Members of the women’s basketball team said it knew winning two consecutive games against Brown would not be easy, but after defeating the Bears in New Haven on Jan. 21, the Elis came out on top once again on Friday night, winning 71–59 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The Elis (6–10, 2–0 Ivy) used an 8–0 run in the first half to take control of a tight game. Though the Bears (4–12, 0–2) pulled within four points with seven minutes to play in the second half, the Bulldogs went on a 10–0 run, reestablishing a double-digit lead and crushing any hopes of a Brown comeback.
With the win, the Bulldogs complete the series sweep of their Ancient Eight rival. It is the first time either team has won both games against the other squad since Yale swept Brown in the 2007-08 season.
“Sweeping Brown is an awesome beginning to our season,” guard Megan Vasquez ’13 said. “The past two years we have split with Brown when we should have swept them, so this year we are starting off the season right.”
Vasquez led all scorers with 18 points, while adding six rebounds and five steals. Forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 also recorded her second consecutive double-double, tallying 16 points and 10 boards.
“I thought it was really key that Megan, as our point guard, was so focused both on offense and on defense,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “She really stepped up her game. She was a different player than she was a week ago.”
Brown’s guard Lindsay Nickel scored 17 points and grabbed six boards to lead her team. Guard Hannah Passafuime also added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bears. Guard Sheila Dixon, who netted 21 points against the Bulldogs in the team’s first matchup, was held to just eight points.
The Bulldogs opened the game by hitting three shots from the beyond the arc off the hands of Vasquez, guard Aarica West ’13 and guard Allie Messimer ’13 to take an early 9–7 lead.
The two teams were locked in a close battle until the Elis used an 8–0 run to take a 26–15 lead with 5:05 left in the half. Yale managed to control the game for the rest of the first half and took a nine-point lead into the locker room.
“I thought we came out much more ready to play this time than we did last week when we played them,” coach Gobrecht said. “We were ready for them.”
The Bulldogs continued to be the dominant team in the second half and pushed their lead to 41–30 following a basket from Vasquez at the 14:10 mark.
Still, the Bears battled back to reduce the deficit. A layup and two free throws from Brown’s Aileen Daniels pulled the Bears within four points with 7:37 left on the clock.
But the Bulldogs remained focused and responded by going on a 10–0 run to establish a 58–44 advantage with 5:35 left in regulation.
“Our 10–0 run was very important because we showed a lot of composure down the stretch, and we were able to keep control of the game even when Brown started to make a comeback,” Vasquez said.
After the run, Yale was able to maintain a double-digit lead for the rest of the game to pull away with its second win over Brown in two weeks.
“Everyone played really good, solid defense and we got contributions from the bench, and so it was a kind of solid effort,” coach Gobrecht said. “You have got to start off 2–0 when you play your rival right at the beginning, but we just play it one game at a time, and we’re just on a mission to get better.”
The Bulldogs continue Ivy League play next weekend when they host Penn on Friday night and Princeton on Saturday night. Both games are slated to begin at 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.