WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Yale triumphs in Ivy opener

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Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

The women’s basketball team had a dominant effort against Brown on the front end of a home-and-home to defeat the Bears for its first Ivy win of the year in the teams’ conference opener.

Yale (7–8, 1–0 Ivy) traveled to Providence this past Friday, and a strong team effort helped the Elis pull away in the second half en route to a 70–53 victory over Brown (6–9, 0–1). The teams will square off in New Haven this coming Friday night.

“Each player who came into the game had a positive impact,” guard Sarah Halejian ’15 said. “It was an all-around team win with a lot of great contributions from multiple people. Our post players all played really well and we will need that for the rest of the season.”

The first half was a highly contested battle with multiple lead changes that ended with the Bulldogs up by four heading into the locker room.

Throughout the second half, the Elis started to build their lead with strong scoring from inside the paint, outscoring the Bears 42–30 in that facet of the game. The Bulldogs also had command of the boards all night, out-rebounding Brown 46–28. Strong defense from the Bulldogs held Brown scoreless for over six minutes to start the second half, then held the Bears without a field goal for three and a half minutes later in the period as Yale took a 44–37 lead.

Brown was able to creep back to within four points, but a 13–3 run by the Elis propelled the lead to double figures with less than five minutes to play. Yale closed out the end of the game by hitting nine of 10 from the free throw line in the last 2:02. The Bulldogs had their largest lead with 51 seconds left, 70–51, before Brown scored at the buzzer to give the final score.

Center Emmy Allen ’16 had a standout game for the Elis, posting her first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Head coach Chris Gobrecht said that Allen stepped up for the Bulldogs against Brown.

“I was very aggressive offensively and defensively and tried to implement what the coaches have asked us to do,” Allen said.

Neither of the two teams, two of the best three-point shooting teams in the Ivy League, was able to match its season average from behind the arc. Yale shot 21.4 percent from downtown while Brown was able to manage only 8 percent.

A number of Bulldog players contributed to the win, as nine different players scored. Captain and guard Janna Graf ’14 led the team in scoring with 16 points, and Halejian added 12 points.

The Elis shuffled their starting lineup for the contest, inserting forward Katie Werner ’17, who was making her first career start, and guard Lena Munzer ’17, who was making her second career start. Yale’s bench was a factor as well, outscoring Brown’s bench 33–16.

“We just want the players on the floor who are proving they can help our team win games,” Gobrecht said.

Guard Lauren Clarke, who scored 16 points for the Bears, led Brown’s offense alongside guard Jordin Alexander, who scored 10 points.

Yale faces Brown again on Friday in the John J. Lee Amphitheater at 7:00 p.m.

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