For four members of the Yale women’s basketball team, the Seattle Times Husky Classic, which took place in Seattle, Wash. this past weekend, was a homecoming.

But despite bringing out a strong contingent of hometown fans, the Eli quartet failed to bring Yale its first win of the season. The Elis fell to Oklahoma State 71-54 on Friday and to Gonzaga 69-48 on Saturday.

While most of the campus was embarking on its Thanksgiving break, the Elis were in action in Connecticut against Quinnipiac on Nov. 21 and against Vermont on Nov. 25. Yale came up short both times, falling to the Bobcats 67-63 and to the Catamounts 78-65.

“We were disappointed in the losses,” forwardÊChristina Phillips ’04 said. “If we had played 40 minutes of good basketball — defensively and offensively — we could have come away with wins [against Oklahoma State and Gonzaga].”

After leading Yale in scoring with 40 points against Quinnipiac and Vermont, guard Tory Mauseth ’05, a native of Sammamish, Wash., was held to a total of 13 points in both games of the Classic. Mauseth leads the Bulldogs in scoring this season with 13.3 points per game. She is 13 for 26 from behind the arc this season and hit a season-high six 3-pointers against Quinnipiac.

“It’s a huge advantage for us to have someone who’s hitting from the outside to draw the defense out,” Phillips said.

Of their four losses, the Elis’ season opener at Quinnipiac was their closest. The Yale defense had its best performance, holding the Bobcats to 31.8% shooting from the field.

But giving up huge runs to the other three opponents turned close games into double-digit losses.

In their game against Gonzaga, the Bulldogs were tied 23-23 at the half. But the ‘Zags opened up the second half with a 22-6 run and maintained control of the tempo the rest of the game.

The Elis suffered a similar mid-game breakdown against Oklahoma State. Holding onto an 18-17 advantage with 7:20 to go in the first half, Yale spotted the Cowboys a 24-7 run before halftime. The Cowboys scored the first seven points after the break to ice the game.

In its Nov. 25 home opener against Vermont, Yale outscored the Catamounts 36 to 31 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome a 47-29 halftime deficit.

“It was great for us to play good competition,” guard Morgan Richards ’05 said. “While we weren’t able to put together two good halves, it showed us we can play with good teams.”

Poor free-throw shooting has also been a major factor in the Bulldogs’ last three losses. The Bulldogs have shot a combined 13 for 23 (53%) since their Nov. 21 season-opener and only got to the line once against Gonzaga.

Despite the rough start against strong non-conference opponents, solid performances from two freshmen in the frontcourt are an indication of good things to come for Yale this season.

In her debut at the starting center position, Erica Davis ’07 had nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks. The 6-foot-3-inch New Jersey native is averaging 8.3 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game so far this year.

“I’m starting to get into the groove of things — and learning what it takes to play at this level,” Davis said. “The coaches and upperclassmen have done a great job preparing us freshmen for this atmosphere.”

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