Princeton Holds off Bulldogs on Senior Night, 61-53

Feb. 28, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It was Senior Night for the Yale women's basketball team on Saturday at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, and the Bulldogs put forth a final effort to be proud of, but a result they would rather forget. Despite double-figure scoring performances from junior forward Melissa Colborne and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield, Yale fell to the visiting Princeton Tigers by a score of 61-53.

With the loss, Yale drops to 11-15 overall and 4-8 in Ivy League play. The Tigers improve to 11-14 on the season with a 6-5 mark in the Ancient Eight. The Bulldogs topped Princeton earlier this season, winning at Jadwin Gymnasium for the first time since Feb. 9, 1998.

"We were just outmanned tonight," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "They crashed the boards and ran the floor very well. We hung in there for a while, but ultimately couldn't keep up."

Princeton's active roster boasted 14 players, as compared to the nine Bulldogs in uniform on Saturday.

Colborne netted 16 to lead the Bulldogs, while Greenfield added 13 points. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht hauled in 10 rebounds to lead the effort on the glass. Freshman forward Michelle Cashen netted eight points and grabbed seven boards.

Kaitlyn Lillemoe led the Yale seniors with seven points, and captain Jamie Van Horne added three in her final home contest. Senior Ashley Easley was unable to suit up this weekend after suffering a broken hand in practice on Thursday.

"These seniors are my first four-year class," said Coach Gobrecht. "I couldn't be prouder of them as players, as students and as people."

Princeton grabbed an early lead in the contest at 4-2, and the two-point cushion held up to 8-6 at the 12:28 mark. At that point, the Tigers netted nine straight points to jump out to a double-digit advantage at 17-6. The Bulldogs would close the gap to four points at 21-17 with 5:47 left in the half, but the Tigers responded with a 16-4 run to nab a 16-point lead at 37-21 with just under one minute to go in the half. Yale tallied five points on its two possessions in the last 60 seconds of the frame, but couldn't stop the Tigers in between, as the visitors went into the locker room leading by 13 points, 39-26.

Colborne shared the half high of 11 points with two Princeton players, Devona Allgood and Lauren Edwards. The Bulldogs shot just 9-for-26 (34.6%) from the field in the half, while the Tigers shot at a sizzling clip of 15-for-30 (50%). Princeton outrebounded the Bulldogs, 18-15, and won the turnover battle by a 9-5 margin.

The two teams played a fairly even second half, which was enough for the Tigers comfortable lead to hold up. The visitors led by 16 points, 49-43, with 5:40 remaining in the contest, when the Bulldogs made one final push. A three-pointer from Greenfield capped an 8-0 run that cut the deficit in half to 59-51 with 3:13 left. The Bulldogs' defense maintained its intensity for the remainder of the game, allowing just one field goal in the final 5:40, but the Yale offense ultimately could not climb all the back as the Tigers hung on for the 61-53 victory.

Allgood led all players with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Edwards netted just two points after halftime to finish with 13. Addie Micir, the Tigers' leading scorer who racked up 16 points against the Bulldogs at Jadwin Gym two weeks earlier, scored just five points tonight, but contributed 10 boards for the visitors. Allgood's game high highlighted a 38-16 advantage for the Tigers on points in the paint, as well as an 11-2 edge in second chance points.

The Bulldogs will close out the 2008-09 season with a chance to play the Spoiler, as they head north to face Ivy League leaders Dartmouth (10-1) and Harvard (9-2) on March 6 and 7.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity