W. BASKETBALL | Bulldogs end best season in decades with WNIT loss

Guard Megan Vasquez ’13, Yale’s leading scorer, shot just 3 of 15 from the field in Yale’s 85–61 loss to Boston College in the first round of the WNIT.
Guard Megan Vasquez ’13, Yale’s leading scorer, shot just 3 of 15 from the field in Yale’s 85–61 loss to Boston College in the first round of the WNIT. Photo by Zoe Gorman.

The women’s basketball team experienced an early exit from the Women’s National Invitational Tournament with an 85–61 first round-loss to Boston College on March 17 at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

It was the first time the Bulldogs had played in a postseason tournament since 1979 and their first-ever appearance in the tournament.

Yale (14–15, 10–4 Ivy) stayed competitive with BC for the beginning of the first half, but the Eagles (19–12, 5–9 ACC) used an 11–0 run to seize control of the game and build a 19-point lead at halftime. It was too big of a deficit to overcome in the second half, and BC left New Haven with a victory.

“I don’t think we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into,” guard Allie Messimer ’13 said. “I don’t think we were ready to go out there with the same level of competitiveness that we needed to. That’s just what it came down to, we just weren’t ready to compete at the level that they were.”

Boston College guard Jaclyn Thoman led all scorers with 23 points. Forward Stefanie Murphy added 18 points and seven rebounds, while center Carolyn Swords finished with nine points and a game-high 11 boards.

Forward Janna Graf ’14 paced the Bulldogs with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals. Forwards Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Michelle Cashen ’12 tallied 10 and 11 points, respectively. Gobrecht also added five boards and four steals for Yale.

The Bulldogs took an early 3–2 advantage after guard Aarica West ’13 sank a three-pointer, but it would turn out to be Yale’s only lead of the game. Though the Elis were able to keep pace with the Eagles over the next eight minutes, BC used an 11–0 run to go up 30–15 at the 5:56 mark. The Eagles maintained control of the game for the remainder of the half and took a 47–28 edge into the locker room.

Boston College shot a scorching 70 percent (19 of 27) from the field in the first half and also outrebounded the Elis, 21–6.

“I think we allowed ourselves to be too intimidated by them at the beginning of the game,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said in a press release. “We didn’t attack them. If we had attacked them from the get-go, we might have been in the game, but we got too far behind.”

The Eagles only added to their lead after halftime and opened the second half by scoring six unanswered points to put the Bulldogs in a 25-point hole that they could not dig themselves out of. Though the Elis were able to trim the deficit to 58–40 after Mady Gobrecht knocked down two shots from the charity stripe with 9:35 left, that would be as close as they would get, as BC was able to maintain its offensive tempo and come away with the win.

The loss brought an end to one of the program’s most successful campaigns in years. Along with reaching the postseason for the first time in 32 years, the Elis also finished Ivy League play tied for second place with Harvard — their best final standing since the 1988-’89 season. The Bulldogs also completed a sweep of Harvard this season, a feat they had not achieved since the 1993-94 season.

“Coach G. said it best at the end of the game: you can’t let your last game define your season,” Messimer said. “We’re very happy with what we accomplished this year.”

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