Women’s hoops goes for sweep against Brown

Last weekend, head coach Amy Backus implored the women’s basketball team to give her an old-fashioned rout. Yale responded with a 19-point win over the Brown Bears. This weekend, the Bulldogs are out to prove that blowout was no fluke.

Yale (9-7, 2-1 Ivy) travels to Providence Saturday to face Brown (3-13, 0-3 Ivy) for the second time in two weeks. Jan. 19 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, the Bulldogs rolled over the Bears, 79-60, tallying their highest point total since 1981.

“We definitely want another win,” said Christina Phillips ’04, who scored 13 points in the lopsided victory. “I’d say we’re confident. We can definitely beat this team.”

The Bulldogs will likely change very little of their game plan from last weekend. The team exploited Brown’s shallow bench by keeping an up-tempo offense and pressuring the Bears with a full-court press.

“We just kept pushing the ball up the court and we definitely tired them out,” Phillips said. “That’s going to be our focus on Saturday.”

The Elis also had one of their most balanced games in scoring this season. Five players finished the game with 11 points or more, including a career-high 16 points from Caitlin Bair ’02.

“The single most important factor in that game was that we always kept up the pressure on offense,” Backus said. “We were always pushing Brown to be on the defensive.”

Helene Schutrumpf ’03 and Lindsay Page ’05 each earned Ivy League honors for their performances. Schutrumpf was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll for her 13-point, 9-rebound, 5-steal game against the Bears.

After Page contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds, the Ancient Eight deemed the Yale forward Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. Page leads the Elis in scoring with 10.2 points per game off the bench.

Another Bulldog, captain Meg Simpson ’02, will be striving for a little bit of Yale history Saturday. Simpson, whose 8.4 rebounds per game ranks fifth in the Ivy League, is just one grab away from her 500th rebound. And she needs just 14 more boards to breach the top-10 Yale career rebounding list.

The seven-day layoff has allowed the Elis to devise a game plan that will contain Brown forward Rada Pavichevich. Pavichevich scored 15 first half points on her way to a game- and career-high 23 points in the Yale win.

“We just need to know where she is and get a hand up,” Phillips said. “Hopefully, we can just hold her to a few points.”

And with Pavichevich’s ability to get hot, Backus has warned her team not to take the Bears lightly.

“We certainly cautioned our team not to take anything for granted and make sure they respect the Brown team for what they are,” Backus said. “The final score was really not indicative of how hard it was to get that result. Brown still hung close for most of the game.”

Brown will be looking not only to avenge the 19-point loss, but also to get that elusive first Ivy win of the season. The Bears, who defeated Yale in both contests in 2000-01, have struggled this season and are currently on a 10-game losing streak.

“They haven’t won a game yet in the Ivy League; that’s kind of how we were last year,” Phillips said. “Every game you’re just looking to get that one win under your belt. We just have to come out strong in the beginning so they don’t get any confidence going for the rest of the game.”

Yale has already tied its win total from last season. A victory this weekend at Brown will tie the squad’s 2000-01 conference win total as well. The women tipoff at 2 p.m. (WYBC-AM 1340), followed by the men’s game at 7 p.m.

Yale basketball teams are 7-1 when the men’s and women’s teams play doubleheaders.

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