Down 13 points with just under 15 minutes remaining, the women’s basketball team’s season looked to be getting off to a rough start.
But a number of players contributed down the stretch, and the Bulldogs (1–0, 0–0 Ivy) came back to open their season on a high note, defeating Monmouth 64–55.
“The freshmen handled themselves great, and the veterans stepped up down the stretch,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said in an email. “The best part is we will only get better.”
The Elis’ depth was certainly on display Saturday, with four players scoring in double figures.
The entire roster contributed from top-to-bottom as 12 different players saw time on the court.
“We had so many people help contribute to the win and it showed everyone that we are a deep team with many different attributes,” center Emmy Allen ’16 said. “This year, we’re not depending on just one person to score, we know that we have multiple players that are an offensive threat.”
The two teams played a tight first half, trading baskets leading up to half time. Monmouth forward Shira Schecht hit a last second three pointer to give Monmouth (0–1, 0–0 MAAC) the halftime lead, 32–29. The Hawks carried that momentum into the second half, starting the period with a 10–0 run over the first 5:05 to extend the lead to 42–29.
But the Bulldogs came back with a run of their own, tying the game at 44 with less than 10 minutes to play.
With about four minutes remaining and the score tied at 52, the Elis began to pull away, finishing the game on a 12–3 run. In fact, the Bulldogs held the Hawks scoreless over a three and a half minute stretch — Monmouth did not add its final two points until six seconds remained. By then it was too late, as the Elis secured a 64–55 victory.
The Elis vastly outshot Monmouth from behind the three-point arc. In general, the Bulldogs shot only 27.9 percent from the field against Monmouth, but were able to convert 42.9 percent of their three-point attempts. This dwarfed effort put forth by Monmouth, who shot 35.5 percent from the field but only 7.7 percent from three-point range.
The Elis also had a strong effort on the boards, outrebounding the Hawks 59–48.
“Monmouth was a big team with good post play and I thought we did a really nice job defending and rebounding,” Allen said. “The game went back and forth and was really competitive until we pulled away in the last few minutes.”
Guard Hayden Latham ’15 led the way for Yale, scoring 14 points in 28 minutes of action. Forward Meredith Boardman ’15 had a team-high nine rebounds to go along with 10 points, shooting 4–6 on the night. Guard Janna Graf ’14 and forward Katie Werner ’17 each added 10 points in the team’s first contest of the season.
Guard Sarah Halejian ’15 led the team with five assists on the night.
“It’s so rewarding to win the first game after we had worked so hard in preseason,” Allen said. “We’re all so excited for this season and we all believe that we have something special and that we have what it takes to win.”
The Elis look to continue the momentum on Tuesday when they face Massachusetts-Lowell in their home opener.