Second-Half Surge Pushes Bulldogs Past Princeton, 56-54

Feb. 13, 2009

Box Score

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Yale women's basketball team entered halftime of Friday night's contest at Princeton trailing by seven points, 31-24, and in danger of losing its fourth straight Ivy League contest. But the Bulldogs, propelled by a game-high 17 points from junior Melissa Colborne, stormed back to edge the host Tigers by a score of 56-54. With the win, Yale snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 10-11 on the season, 3-4 in Ivy League play. The Tigers fall to 8-12 overall and 3-3 in Ancient Eight contests with the loss.

Colborne also grabbed eight rebounds to go along with her 18th double-figure scoring performance of the season. Sophomore Mady Gobrecht hauled in a team-best 11 rebounds, sharing the game high with Princeton's Devona Allgood. Sophomore Yoyo Greenfield also reached double figures for Yale with 12 points. Addie Micir led the Tigers with 16 points.

Senior captain Jamie Van Horne knocked down two three-pointers in the game to bring her career total to 201. She is just the fifth player in Ivy League history to eclipse 200 career treys. Van Horne finished the game with eight points.

"This was a great team effort," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "Michelle Cashen and Kaitlyn Lillemoe both played very well off the bench, and everybody really stepped up when we needed it."

Yale notched the first two points of the contests on a Colborne layup, but the Tigers responded with six straight to enter the first media stoppage with a 6-2 lead. Princeton ran off five more points without a Bulldog response, pushing its lead to 11-2 and forcing Coach Gobrecht to call a 30-second timeout with 12:44 left in the half. A three-pointer from Greenfield ended the Tigers' run at 13-0 and sparked a 10-0 Yale run that cut the home team's lead to one point at 13-12. The Princeton lead crept back up to seven points over the final 8:54 of the half, as the Bulldogs went to locker room trailing by a score of 31-24.

Greenfield and Van Horne each knocked down two three-pointers in the half to lead Yale with six points apiece. Junior Haywood Wright and Mady Gobrecht shared the half high with six rebounds each before the intermission. Princeton's Addie Micir led all players with 10 points in the first half. Yale shot just 9-for-33 (27.3%) from the floor, and connected on four of 16 attempts (25%) from three-point range. The Tigers shot 13-for-32 (40.6%) from the field and 2-for-28 (25%) from downtown. The Bulldogs outrebounded the home team, 24-21, while Princeton won the turnover battle by a 6-4 margin.

The Tigers got out to a fast start again in the second half, netting the first four points to open up a double-figure lead at 35-24. Buckets from Greenfield and Van Horne brought the lead back to seven, and the Bulldogs eventually chiseled the lead down to a just two points at 40-38 with 11:55 left in regulation. Princeton's Krsytal Hill tallied the next four points to expand the lead back to six, but Mady Gobrecht converted a three-point play to cut the margin in half at 44-41. A jumper from senior Kaitlyn Lillemoe shrank the deficit down to one, and a Greenfield lay-up gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the contest at 45-44 with 7:00 remaining. In total, Yale put together an 11-1 run to take a 49-45 lead, but Micir, who had been hold scoreless in the second half to this point, knocked down a pair of treys to knot the score at 51-51 with 4:10 remaining in the contest. After the teams traded buckets, a Princeton free throw gave the Tigers a one-point lead at 54-53 with 2:10 left. The Bulldogs took the lead with a pair of Colborne free throws at the 1:24 mark, but failed to convert after forcing two Princeton turnovers, giving the Tigers possession, trailing 55-54, with 36.3 seconds on the game clock. The home team got a good look at a trey, but Whitney Downs' attempt rimmed out. Lillemoe grabbed the rebound and was fouled, but did not convert either of her free throws. Lillemoe redeemed himself on the ensuing Tigers' possession, coming up with a steal and again drawing the foul. She hit one of two at the stripe to give Yale a 56-54 lead, and the Tigers would not see a shot attempt on their final possession as time expired.

Colborne scored 12 of her game-high 17 points after halftime to lead the Bulldogs. Yale completed its comeback without Wright, who went down with an injury in the opening minutes of the half and did not return. Further details of the injury are not available at this time.

"It took a lot out of us when Haywood went down," said Coach Gobrecht. "But rather than let it beat us, we became more determined to come away with a win."

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow, as they head to the Palestra in Philadelphia for a 7 p.m. contest with Penn. The Quakers knocked off Brown tonight, 66-49, to improve to 2-4 in Ivy League action.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity