W. bball drops pair to Ivy’s best

Home court held no advantage for the women’s basketball team this weekend.

The Bulldogs (5-20, 2-10 Ivy) struggled against the top two Ivy teams in the league at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, first with a downhill 67-30 loss to Harvard (17-7, 9-2) Friday evening and then dropping a 68-52 decision to Dartmouth (14-9, 10-1) the following night.

After coming off of a thrilling 74-64 overtime victory over the University of Pennsylvania the previous weekend, the Elis were hyped about playing the league’s runner-up team. But that hype fizzled out moments after the opening tip-off.

The Bulldogs shot a dismal 17.2 percent from the field, a season low, while the Cantabs were on target with a 53.8 shooting percentage.

Eli guard Chinenye Okafor ’07 led her squad with 12 points and 11 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive. Yale Captain Morgan Richards ’05 also scored eight points and nabbed five steals.

Harvard forward Maureen McCaffery led the Cantabs by hitting six-for-seven from beyond the arc for a total of 18 points on the day. Forward Reka Cserny added another 15 points and 10 rebounds.

After Yale guard Tory Mauseth ’05 hit her 162nd career three to tie the game at 6-6, the Crimson responded with a mammoth 38-6 run to take a 44-12 lead heading into halftime.

“So far this season I’ve noticed that when we get off to a slow start we tighten up a little bit and start forcing our shots,” Richards said. “And when you keep missing, it feels as if the rim is getting smaller and the ball is getting bigger.”

Okafor finally broke the dry spell by opening up the scoring in the second half on a pair of free throws. Five minutes later, Yale center Erica Davis ’07 scored the next field goal for the Elis on a layup to make it 50-16 with 14:26 left in regulation.

The following night the Bulldogs played much more valiantly against the Big Green, but it was not enough to get a win.

Davis led the scoring for the Elis with 16 points and nine rebounds while Okafor followed close behind with 14 points.

Dartmouth center Elise Morrison scored a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds, guard Ashley Taylor scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Jeannie Cullen added another 13 points.

The Bulldogs opened the game strong, taking a demanding 11-2 lead within the first three minutes, but Morrison and Cullen kept the Big Green on its feet and eventually tied the game at 17-17 midway through the first half.

Dartmouth took the lead after that and managed to finish the first half with a 35-25 lead.

“We started off doing what we were supposed to do,” Okafor said. “But they were also hitting their shots back-to-back. Then our defense started falling and we stared making bad shot decisions.”

The Big Green continued its hot streak throughout the second half and although the Bulldogs fought hard to stay in the game, Dartmouth slowly pulled away with a 16-point win.

Despite the losses, the Elis are keeping their chins up as they prepare for their final weekend of the season against Cornell and Columbia.

“We’re really focused on ending the season on the best note possible,” Davis said. “All we can do now is go out strong and take advantage of all of the things we already have.”

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