Its always good to be able to bounce back from a tough loss. The women’s basketball team, however, would like it if the loss never happened in the first place.
On the heels of a 60-51 loss to Cornell Friday night, Yale routed Columbia at the John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday night 88-57.
Against the Lions (11-11, 5-5 Ivy), the Bulldogs (12-11, 5-5 Ivy) had five players in double figures. Helene Schutrumpf ’03 led all scorers with 14 points while point guard Brynn Gingras ’04 had arguably one of the best games of her career. Gingras finished the game with 11 points, eight assists and five steals.
“I thought everybody [from Yale] was on their A game,” Columbia assistant coach Denise DiBacco said.
The Elis led the entire game, jumping out to a 21-point lead at halftime. While the Lions displayed a taller lineup than in their last game against Yale, the added height slowed them down. The Bulldogs were thus able to push the ball up the court and score in transition.
“We’ve been talking about the fact that we haven’t been punishing teams with that [fast] tempo,” head coach Amy Backus said. “We run hard, but we don’t produce on the other end of the court.”
That was not the case Saturday as the Elis shot 43.5 percent from the field, including 45.4 percent from behind the three-point line. Yale also did an excellent job protecting the basketball, committing just five turnovers in the first half and 14 overall.
Megan Bramlette, who had 12 points, and Edytte Key, who had 11, led the Lions in scoring. For Yale, Christina Phillips ’04 and Bonnie Smith ’04 helped out with 10 and 11 points, respectively. Meg Simpson recorded a double-double, with 10 rebounds and 12 points.
“It’s nicer when the whole team can feel like they contributed,” Gingras said. “We all took control.”
Smith was Yale’s leading scorer in the loss to Cornell (14-9, 8-2 Ivy). Her 10 points off the bench were a highlight for the Bulldogs in the disappointing loss.
The Big Red and the Elis fought closely the entire game, and with 7:22 left to play, the score was tied 46-46. But five free-throws by Cornell senior Do Stevens helped give the Big Red the lead for good. Stevens finished with a game-high 23 points.
“We play long stretches where we just tend to hand it over to [the other team,]” Backus said. “I don’t know if it’s a lack of confidence or a lack of knowledge of how hard you have to play down the stretch to win.”
The Bulldogs were hurt by a stifling Cornell defense. Yale, the best defensive rebounding team in the Ivy League and the third best offensive rebounding team, was outmatched on the boards 46-35.
Although Cornell did not get into an offensive rhythm until the end of the first half, its ability to hold the Elis to just 32.2 percent shooting from the field kept the game lose. And with Cornell in the thick of an Ivy League title race with Harvard, Big Red head coach Marnie Dacko was relieved to come away with the victory.
“In spite of the fact that we didn’t play well in the first half, we only gave up 26 points,” Dacko said. “Yale’s a tough club to beat at home and I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy ball game.”
While Cornell’s hopes for an Ancient Eight crown are still alive, the door is basically shut on Yale’s title chances. And although the Elis’ 12 wins overall are the most victories the team has had under Backus, Yale has not been able to string together two Ivy wins in a row.
“I still believe we’re better than any team out there,” Smith said. “But we’re not proving it.”