Feb. 11, 2009
MEW HAVEN, Conn, - After three consecutive home games against the defending tri-champions of the Ivy League yielded three straight losses for the Yale women's basketball team, the Bulldogs enter the first leg of a four-game road trip this weekend, looking to get back on track in contests at Princeton (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Penn (Saturday, 7 p.m.). Live stats will be available courtesy of the home teams (Princeton, Penn), and both games will be broadcast live over the Internet at WYBC.com, the online home of Yale's student radio station, as play-by-play announcer John Song calls the action. In 2007-08, junior forward Melissa Colborne averaged 19.0 points per game in four total contests against Penn and Princeton. Yale, playing just its second and third road contests of 2009, enters the weekend at 9-11 overall and 2-4 in Ivy League play.
IN THE WEEK THAT WAS
The Bulldogs took Harvard and Dartmouth down to the wire, but ultimately dropped both contests to fall to 2-4 in the Ivy League. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht averaged 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 31.5 minutes of action. On Friday against the Crimson, she scored a team-best 16 points on a 5-for-9 shooting performance from the floor and a 6-for-7 day at the charity stripe. Gobrecht also hauled in five rebounds, dished out five assists and tallied two steals in 30 minutes on the court. She also led Yale in scoring against Big Green on Saturday, notching 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field and a 1-for-1 day at the line. She grabbed seven rebounds, including five from the offensive glass, dished out an assist and blocked a shot in 33 minutes of play. Sophomore Yoyo Greenfield and senior Jamie Van Horne each averaged 8.5 points per contest for the weekend.
QUEST FOR THE CROWN
With a 2-4 mark in league play, the Bulldogs find themselves down, but not out, in the hunt for their first Ivy League title since the 1978-79 season. Dartmouth is in the driver's seat for the title, holding a 5-0 league mark with all seven of its home games still remaining. With a pair of victories this weekend, Yale could potentially climb as far as third place in the standings, just two games out of first place with six league contests remaining. The league-leading Big Green will host Columbia and Cornell this weekend to open its Ivy League home slate.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Selected to finish seventh in the Ivy League Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Princeton Tigers will bring an 8-11 record, with a 3-2 mark in Ivy League play, into Friday night's clash with the Bulldogs. Most recently, Princeton recovered from home losses to Harvard and Dartmouth by sweeping at Columbia and Cornell to grab third place in the Ivy League behind Big Green and the Crimson. Whitney Downs, who shared Ivy League Player of the Week honors with Harvard's Brogan Berry, averaged 15.0 points for the weekend on an 11-for-12 (91.7%) shooting performance from the floor, including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Freshman center Devona Allgood averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest to claim Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. On the season, Addie Micir, the Ancient Eight's current leader in free throw and three-point percentage, leads the Tigers in scoring with 12.5 points per game.
The Bulldogs and Tigers split the season series in 2007-08, with each team earning a victory on its home court, to run the all-time series to 39-28 in favor of Princeton. The 2006-07 series also wrapped up with each team winning in front of its home crowd.
AGAINST COMMON OPPONENTS
Prior to the Ivy League slate, Yale and Princeton both challenged Stony Brook. Yale was nipped at Stony Brook by a score of 73-68, while the Tigers hosted the Seawolves, picking up an 88-41 home win.
SCOUTING THE QUAKERS
The Penn Quakers, slotted in the sixth spot in the Ivy League Preseason Coaches' Poll, enter the weekend at 4-15 overall and 1-4 in Ivy League contests. The Quakers, who will host Brown on Friday night prior to meeting the Bulldogs, knocked off Cornell by a score of 79-70 on Saturday to pick up their first Ivy win of the season and snap an eight-game losing skid overall. The Penn offense boasts the Ivy League's leading scorer in Carrie Biemer, who is pouring in 17.6 points per contest this season. Kelly Scott, a 39.8% three-point shooter on the year (33-for-83) is the only other Quaker averaging double figures with 11.1 points per game.
Penn had won three straight against the Bulldogs entering 2007-08, a season which saw the Bulldogs and Quakers each grabbing a road win in the series. Penn leads the all-time series by a slim 34-30 margin.
AGAINST COMMON OPPONENTS
The Bulldogs and Quakers did not play any common non-conference opponents this season.
LIVING ON THE EDGE
Nine of the Bulldogs' 20 contests this season have been tied within the final three minutes of the second half. Additionally, 15 of their 20 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points, including three of their four Ivy League losses.
The Bulldogs have been one of the top free throw shooting teams in the Ivy League this season at 327-for-447 (.732), slotting them at 49th in all of Division I from the line. Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .777 free throw shooter, has drilled 123 of her 148 attempts (.831) from the charity stripe in 2008-09. Colborne rates second in the Ivy League is free throw percentage, with the most attempts of all players in the top ten, including 102 more attempts than the league's top shooter from the line. She matched her own Yale record with a 12-for-12 day at the line on Dec. 8 at Stony Brook, and also set the program record for most made free throws in a game with 14 (on 16 attempts) at UC Riverside on Dec. 30. Colborne hit 22 consecutive free throws this season, a streak spanning from the second half on the Nov. 29 win over New Hampshire to the first half of the Dec. 10 contest at Army. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield ranks fifth in the Ancient Eight, shooting 63-for-81 (.778) on free throw attempts this season.
NEWS FROM DOWNTOWN
With five three-pointers this past weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth, senior guard Jamie Van Horne has knocked down 199 career treys. The all-time leader in three-point field goals at Yale would be the fifth player in Ivy League history to eclipse 200 career three-pointers. Van Horne, who is shooting 45-for-127 (.354) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, sank 59 triples in 2007-08, the second highest single-season total in Yale history. She is the only Bulldog to appear four times on the single-season leaderboard. The single-season mark at Yale belongs to Maria Smear `03, who sank 62 treys in the 2000-01 season. Van Horne needs 18 three-pointers in the final eight games, which breaks down to her current pace of 2.25 per contest, to surpass Smear's record.
Once again in 2008-09, Bulldogs' fans can watch home games from the John J. Lee Amphitheater live and free of charge via the Yale All*Access package. All Yale All*Access content will also be archived on yalebulldogs.com. The webcasts include audio commentary by WYBC, Yale's student radio station. To access the feed, simply click on the Yale All*Access logo in the upper right corner of the Yale Athletics home page, or the "watch" link on the schedule. Viewers will need to create an account by entering a username and password. Since it is airing live on the YES Network, the Feb. 6 contest against Harvard will not be a part of the Yale All*Access package.
THE EMPIRE (STATE) STRIKES BACK
The Bulldogs complete their four-game road tilt next weekend, traveling to New York to battle Ivy League opponents Cornell and Columbia. Yale fell to Cornell and defeated Columbia in meetings in New Haven earlier this season. Cornell and Columbia, both 3-3 in the Ivy League, play at Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity