WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Elis split weekend

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Photo by Brianna Loo.

The women’s basketball team soundly defeated Columbia on Friday but fell to Cornell on the back end of its doubleheader the next day to split the weekend’s games.

The Bulldogs (9–9, 3–1 Ivy) jumped out to a fast start against Columbia (4–14, 1–3) on their way to a resounding 76–51 win in New York. The win gave Yale a 3–0 start in the Ivy League for the first time since the 2010–’11 season.

The Elis played intense defense against the Lions, limiting Columbia to only three field goals and 10 points in the entire first half. In that first half alone, the Bulldogs pressured Columbia into 20 turnovers.

“Our tenacity on defense really sparked our intensity against Columbia,” forward Meredith Boardman ’16 said. “Our pressure defense led into our energy on offense. It was a great team win.”

The game was not close for very long as the Elis took advantage of Columbia’s scoring drought to push the lead from three points early, 9–6 less than five minutes into the game, to 25 points heading into the locker room at half time.

The second half was more closely contested, as both teams scored 41 points in the half, though there was no hope for a Lions comeback. Yale extended the lead further in the second half, holding its largest advantage of 32 points with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left in the game. Although Yale was held to only one field goal in the last four and a half minutes of the contest, Columbia could narrow the deficit to no more than 21 points, 72–51. The Elis closed out the game with a couple of made free throws and a short jumper to bring the final score to 76–51.

“We came out ready to play against Columbia and dictated the tempo of the game right away,” guard Sarah Halejian ’15 said. “We forced them to play our style and made them feel uncomfortable offensively.”

The Bulldogs shot 41.2 percent from the field compared to the Lions’ 32.0 percent and controlled the paint, scoring 32 points in the key versus 22 for Columbia. The bench also played a key role for Yale, outscoring the Lions’ bench 33–18. Guard Lena Munzer ’17 and Boardman led the team with 13 points apiece while center Emmy Allen ’16 grabbed 11 boards for the Elis.

Yale was not as successful against Cornell (11–7, 3–1) the next day, dropping its first Ivy League contest 65–56 in Ithaca. The two teams were evenly matched throughout the first half, with the Bulldogs shooting at a 50.0 percent clip from the field and the Big Red shooting 48.0 percent. The Elis finished the opening frame tied with Cornell at 32.

The second half was another story, but as the Bulldogs shot over 10 percent lower than the Big Red, 30.8 percent to 41.4 percent. While the Elis led 47–45 with 9:25 remaining in the game, that would be their last lead. Cornell went on a 7–0 run and outscored Yale 20–4 over an eight-minute period to keep the lead for good. The Elis were unable to recover, leading to the 65–56 loss.

“Cornell wanted to win more than we did,” Halejian said. “We need to learn that we cannot take any Ivy opponent lightly because every team wants to win each night. We let them stick around the whole game and they were the team that ended up pulling away.”

Yale was outrebounded 35–32 and could not prevent Cornell from scoring in the paint all game, as the Big Red recorded 36 points in the key compared to the Bulldogs’ 12 points. The Yale bench was outscored 18–14, and the Elis lost the turnover battle, posting a .5 margin.

Halejian was the only player to score in double digits for the Bulldogs, notching 19 points, while Boardman led the way in rebounds, collecting nine.

Yale returns home next week with another doubleheader, this one against Dartmouth on Friday and Harvard on Saturday.

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