WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Road trip not kind to Elis

The women’s basketball team dropped all three contests it played over Thanksgiving break, including two against teams that played in the postseason last season.

On Friday, the Elis (3–4, 0–0 Ivy) got off to a rough start against Fordham (5–2, 0–0 Atlantic 10), falling behind 28–10 less than 12 minutes into the first half. A 19–5 run by the Bulldogs brought Yale to within five points of the Rams with 20 seconds remaining in the half. Fordham, however, regained the momentum with a 3-pointer to close out the first half, bringing the score to 43–35.

Fordham controlled the second half, outscoring the Elis 37–17 as Yale struggled to score from the field and at the line. Two Bulldogs finished in double figures: Guards Sarah Halejian ’15 and Hayden Latham ’15 each had 10 points. Overall the Elis were outshot 46.6 percent to 34.4 percent from the floor and outrebounded 47–36.

“We lost a lot of our intensity and momentum starting off the second half which affected our performance both on the offensive and defense end,” captain and guard Janna Graf ’14 said. “This combination allowed Fordham to go on a run and resulted in us losing our poise.”

The Bulldogs then traveled to Florida on Monday to face Miami (5–2, 0–0 Atlantic Coast) and featured a strong performance from Halejian and Graf, who scored 22 and 13 points respectively. It was not enough, however, as five Hurricane players scored in double figures. The Elis were able to stay within striking range, trailing 28–25 with 7:33 remaining in the first half. The Hurricanes began to pull away by the end of the half, pushing their lead to 47–33.

Miami extended its lead throughout the second half, going up by 20 points with just under 13 minutes remaining in the game. Miami dominated the paint, outscoring Yale 54–16 in the key, and also led in fast break points 16–2. A torrid shooting performance by the Hurricanes, who netted 58.3 percent of their shots, helped Miami to down the Bulldogs 91–67.

“We did not pressure Miami enough defensively and gave them too many easy, uncontested shots in transition and in the half court,” Halejian said. “They were also very athletic and we struggled to contain their penetration.”

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Halejian and Graf once again paced the Bulldogs with 19 and 12 points respectively against Furman (4–4, 0–0 Atlantic Sun). The two teams traded baskets in the first half, until the Elis were able to create an eight-point lead a little over 10 minutes into the game. Yale held on to its lead and went into the locker room at halftime up 30–28.

In the second half, Furman came back to tie the game at 38 with 15:47 remaining in the game and did not fall behind again. The Paladins would jump out to an eight-point lead with under eight minutes to play, but the Bulldogs fought back to within one, bringing the score to 59–60 with over a minute to play. Yale’s rally fell short, however, as Furman knocked down its free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach, defeating Yale 66–61.

“The team improved both offensively and defensively during our road games this past week,” Graf said. “We learned to play better as a team and with more patience on the offensive end, while continuing to improve on our pressure and rotations on the defensive end. We can still improve on our transition defense and playing consistent Bulldog basketball for a full 40 minutes.”

The team returns home this week to face Bryant, a team the Bulldogs defeated last season 78–65, on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

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