The women’s basketball team achieved one of its two goals in Saturday night’s game against Brown. Unfortunately for Yale, the goal achieved will not appear in the standings.
The Bulldogs (3-12, 0-2 Ivy) lost 75-58 to the Bears (9-6, 2-0) at the Pizzitola Center after closing out the first half on a 21-10 run to tie the score 31-31.
“Our goal was to be ahead or even at the half because we’ve had problems coming back in the second half,” guard Morgan Richards ’05 said. “We were optimistic since we had achieved that [at halftime].”
But the Bulldogs quickly found themselves down again due to the Bears’ hot shooting and defensive pressure in the second half.
Brown guard Tanara Golston and center Holly Robertson each finished seven-of-11 from the field for 18 and 17 points respectively. Bear forward Nyeema Mitchell, who scored 22 points at Yale Jan. 17, was held to nine, but she managed to grab 11 rebounds.
Robertson, listed at six-foot-five, hit three-of-four from downtown in 17 minutes of play.
“It was hard for our guards to pick [Robertson] up [in the 2-3 zone] because she can shoot over them,” Richards said.
Meanwhile, the Eli shooters were frigid firing from their usual comfort zone, ending the game three-of-21 from 3-point range. In the 75-72 loss to Brown Jan. 17, the Bulldogs’ relied on nine-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc to stay in the game.
“We were taking shots we’d normally take, but they weren’t falling for us,” Richards said.
Four Elis did finish with double-digit figures in scoring. But the 47 points Yale received from Erica Davis ’07 (15), Brynn Gingras ’04 (12), Julie Cohen ’04 (10), and Bonnie Smith ’04 (10) was matched by Brown’s top three scorers.
Smith, who returned from a thigh contusion to play her first game on Dec. 31, competed for a season-high 29 minutes. The 2002-2003 Honorable Mention All-Ivy forward gave the high-energy performance she was known for last season, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
“Bonnie had a great game,” Richards said. “Her outside shots weren’t falling, but she made up for it by crashing the boards hard and getting a lot of offensive rebounds.”
Although her conditioning looked strong, Smith shot zero-of-five from 3-point range.
“I feel more in shape and have my feet under me again,” Smith said. “My shot is not quite there, which is frustrating.”
While Smith gave the Bulldogs a spark off the bench, two of Yale’s usual leading scorers were held to a combined nine points. Richards and Tory Mauseth ’05, who teamed up for 37 points in the previous game against Brown, took only five field-goal attempts each.
Mauseth had made at least one 3-pointer for six games straight games, but went zero-of-three Saturday night.
Yale players said starting the Ivy League season with two games against a top contender for the league championship was a challenging task. Brown has returned all of its players from a team that finished tied for second in the 2002-03 Ancient Eight standings.
But the Bulldogs will continue playing the league’s best when they travel to the Palestra to face Pennsylvania (7-6, 1-0) Friday, followed by a match-up with a struggling Princeton team (3-10, 0-1) Saturday.
“It’s tough starting against Brown,” Smith said. “We traditionally play well against Penn and Princeton, so we’re looking forward to the road trip.”
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”18476″ ]