The women’s basketball team loves toying with coach Amy Backus’ record.
After breaking out of a season-long slump to beat Columbia (9-8, 2-2 Ivy) Jan. 31 and give Backus career win No. 199, the Elis (4-13, 1-3) fell to Cornell (7-10, 1-3) in a hard-fought match Feb. 1.
Backus must wait for career victory No. 200.
And the injuries continue to pile up.
With the starting backcourt of captain Maria Smear ’03 and Brynn Gingras ’04 still out from injuries sustained against Brown University last weekend, Yale received another blow when Bonnie Smith ’04, who recently emerged as the team’s most dangerous scoring weapon, left Saturday’s game after just two minutes from a nagging leg injury. She will undergo X-rays today.
And three other players had to leave the game — because they fouled out.
Yale began the game with just nine eligible players. Smith’s injury and the three fouled-out players left the Bulldogs with just five for much of the second half. Tired legs and no true point guard contributed to an 80-70 loss.
“We came out of the locker room on a positive note,” said Lindsay Page ’05, who had 12 points before fouling out. “Cornell scouted us well and took us out of our game early.”
Playing all 40 minutes, Tory Mauseth ’05 led the team with 21 points; Morgan Richards ’05 poured in 17, and Julie Cohen ’04 added 12 before fouling out.
Without the backcourt triumvirate, the Bulldogs did not have the horses to pull out a win.
“Brynn [Gingras] being out has been a huge difficulty because she has the most experience and background as a point guard, and she really sets the tempo for us,” Page said. “And then Bonnie going out was a devastating blow.”
Against the Lions, the Bulldogs fell behind in the first half but were able to come back down the stretch because they had depth off the bench.
“We were definitely hoping to get both [wins], but even against Cornell we played with good energy,” said Cassandra Harris ’06, who played extended minutes against Cornell due to the injuries and foul problems. “We got down early, but we played even with them the rest of the way.”
The team’s first league win provided an emotional boost. But now Yale must prepare for this weekend at Dartmouth and league-favorite Harvard without a full lineup.
“We’re not content,” Page said. “We were very excited after the Friday win — But we know we have obstacles in our way with the injuries and a lot of work we need to get done.”
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