WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Yale seeks first road win

Forward Justin Sears ‘16 helped the Bulldogs slip past Bryant 64-62 on the road.
Forward Justin Sears ‘16 helped the Bulldogs slip past Bryant 64-62 on the road. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

The women’s basketball team will travel to Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. to take on the St. Francis College Terriers this Saturday.

Coming off their recent win against Fordham last Tuesday, the Bulldogs (2–6, 0–0 Ivy) are seeking their first victory on the road this season.

“The win against Fordham reassured us that we can defend good teams and that our game plan of wearing out our opponents works when we execute it,” guard Amanda Tyson ’14 said.

The Terriers (2–4, 0–0 NEC) will play their second Ivy League opponent this week, having fallen to the University of Pennsylvania, 61–60, on a last-second Quaker basket on Wednesday.

Despite their recent loss, the Terriers are currently averaging 40 percent from the field and led by a strong duo of sophomore forwards, Sarah Benedetti and Jaymee Veney, who are averaging 9.8 and 9.7 points per game, respectively.

St. Francis converted 25 points off of turnovers against Penn. The Terriers’ ability to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes poses a threat to the Bulldogs, who currently average 21 turnovers per game.

Offensively, Yale brings its own strength to the table with a 74 percent free-throw average and a 40 percent average from behind the arc. In Tuesday’s win over Fordham, the Elis made seven of their 14 shots from beyond the 3-point line.

“Right now, we are shooting the ball really well, particularly from behind the arc,” Halejian said.

Sophomore guard Sarah Halejian ’15 currently leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 13.2 points per game and a 52.2 percent shooting percentage from the 3-point line. She is accompanied by fellow guards Janna Graf ’14 and Nyasha Sarju ’16, who both average over nine points per game.

Both Sarju and Halejian were named to the Ivy League Honor Roll this week for outstanding performance in recent games against Quinnipiac and Army.

“Our biggest strength is the number of players who can score the ball,” said Tyson. “Every person on the court is an offensive threat, which is huge because teams have to worry about stopping us as a whole, instead of just stopping one individual player.”

Yale snapped a four-game losing streak with its 67–53 victory over the Rams this week, but the Bulldogs know that they have significant work to do before the start of Ivy League play on Jan. 19 against Brown.

“For the rest of the season, we need to just focus on continuing to improve. We feel that we can definitely contend for an Ivy League championship, which is the ultimate goal for us, but for now, we need to focus on St. Francis,” Halejian said.

The Bulldogs will continue their nonconference schedule over the winter break and will take on the Marist University and Georgetown in the coming weeks.

Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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