The women’s basketball team started playing games two months ago, but this weekend will be the start of an entirely new part of the year.
The Bulldogs (4–10) will begin Ivy League play tonight when it hosts Brown (4–10) at John J. Lee Ampitheater.
“The really fun thing about Ivy play is that you throw it all out the window,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “There have been teams that have won the Ivy League and hardly won at all during their preseason. We go from seeing teams as numbers to seeing teams as names, so it definitely changes your sense of urgency.”
Since the Bulldogs (4–10) played a tough preseason schedule, Gobrecht believes it helped prepare the team for games against the Ancient Eight.
“I think we saw just about everything possible in our preseason,” Gobrecht said. “We played against great teams, we played against great players, we played shorthanded a lot, we faced about every style of play there is known in the game, so I definitely think we have a pretty good idea of where we are and what are strengths and weaknesses are.”
The Elis also battled through injuries to key players. Captain and guard Yoyo Greenfield ’11, who has been kept out of the lineup for the last nine games due to a concussion she suffered during a collision in practice, will be unavailable against Brown. Forward Michelle Cashen ’12, however, is expected to play. Cashen missed the team’s last game, a 63–56 loss to Army last Sunday, with a sprained ankle.
Brown (4–10) enters the game having dropped three games in a row. The Bears last played on Jan. 6, when they were defeated 63–61 by NJIT.
“Brown is a very unorthodox team,” Gobrecht said. “They work hard to make you play their style of game, and they don’t really have any true post players. They’re very interchangeable, so it’s a real challenge for you defensively to have to defend all over the floor. They play hard, they play well together, [and] they’re excellent shooters, so they have a style that works and they’ve been doing a good job.”
Yale split its two matchups against Brown last season. Though the Bulldogs lost 60–56 on the road to the Bears in their league opener, they avenged the loss a week later by defeating Brown 67–43 at home. The Bears lead the all-time series against the Bulldogs by a 42–28 margin.
Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The game will also be broadcast live on YES Network.