Harvard Slips Past Bulldogs, 70-63

Feb. 6, 2009

Box Score

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team overcame its recent shooting woes on Friday night, but four players netting double-figure points, including a career-high tying 16 points from sophomore Mady Gobrecht, was not enough to knock off Harvard in an Ivy League contest at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. The Bulldogs sat within one point of the Crimson with under 3:30 left to play, but the visitors hit their free throws down the stretch to escape the Elm City with a 70-63 victory.

With the loss, Yale falls to 9-10 overall and 2-3 in Ivy League play. The Crimson improves to 11-7 on the season and 3-1 in the Ancient Eight.

"We proved tonight how good we can be" said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale, "but we have to do it for 40 minutes and finish the job."

Junior Melissa Colborne and sophomore Yoyo Greenfield joined Mady Gobrecht in double figures with 14 points each. Senior captain Jamie Van Horne was the fourth Bulldog to crack double figures, finishing the contest with 11 points. Junior Haywood Wright hauled in a team-best seven rebounds and blocked two shots, and Colborne dished out a game-best six assists. Harvard's Emily Tay led all scorers with 19 points.

The Bulldogs started the contest on a 10-4 run, led by a pair of treys by Greenfield, but Harvard responded after the 16-minute media timeout with four quick points that cut the lead to two points at 10-8. Two three-pointers from Van Horne led Yale's next spurt, a 12-6 advantage over a span of 3:34 that pushed the lead up to eight points at 22-14. Greenfield's third and fourth trifectas of the half ran the Bulldogs' advantage to ten points, giving the home team the largest lead it would hold in the contest at 34-24. The defending co-champions of the Ivy League caught fire at that point, shooting 5-for-6 during a 15-1 over the final 5:28 of the half to enter the intermission leading by four points, 39-35.

Tay netted 15 of her 19 points in the first half to lead all scorers, while Greenfield notched all 14 of her points, including four three-pointers on five attempts, before halftime. The Bulldogs shot 12-for-28 (42.9%) from the floor in the first half, a much improved percentage from their 6-for-26 performance in the first half against Cornell last weekend. However, the Crimson was even better in the opening frame, knocking down half of its 28 field goal attempts. Yale shot a scorching 6-for-9 (66.7%) from downtown, but 17 turnovers and 10 second chance points allowed to the visitors accounted for the slim halftime deficit.

The two teams traded buckets to open the second half, which was enough for Harvard to maintain its four-point advantage at 49-45 with 13:01 left in the contest. At that point, a Jackie Alemany jumper sparked an 8-2 run by the Crimson to widen the gap at 57-47 with 10:19 remaining on the clock. Yale fought back to trail by a single point at the 3:26 mark, 64-63, but the Bulldogs' offense stalled in the final 3:26, while Harvard shot 6-for-8 from the line over that stretch to grab a 70-63 road victory.

The Bulldogs continued to shoot well in the second half, once again posting a 42.9% mark, but the home team cooled down from deep, converting just one trey on six attempts after halftime. The defense held Tay to just four points in the second half, and Emma Markley, Harvard's leading scorer on the season, mustered just four for the entire contest. Brogan Berry and Jackie Alemany shouldered the load for the Crimson, however, netted 18 and 13 points respectively. The Bulldogs forced 28 turnovers, but committed 34 of their own, and Harvard took 14 more trips to the line than Yale, converting 24-for-33 (72.7%) in the contest as compared to a 14-for-19 (73.7%) showing from the home team.

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow, as they host Dartmouth. Big Green knocked off Brown by a score of 58-27 on Friday night to remain perfect in Ivy League play at 4-0. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater is scheduled for 6 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

video by Neil Horowitz '09, Yale Sports Publicity