Balanced Yale Attack Sinks Penn, 61-51

Balanced Yale Attack Sinks Penn, 61-51

Feb. 27, 2009

Box Score

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After dropping three consecutive road contests, the Yale women's basketball team returned to the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven on Friday night and promptly snapped its three-game skid with a 61-51 victory over Ivy League rival Penn. Eight different Bulldogs netted a field goal in the win, led by sophomores Mady Gobrecht and Yoyo Greenfield with 14 points each.

With the win, Yale improves to 11-14 overall and 4-7 in Ivy League play. The Quakers fall to 6-18 on the season with a 3-7 mark in the Ancient Eight.

"This was a great team win," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "We moved the ball well and found the open player. Everybody contributed offensively."

Mady Gobrecht grabbed eight rebounds to go along with her 14 points. Greenfield reached double figures via a 7-for-9 day at the free throw line, including a 4-for-4 performance in the final minute to preserve the Yale victory. Joining Gobrecht and Greenfield in double figures was junior forward Melissa Colborne, who netted 10 points while also hauling in seven rebounds and distributing a game-high five assists. Freshman forward Michelle Cashen, making her first career start, led the Bulldogs with 10 rebounds.

The contest began as a back-and-forth affair, as the two teams played to three ties and traded three one-point leads over the first six minutes of action. At that point, with Yale leading, 11-10, the Quakers put together a 10-0 run to grab a 20-11 lead and force Coach Gobrecht to call a timeout at the 12:26 mark. The Bulldogs responded to their coach, as Colborne and senior Kaitlyn Lillemoe promptly knocked down a pair of three-pointers to cut the lead to three at 20-17. After a Penn bucket brought the margin back up to five, senior Jamie Van Horne got into the act, draining a trey to trim the edge back to two points. Sophomore Victoria Perez knocked down a jumper to bring Yale all the way back to a deadlock at 22-22, and another Van Horne triple gave the Bulldogs their first lead in over 10 minutes at 25-24. The Quakers came up empty on their next trip down the court, as Colborne snatched a rebound and took the ball coast-to-coast, giving Yale a three-point lead at 27-24 with just over three minutes remaining in the half. Penn battled back before the intermission, tallying the final three points of the frame to knot the score for the fifth time, at 27-27, as the first-half clock expired.

Penn senior Carrie Biemer, the Ivy League's most prolific scorer this season, led all players with 10 first-half points. Colborne led the way in scoring for Yale with seven, and Van Horne's two treys gave her six before the intermission. As a team, the Bulldogs drained four three-pointers, compared to just two for the Quakers, but Penn made up the difference by converted five of eight free throw attempts, while Yale knocked down only one foul shots (on two attempts) in the stanza.

The deadlock held up for the first three minutes of the second half, until a 9-2 Bulldogs' run, capped by a three-pointer from Lillemoe, gave Yale a seven-point advantage at 40-33. The Bulldogs' lead grew as large as 10 points, at 46-36, but the Quakers made one final charge with seven straight tallies to cut the deficit back to one possession at 46-43. Yale bounced back with four straight points to bring the lead back to seven and, despite not connecting on a field goal over the final 4:45 on the contest, the Bulldogs converted nine of 12 free throws in that stretch to come away with the win, 61-51.

Van Horne finished with eight points, and Cashen netted five to go along with her second consecutive double-digit rebounding performance. Lillemoe added six points, while Perez and junior Ashley Carter each tallied two points to round out the Yale scoring. Biemer finished with a game-high 18 points. She was joined in double figures by Erin Power, who netted 12. Caitlin Slover came off the bench to match Cashen with 10 rebounds. As a team, the Bulldogs forced 21 turnovers, while committing 19, and outrebounded the Quakers by a 38-35 margin.

"The game was all about our defense and rebounding," said Coach Gobrecht. "We did a good job against a very tough player [Biemer], and made smart plays to make sure that nobody else was able to hurt us offensively."

The Bulldogs will play their final home contest of 2008-09 tomorrow night, as Ivy League foe Princeton comes to the Elm City for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Tigers won at Brown this evening, 61-38, to move to 10-14 overall and even their Ivy League record at 5-5.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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Video Filed by Steven Horn '10, Yale Sports Publicity