The women’s basketball team arrived in Providence on time for its game Saturday, but its focus arrived a little bit late.
After routing the Brown Bears (4-13, 1-3 Ivy) 79-60 on Jan. 19, Yale (9-8, 2-2 Ivy) had a sloppy showing Saturday in Providence, ultimately falling to the Bears 73-57.
The Bulldogs dug themselves into an early grave as they fell behind by 20 points in the first half after committing 20 turnovers and shooting just 20.8 percent from the field.
“[We had] a lackadaisical approach to the game,” Yale head coach Amy Backus said. “That was the worst display of basketball in the first half I’ve seen this team play. You can’t win a ball game showing up in the second half.”
The Bulldogs racked up an astounding 31 turnovers in the game, which led to 27 Bear points. In addition, the Elis committed a number of unnecessary personal fouls and Brown took advantage at the charity stripe. Four Bulldogs finished the game with four fouls and the Bears shot a solid 75.9 percent from the free throw line, including a perfect 10-for-10 in the first half.
“Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” captain Meg Simpson ’02 said. “I think we were turning over the ball so much and that led to more mistakes. We’re disappointed — this is a team we should have beaten.”
The Eli’s game plan, which was similar to their strategy on Jan. 19, was to establish a fast tempo early in the contest and to exploit the Bear’s shallow bench. However, key adjustments by Brown head coach Jean Marie Burr enabled her team to thwart Yale’s chances of a season sweep.
Burr went with two separate lineups during the game, substituting out all five players at once. Each group was on the court for roughly five minutes at a time. As a result, the Bears stayed fresh for virtually the entire 40 minutes.
“In practice, we tried the team thing and it worked really well,” Brown senior captain Rada Pavichevich said. “It gave us a rest. We were fresh the whole game. It was a complete team effort.”
Yale also failed to contain Pavichevich, who currently leads the Bears in scoring. After Pavichevich scored a game-high 23 points in the teams’ first meeting, the Bulldogs allotted time in practice to player recognition and containment. However, Pavichevich once again dominated the offense, scoring a career-high 24 points on seven-for-13 shooting.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime looking to slowly chip away at Brown’s commanding 39-19 lead. And the team was largely successful. The Elis improved their field goal percentage to 40 percent behind a 10-point second half effort by Tory Mauseth ’05. But Yale was not able to pull within less than eight points of the Bears.
Mauseth, who tallied 11 points on the game, was one of three Bulldog players to finish in double-digit scoring. Christina Phillips ’04 added 12 points and Helene Schutrumpf ’03 tallied a team-high 14 points. Simpson pulled down eight rebounds, including the 500th of her Yale career.
The Elis will now try to regroup before one of their most important tests of the season. Next weekend, Dartmouth and Harvard come to town to take on the Elis at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Dartmouth, picked by the Ivy League media to finish third in the league, boasts one of the Ancient Eight’s most dominating players in Katherine Hanks. The Crimson are the frontrunners for the Ivy League title, led by Player of the Year candidate Hana Peljto and rookie phenom Reka Cserny.
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