Dartmouth Wins Defensive Battle, 51-42

Dartmouth Wins Defensive Battle, 51-42

Feb. 7, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After dropping tough decisions to Cornell and Harvard in its last two outings, the Yale women's basketball hosted the third defending co-champion of the Ivy League on Saturday, as the Big Green from Dartmouth made the trip to the Elm City. As they did against Big Red and the Crimson, the Bulldogs left no doubt that they can compete with the Ancient Eight's top teams from 2007-08, but ultimately fell to Big Green in a defensive struggle at the John J. Lee Amphitheater by a score of 51-42. Sophomore Mady Gobrecht led Yale with 11 points, while junior Haywood Wright notched 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 9-11 overall and 2-4 in Ivy League play. Big Green improves to 10-9 on the season and a perfect 5-0 in the Ancient Eight.

"Overall, I am pleased with our effort" said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "We played two games this weekend against two very good basketball teams, and both games could have gone either way."

Mady Gobrecht's 11 points came on a 5-for-7 shooting day from the floor. She also grabbed seven boards, including five off of the offensive glass, and tallied a block and an assist. Dartmouth's Brittney Smith scored a game-high 16 points. Margaret Smith and Koren Schram both reached double figures with 10 points apiece for Big Green.

Dartmouth jumped out to an early lead, as the Bulldogs connected on just one field goal during a 14-3 Big Green run over the first 9:59 of the contest. A three-pointer by senior Jamie Van Horne and a bucket from Gobrecht stopped the Dartmouth spurt, but the visitors quickly responded with an 11-0 run, led by six points from Cassie Cooper, to gain what would be the largest lead of the contest, a 25-8 advantage with 6:15 remaining in the half. The Bulldogs netted the final eight points of the half to cut the lead to single digits, as they entered the intermission trailing, 25-16.

Smith led all players in first half with eight points. Van Horne hit two treys in the half, running her career total to 199, and led the Bulldogs with six points at the break. Big Green outrebounded Yale, 16-14, in the frame and won the turnover battle by a 12-7 margin.

The Bulldogs continued their run after the intermission, scoring five of the first seven points of the second half to cut the lead to four points at 27-23. A Greenfield three-ball cut the lead to three at the 10:36 mark, but Yale would get no closer as Dartmouth consistently responded after every Bulldog score with a bucket of its own. The Bulldogs founded themselves with one more chance to make a run, trailing by four, 43-39, with 3:04 left in the contest. Yale came up empty on its next two possessions, however, and was forced to begin fouling. Big Green shot 8-for-9 from the stripe over the final two minutes to clinch a hard-fought victory, 51-42.

The two teams each netted 26 points in the second frame, and each committed nine turnovers. The Bulldogs won the battle under the boards, 17-15 in the half. Wright and Mady Gobrecht each netted seven of their points after the intermission.

"I think that we outplayed Dartmouth for most of the second half," said Coach Gobrecht. "But we let ourselves fall too far behind early before our offense really started working."

The Bulldogs are back in action next weekend, as their trip through the Ivy League brings them to Princeton and Penn. Yale will meet the Tigers on Friday night at 7 p.m. before heading to the Palestra in Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. tipoff with the Quakers on Saturday.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity