History would not repeat itself last Thursday for the women’s basketball team against Marist.
The Bulldogs (0-5) fought hard but ultimately fell to Marist (8-1), 77-62, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Rookie guard Yoyo Greenfield ’11 led the Elis with 16 points, including four three-pointers off the bench. The Bulldogs set a new school record for three-pointers attempted in a single game with 36, breaking the old record of 32 attempts.
Marist, ranked No. 30 in the AP Women’s College Basketball poll and having lost only to No. 19 Ohio State (6-2) this season, proved to be another tough test for the Elis. The Bulldogs had previously played No. 6 Stanford (6-1) and No. 14 Arizona State (4-2), losing both games by over 40 points.
The Elis defeated Marist, 67-52, in New Haven last season. The Red Foxes later advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, underscoring the Bulldogs’ impressive upset. This year, Marist ensured the Bulldogs would not repeat last year’s feat.
“They play at a slower pace, with a sagging man defense,” Greenfield said. “We knew we had to try to control the pace and play our game if we were going to win.”
The game was close for the first few minutes, until Marist broke open a 19-8 run on its way to a 14-point lead with 8:51 left in the half. Falling behind early has been a constant struggle for the Elis this season, although they managed to fight their way back this time. The visitors narrowed the margin down to nine points with 18:47 left to play in the second half on a jumper by forward Haywood Wright ’10.
The Red Foxes responded with a 9-0 run to take a comfortable 18-point lead with 15:16 left on the clock, which they held through the rest of the game.
“We just didn’t shoot well,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “If we shot to our capabilities, we would have been right there.”
The Elis experienced foul trouble in the first half, as referees called 17 fouls, yielding 17 free-throw attempts for the Red Foxes. Forward Melissa Colborne ’10 fouled out of the game with five fouls, while forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Wright joined Colborne in foul trouble, picking up four fouls each.
“The referees were calling a lot of off-the-ball offensive fouls on our cuts to the basket,” Greenfield said.
Although it may not have been reflected in the final score, the Elis continued to improve their play against higher-ranked opponents.
Defensively, the Bulldogs allowed 45.5 percent of the Red Hawks’ field-goal shots, their second lowest total thus far this season. That mark is only surpassed by the 44.7 percent shooting allowed against Cal State Bakersfield (3-3).
The Elis were also able to cause 13 turnovers for the game compared to the 12 forced turnovers last game against a lower ranked Cal St. Bakersfield team.
“We try to pick up full court with two defenders guarding the inbound pass,” Greenfield said. “Our pressure was more effective this game at causing turnovers.”
The game was notable for the continued development of Yale’s up-tempo offense. Although the Elis set a new school record for three-pointers attempted, they only managed to score on 10 of the shots, with an uncharacteristically low 27.8 percent conversion rate.
“Marist is going to pack in the defense,” Gobrecht said. “They lucked out [with our poor percentage] because we are a good shooting team.”
The Bulldogs also turned in a strong rebounding effort. Forward Lindsey Williams ’11 led the team with nine rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. The Elis out-rebounded Marist, 44 to 41, for the game. Especially impressive were the team’s 16 offensive rebounds, which created numerous second-chance opportunities for the Bulldog offense.
“We are an undersized team, so rebounding is always a focus in practice,” Wright said. “I think last game was a good example of everyone getting involved on the boards to make for a solid rebounding performance.”
The Bulldogs had only 18 turnovers on Thursday, compared with 27 and 32 turnovers for their previous two games, respectively.
“We are always trying to cut our turnovers as a general team goal,” Wright said. “We do play an up-tempo style, so some turnovers are inevitable, but we are always trying to decrease our mistakes.”
The Elis play Stony Brook on Friday at 7 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. With an eight-day rest period between Marist and their next game, the Bulldogs will look to improve at home as Ivy League play approaches.
“We are excited to finally have another home game,” Wright said. “Stony Brook is a good team, but they are no Stanford.”