the frame to build 12-point cushion. Greenfield found Gobrecht for a buzzer-beating lay-up to end the Bulldogs' scoring drought before halftime, but the Bears entered the intermission with a 41-31 edge.

Van Horne was the high scorer in the first half with 13 points. Gobrecht and Wright each hauled in a half-high four rebounds, and Gobrecht led all players with four assists in the first 20 minutes of play. Karly Grace reached double figures for the visitors with 10 points in the half. The Bears connected on nearly half of their attempts from the floor in the first frame (15-31, 48.4%) and drilled nine of 11 attempts (81.8%) from the free throw line. The Bulldogs also shot well from the field, knocking down 12 of 28 attempts (42.9%) and won the rebounding battle by an 18-15 margin, but Brown committed just seven turnovers in the half, compared to 14 by Yale.

Brown extended its lead in the opening action of the second half, eventually holding a 17-point edge at 51-34 with 16:19 remaining in the game. At that point, two quick buckets off the bench from senior Kaitlyn Lillemoe sparked a 15-4 run over the next 8:48, capped by an Ashley Easley three-pointer that cut the Bears' lead to four points at 53-49 with 7:31 left on the clock. Brown regained a seven point edge at 57-50, and led by five, 62-57, with just 2:13 remaining. A Gobrecht layup cut the lead to three, and a pair of free throws by the sophomore trimmed it all the down to one point at 62-61 with 1:22 left. Brown's Courtney Lee missed a jump shot on the ensuing possession, and Gobrecht eventually found herself at the free throw line against with 45 seconds remaining. This time, she connected on one of two from the stripe to deadlock the score at 62-62. Gobrecht then blocked a shot on the next Bears' trip down the court, but the rejection went out of bounds, and the visitors maintained possession. A jump shot in the lane from Lee struck off of the back iron, but the speedy guard recovered her own rebound and found Ehrhart in the low post. Ehrhart was fouled with 2.8 seconds left and connected on both free throws to give the Bears a 64-62 advantage. A final, full court inbounds play for Yale failed to yield a shot attempt, and Brown took the win in the Ivy League opener.

Lee and Grace shared the team high for Brown with 12 points apiece. Betsy Jacobson allowed hit double figures for the Bears with 10 points, and shared the game high of seven boards with Wright.

The Bulldogs and Bears meet again next Friday in Providence, R.I. at the Pizzitola Sports Center on the campus of Brown University. The action tips off at 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

video by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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