At first, it seemed like just another solid game for Lindsay Page ’05. Then, it turned into one of the most dominating outings ever by a Yale freshmen. But by game’s end, it was clear that Page had delivered one of the greatest performances in Yale women’s basketball history.
In Yale’s last game before a 16-day layoff, the Bulldogs (5-3) defeated Albany (2-5), 80-61, behind a 35-point effort from Page. En route to helping her team gain its sixth victory in its last seven games, Page set a new all-time record for most points in a game by a female Eli player. She eclipsed Mary Kalich’s ’95 and Randi Meberg’s ’89 previous record of 33 points in a game.
“I was just feeling in a zone,” Page said. “I felt confident, and I had the confidence and support of my teammates behind me.”
Page’s statistics speak for themselves.
Of her 35 points, 27 came in the second half as she helped Yale pull away from the Great Danes after holding only a 2-point halftime lead. She shot 13-19 from the field, including 2-3 from behind the 3-point line. In addition, Page was nearly perfect from the free-throw line, shooting 7-8 from the charity stripe. And to top it all off, she finished third on the team in rebounds with nine boards.
“She is one of the most fundamentally sound shooters I’ve every seen in my life,” head coach Amy Backus said. “Lindsay does all the little things. She is going to be a great one.”
Page, who also scored 35 points in a game her senior year of high school, said she was unaware of her tremendous point total during the game. She did not find out that she had set a new school record until after the game was over.
“It just felt good,” she said. “Everyone gave me a hug. It was a wonderful feeling.”
Page was put in the position to carry her team on her back after the Bulldogs were unable to build a substantial lead in the first half. Although the Elis outrebounded the Great Danes 26-19, Yale only shot 33.3 percent from the field and went a paltry 1-8 from behind the 3-point line in the first half. With 17:10 remaining in the game, the score was tied 37-37.
“[Our players] were accomplishing the game plan,” Backus said. “I was a little surprised that the score was as tight as it was. Albany is the type of team that can hang around.”
While Page stole the show in the second half, Helene Schutrumpf ’03 led the way in the first 20 minutes. Eleven of her 14 points came in the first half, as well as her seven steals and eight of her 10 rebounds. Schutrumpf had been coming off two sub-par performances again Boston University and Lafayette.
Ultimately, it was Yale’s defense that kept the Great Danes at bay. The Elis dominated the boards, grabbing a total of 53 rebounds to Albany’s 29.
“What’s been keeping us in games all along has been defensive rebounds,” Backus said. “This was another example of keeping people from scoring. We’re finding our niche with the zone. We rebound well out of it, so we just kept going with it.”
The Bulldogs came into Tuesday’s game following a 72-62 overtime win at Lafayette Saturday afternoon. Another freshman, Morgan Richards, was the hero in that game, sinking the basket that tied the game with five seconds remaining and scoring eight of Yale’s 14 overtime points.
After playing four games in 11 days, the Bulldogs will not play again until Dec. 27, when they travel to the University of Miami for the Gatorade Festival.