W. BASKETBALL | These games count

Toss the warm-ups in the bin — the real season is about to begin.

With a home game against Brown tonight at 7 p.m., the Bulldogs will finally begin the crucial Ivy League portion of its season. After battling to a 7-7 record in the non-conference season, including stunning wins against preseason Top 25 teams like N.C. State and Quinnipiac, Yale has shown that it is capable of playing capable basketball.

In the Elis’ final non-conference game on Tuesday night against Bryant, forward Melissa Colborne ’10 scored a season-high 25 points, guard Yoyo Greenfield ’11 matched her career best with 19 and forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 hauled in 11 rebounds while dishing out a game-best eight assists. It was a total team effort in a close, down-to-the-wire game that showed what Yale was capable of.

“It really gives us some confidence, definitely, to have won that game,” Greenfield said. “We have no more games to lose and going into the Ivy League season, every single one matters from now on.”

Against Brown (2-12, 0-0 Ivy), which is projected to finish eighth in the Ancient Eight this season, the Bulldogs will need to focus on playing their game and tidying up all the little things that turn a good team into a championship-caliber team. Not the biggest team by any stretch of the imagination, the coaching staff preached an up-tempo, high energy approach that the Elis must take advantage of in order to have any success. Yale is projected to finish fourth in the Ivies this season, so it is by no means a powerhouse squad. Against Bryant, Yale ran into a slew of foul trouble, which head coach Chris Gobrecht wants the team to focus on eliminating.

“You’ve just got to be more aware and just be smart — there’s plenty of fouls going for loose balls and you can’t have the rinky-dink reach-in stuff,” Chris Gobrecht said. “That team was sucking wind on the road and we kept fouling them and allowing them to catch their breaths.”

Brown is a good matchup for the Bulldogs because Yale has had great success against the Bears of late, sweeping the home-and-home series last year and taking three of the last four. Captain and guard Jamie Van Horne ’09 has already broken Yale’s all-time three-pointers-made record, and a win might be a perfect way to celebrate another Eli milestone: Colborne’s 1,000th career point.

“We all know Mel’s going to get 1,000 points this season and it’s a real credit to her,” Chris Gobrecht said. “She can just flat-out score the ball and she’s got a lot of versatility.”

Only 17 points away, which is slightly below her Ivy-leading 17.9 points a game, a great game for Colborne will mean a great game for the Bulldogs.

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