WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Shooting woes continue as Elis fall to Army

The Elis shot a higher percentage from beyond the 3-point line than from the field for the fifth time this season as they dropped their fourth straight game with a loss to Army on Saturday.
The Elis shot a higher percentage from beyond the 3-point line than from the field for the fifth time this season as they dropped their fourth straight game with a loss to Army on Saturday. Photo by Annelisa Leinbach.

Despite a 15-point performance from guard Nyasha Sarju ’15, the women’s basketball team fell to Army 47–53 last weekend at West Point.

The Bulldogs (1-6, 0–0 Ivy) traveled to upstate New York on Saturday to take on the Black Knights (7–1, 0–0 Patriot) and suffered their fourth straight loss this season.

“We went into offensive lulls where we would have crucial turnovers at crucial times,” Sarju said.

Sarju is second on the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game and was 5–7 from the three-point line against Army. She has appeared in all seven games and has contributed a total of 76 points this season.

Yale started off the game with a 10–0 run and center Zenab Keita ’13 scored the Bulldogs’ first five points. But the Black Knights slowly chipped away at the Bulldog lead, and Black Knights guard Kelsey Minato’s jump shot with two seconds left in the first half put Army ahead for the first time, 22–20.

In a game that saw six lead changes in the second half and a two-point Army lead with less than a minute remaining, the Bulldogs were undone by a 31.4 percent field goal percentage and a 41–29 rebounding deficit. Yale also committed four turnovers in the final 10 minutes of the game.

On the other side of the ball, Keita praised the active Bulldog defense that forced Army into 20 turnovers and held the Black Knights to 34.6 percent shooting in the first half. But that defensive effort lapsed in the second half, and Army shot 12–25 from the field over the final 20 minutes.

Continuing the back-and-forth second half battle, Yale cut the lead to one point with seven minutes remaining on Halejian’s 3-pointer. But Army scored six straight points to stretch the lead to seven with just under four minutes remaining.

With the Elis trailing 42–49, Sarju made her third 3-pointer of the game and Sarah Halejian ’15 converted both attempts from the free throw line with 1:40 remaining to pull Yale within two. From that point on the Bulldogs went cold, missing three shots from the field in the final two minutes as Army pulled away for the victory.

Led by senior guard Anna Simmers’ game-high 24 points, the Knights outscored Yale 28-18 in the paint and shot 41.2 percent from the field.

Halejian, who contributed her own 12 points, complemented Sarju’s standout performance. Keita and guard Janna Graf ’14 each had seven points as well.

“I think our large number of scoring threats is what has allowed me to be an offensive contributor on this team. We have ton of offensive threats and we are pretty balanced team when it comes to scoring,” Sarju said.

Yale has lost to Army 17 out of their 28 meetings on the court, and Army is currently on a six-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs will continue non-conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 4 against Fordham. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Comments