The pattern has become too familiar. The women’s basketball team played Brown evenly Saturday — except for one stretch in the first half when the Bears went on a 16-0 run and took the lead for good.
Lapses have plagued the Bulldogs (3-12, 0-2 Ivy) this season, and often the hole is too difficult to overcome. On Jan. 18 against the same Brown squad, a spurt by the Bears (8-7, 2-0 ) turned a 6-point deficit into a 10-point halftime lead; Yale later lost by seven. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs again attempted to claw their way back, but though they were able to close the gap to five in the second half, Brown pulled away for a 70-55 victory.
Yale achieved its goal of slowing Brown’s transition game, which accounted for 27 points last weekend. This time, the Bulldogs’ shortcomings came on the glass, where they were outrebounded 44-33.
“We didn’t get in and get enough offensive boards,” said Morgan Richards ’05, who led the team with seven rebounds. “We did improve on the fast break, stopping the ball earlier, and also from last week we continued with the positive energy, but we didn’t stop their runs as much as we should have.”
Brown’s run came on the heels of a freak set of circumstances resulting in injuries to two Yale players who had just returned to the lineup from different injuries. First, starting point guard Brynn Gingras ’04 took a charge and dislocated her thumb when she hit the ground. Four minutes later, team captain Maria Smear ’03 positioned herself on the same spot of the court where Gingras had just been hurt and proceeded to take a charge herself. But Smear smacked her head on the floor and had to leave the game with a concussion.
Gingras recently returned from a 2-game absence due to a sprained ankle; Smear had missed five games earlier in the season with a leg injury.
The losing trend has grown wearisome for the Bulldogs, who have yet to shake their season-long slump.
“It’s really frustrating,” Richards said. “In practices, we play really hard, we go at each other and it’s really intense, and then we get to the game and it just doesn’t seem to show our abilities and our talent doesn’t seem to be maximized.”
Nonetheless, the Elis are still only 0-2 in the Ivy League, and with Cornell (6-8, 0-2) and Columbia (9-6, 2-0) visiting this weekend, the Bulldogs have a chance to right their ship one more time.
“We know we’re not out of it,” Julie Cohen ’04 said. “We’re going to keep working hard in practice and keep our heads up. Anything can happen. We’re confident we’re going to get a couple of wins under our belt this weekend.”
The Bulldogs are playing with urgency, not panic. But, unless they notch a couple of victories soon, their season might become a macrocosm of their recent games, and the hole might again be too large to escape.