The women’s basketball team suffered its first home court loss in over a month, falling in a blowout against Brown Saturday afternoon at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

The Bulldogs (3-11, 0-1 Ivy) knew that the competition would be fierce in both squads’ Ivy League opener, but when gameday arrived, the Elis could not connect and were overwhelmed 65-38 by the Bears. Yale had won three straight games at home after losing, 68-47, to Quinnipiac Dec. 1.

“I feel like the confidence and determination was there at the beginning,” Yale center Erica Davis ’07 said. “But all of that started to fall apart once Brown kept pulling away. We didn’t have any good connection with each other on the court and we panicked. We started trying to match their scoring and made a lot of mistakes and they just took advantage of it.”

The Bears (8-5, 1-0 Ivy) took control of the game at the start of the contest, jumping out to an 8-2 lead. Brown used its equally balanced defensive and offensive skills in the first half to not only hold the Bulldogs to just 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) shooting from the court, but also to take a 32-14 lead into the break.

The Bears continued their onslaught into the second half with a 9-2 run to take a 25-point lead, from which the Bulldogs would never recover.

Brown point guard Sarah Hayes led Brown with 22 points and five steals. 6-foot-5 center Holly Robertson added 18 points and four blocks while forward Andrea Conrad chipped in with 10 points.

“Sarah and Holly are both excellent players,” Eli guard Jessica Kimball ’08 said. “Although our defense was almost non-existent for most of the game, we definitely have the capabilities to keep them off the boards next time.”

The Elis fought hard in the second half and tried to keep the game close by controlling the boards. Yale totaled 18 offensive rebounds including five from Eli guard Chinenye Okafor ’07.

Bulldog guard Morgan Richards ’05 led her squad with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Many who were familiar with the two teams thought that the most interesting face-off would be between the two centers, Davis and Robertson. But the match-up was more one-sided than was expected.

Three of Robertson’s four blocks for the day were against Davis and the Brown center’s strong defense held the Elis’ leading scorer to a season-low five points.

The matchup between Bulldog point guard Tory Mauseth ’05 and her counterpart Hayes had similar results. Mauseth finished with only three points and one rebound.

Overall, the Elis were disappointed with their performance, but remain optimistic.

The Bulldogs will try to even the score with Brown when they take the Bears on again next Saturday afternoon at the Pizzitola Center.

“I definitely think we can beat Brown next week,” Eli center Julie Mantilla ’07 said. “If we just play like we know we can, then there’s nothing that can stand in our way.”

[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”16684″ ]