WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Bulldogs suffer first loss

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Photo by kathr.

On Saturday, the women’s basketball team was unable to overcome a 14–0 run by Sacred Heart in the second half, falling to the Pioneers 67–54.

The Elis had looked to end their winless streak against the Pioneers, who won last year’s contest 67–62 and had defeated Yale in the teams’ past 11 meetings. The Bulldogs (2–1, 0–0 Ivy), however, looked rusty against Sacred Heart (1–1, 0–0 NEC), shooting only 33.9 percent from the field and 14.3 percent from long distance in their third game of the season. The team had shot over 33 percent from beyond the arc in its first two games.

“I think our offense could have been better,” guard Hayden Latham ’15 said. “We weren’t hitting open shots, and that happens sometimes. We should have stepped up in other areas to compensate.”

Yale started the game with a turnover and was never able to get going, trailing the entire game. Fewer than 10 minutes into the contest, the Bulldogs were already down 23–11 to Sacred Heart. A rally kept Yale in the game, and the team pulled to within three of the Pioneers with 4:02 remaining in the half. Sacred Heart, however, responded with a run of its own, outscoring Yale 9–4 leading up to halftime.

Coming out of the locker room behind 37–29, the Bulldogs opened the second period on a positive note, scoring the first five points of the half. The two teams traded baskets up to the 12:55 mark, when the Pioneers rattled off 14 unanswered points, extending their lead to 60–43 over the Elis. Yale forward Alexandra Osborn-Jones ’14 stopped the bleeding, making a layup with 7:03 remaining, but Yale could not recover.

The Bulldogs kept Sacred Heart scoreless over the last 3:18 of the game, but it was too little too late for the squad. Yale scored the last five points of the game to bring the final score to 67–54.

“I think the biggest difference in the game was that Sacred Heart was a much more experienced team,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “It’s a game you wish we could have a month from now. We just weren’t quite ready.”

After a 43-point performance from the bench against UMass-Lowell last Tuesday, Yale received only 13 points outside its starting five on Saturday. Latham and Osborn-Jones paced the Elis, each scoring career-highs with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Together they accounted for almost 50 percent of Yale’s scoring output.

Forward Meredith Boardman ’16 led the team with eight rebounds. Still, the Bulldogs were outrebounded for the first time this season, grabbing 40 boards compared to the Pioneers’ 44. The 40 rebound total was well below the team’s season average of 52 rebounds per game.

Turnovers are still a troubling area for the Elis, who gave up the ball 17 times, allowing Sacred Heart to score 19 points off turnovers. The Pioneers also dominated the Bulldogs in the paint, outscoring Yale 38–28 inside the key.

“We definitely had the ability to beat them, but we lost focus at the end of the game,” Latham said. “We are going to be in similar situations throughout the season, and we need be able to close out games if we want to come out with a win instead of a loss.”

The Elis will be on the road this week, squaring off against Boston University at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Yale last faced BU on Dec. 7, 2011, when they lost 59–54.

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