WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Yale looks to sweep Brown

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Photo by Kathryn Crandall.

The women’s basketball team will face Brown in New Haven on Friday one week after beating the Bears in Providence.

The Bulldogs (7–8, 1–0 Ivy) are returning home for the first time in four games, posting a 2–2 record on their road trip. The 70–53 win over Brown (6–9, 0–1) featured a well-balanced attack from the Elis, with baskets from nine different players.

“It was a great team win,” center Emmy Allen ’16 said. “Everyone contributed.”

Yale outrebounded the Bears 46–28 and dominated the key, scoring 42 points in the paint compared to Brown’s 30 points. The Bulldogs shot better from the field as well, 41.9 percent compared to 38.5 percent. The Eli defense also limited Brown’s best weapon: the three-point shot. Yale held the Bears to just 8.3 percent shooting from downtown.

The Bulldogs, however, committed more turnovers than Brown, 19–17. Turnovers have been a main point of concern for Yale all season. The Elis average 16.7 turnovers per game and have hit the 20 turnover mark three times this season. Guard Sarah Halejian ’15 noted that the team needs to limit its turnovers and play a more consistent game for 40 minutes.

Yale had a habit of starting slowly as well, marked by its early deficit against Brown. The Bulldogs trailed by five points, 15–10, about eight and a half minutes into the game before going on a run to capture the lead.

“For Friday against Brown and the rest of the Ivy season, we need to work on eliminating our number of unforced turnovers, executing our offense more efficiently, coming out strong from the very beginning of the game and guarding their shooters — they can be a very dangerous team offensively,” Allen said.

Brown received a strong performance from guards Lauren Clarke and Jordin Alexander, who scored 16 and 10 points, respectively. The Bears’ top three-point shooter, guard Sophie Bikofsky,, and the second-leading scorer, managed only five points and made the team’s only three pointer against Yale.

Following Yale’s 17-point win, the team expects Brown to come back stronger, according to head coach Chris Gobrecht. It is unlikely that Brown will have another poor performance from behind the three-point arc, she added.

“The second time around in a back-to-back series like we have with Brown is always toughest on the winning team,” Gobrecht said. “We have to keep our edge because Brown will come out more determined than ever.”

The Bulldogs will again look to Halejian and captain and guard Janna Graf ’14 to carry the team. Graf was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week in recognition of her efforts in the game. The Elis also have a strong bench that can be a difference maker against the Bears again.

Allen had a career game against Brown last Friday, and, according to Gobrecht, any player has the capability of stepping up just as Allen did. Gobrecht sent a new starting lineup out for the opening tip against Brown last week, but it remains to be seen if she will keep the new starting five when the two teams face off tonight or if she will revert back to an earlier lineup.

Yale has struggled at home against Brown, losing the last three games between the two teams in John J. Lee Amphitheater.

The back end of the home-and-home series will be tonight at 7:00 p.m.

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