November 26, 2008

Bulldogs Head to Brooklyn for Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic

Nov. 26, 2008

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THANKSGIVING THROWDOWN
The Yale women's basketball team heads to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic hosted by Long Island University. Yale challenges Kentucky on Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. and wraps up the event against either New Hampshire or the host Blackbirds on Nov. 29 (game time TBA).

IN THE WEEK THAT WAS
The Bulldogs knocked off North Carolina State, 65-61, in day-one action of the Subway Classic hosted by the University of the Minnesota. The win was the first ever for the Bulldogs over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. The host Golden Gophers defeated Yale, 87-63, the next day in the championship game.

HONORABLE BULLDOGS
Junior forwards Melissa Colborne and Haywood Wright were named to the Subway Classic All-Tournament team for their efforts over the weekend. Colborne also earned laurels as the Ivy League Player of the Week.

SCOUTING THE KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Selected to finish seventh in the Southeastern Conference, the Kentucky Wildcats enter the weekend at 2-1. Most recently, Kentucky hosted and defeated George Washington by a score of 67-8. The Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic will mark the Wildcats' first games outside of the Bluegrass State this season. Preseason All-SEC selection Victoria Dunlap leads the Kentucky offense with 18.0 points per game.

SCOUTING THE NEW HAMPSHIRE WILDCATS
New Hampshire enters the weekend at 0-2, having dropped contests to Bryant and Massachusetts this season. Junior forward Candace Williams has poured in 15.0 points per game to pace the Wildcats in the early stages of their 2008-09 schedule.

SCOUTING THE LONG ISLAND BLACKBIRDS
Led by 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game from freshman forward Ashley Palmer, the Long Island Blackbirds enter their Thanksgiving tournament with an even 2-2 record. The Blackbirds are coming off of 1-1 weekend at Columbia, defeating the host Lions and falling to Texas State.

SCHEDULE STRENGTH
Bucknell and Minnesota marked two of the three 2008-09 Yale opponents that participated in last season's NCAA Tournament. Ivy League foe Cornell also went to the Big Dance in 2007-08. Additionally, Division I newcomer Bryant, who will visit the Elm City on Jan. 13, played in the Division II NCAA Tournament last season.

Chris Gobrecht: THE JOEL E. SMILOW, CLASS OF 1954 HEAD COACH OF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Chris Gobrecht, now in her 29th season as a Division I head coach, has amassed a career 451-371 (.548) record, ranking her 31st among active coaches in career victories. The ninth coach in the 36-year history of Yale women's basketball, Gobrecht has more career victories than any other active basketball coach (men's or women's) in the Ivy League. In her tenure at Yale, she has he has coached an Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Melissa Colborne, 2006-07) and two first team All-Ivy players (Colborne, 2007-08 and Erica Davis, 2006-07). Prior to Gobrecht's arrival in the Elm City, a Bulldog player had not earned first team accolades since the 1997-98 campaign. In her third season at Yale, Gobrecht led the Bulldogs to a 7-7 record in the Ivy League, their best conference record since 2001-02. Despite a non-conference schedule that included eventual National Finalist Stanford, as well as NCAA Tournament participants Arizona State and Marist, the Bulldogs posted nine wins, the team's second-highest victory total in the last six seasons.

A WEEKEND FOR FIRSTS
The Bulldogs have three very different histories against this weekend's opponents. Yale has never played Kentucky, never lost to Long Island (1-0) and never defeated New Hampshire (0-9) in program history.

LEADING THE WAY
Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a first team All-Ivy selection in 2007-08, leads all Ancient Eight players with 17.0 points per game so far this season. Colborne averaged 15.7 points per game last year, the second-highest average in the Ivy League.

`TWAS FOUR NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
The holiday season descends upon the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday, Dec. 21 as the Bulldogs host in-state rival Quinnipiac in a 1 p.m. contest. The 2008 "Christmas Clash" will feature candy canes, Christmas music and a visit from Santa Claus. Other events planned for the 200-09 campaign include Yale Employee Night on Jan. 16 and Youth Day on Jan. 31. Feb. 7 will host two promotions, the WBCA "Pack the House" challenge and National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

THE EMPIRE (STATE) STRIKES BACK
After a week-long hiatus, Yale will play two more games in New York on Dec. 8 and 10. The Bulldogs will first travel to Stony Brook for a 6 p.m. showdown with the Seawolves, then wrap up a four-game Empire State swing with 7 p.m. match-up at Army.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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