On Saturday, the Lee Amphitheater reverberated with the din of the home crowd celebrating its team’s first victory in the Ivy League this season. The Bulldogs came back from behind with an inspired performance to secure a heartwarming victory in the final ticks of the clock.
Center Erica Davis ’07 took an entry pass from guard Jamie Van Horne ’09 and sunk a jump shot with just six seconds left in the game to defeat the Quakers on Saturday at home. Penn (3-15, 1-4 Ivy) had extended its lead to as many as 20 points in the second half, but Yale (2-17, 1-5) made an amazing comeback to take the win, 53-52. On Friday the Elis lost to Princeton (13-4, 4-0), 53-37.
The Tigers played a solid overall game but the members of the team said the Elis did a good job of restricting them.
“We played great defense,” guard Emily St. Jean ’09 said. “We held them to about 20 points less than their season average, so we were confident that we could beat Penn if we just played our game.”
Guard Stephanie Marciano ’07 scored a season high 10 points, but could not keep up with the Tigers. Princeton boasted a triple threat of Becky Brown, Meagan Cowher and Casey Lockwood, all of whom scored in double digits.
“Our offense was not working as well as our defense,” Marciano said. “We felt like we competed hard so it definitely was a setback.”
Despite the loss to Princeton, the Elis said they entered the Saturday matchup with the Quakers with high spirits.
The Bulldogs had a team effort against Penn, with Davis leading the way, scoring a game-high 15 points. Van Horne chipped in with nine points and two assists. Marciano and forward Sara McCollum ’08 each had eight points, keeping up their consistent play.
After taking a four-point lead in the first two minutes, the Bulldogs seemed to lose their early magic, going down by as much as 20 points with 15 minutes to play in the game. But a strong overall game led to a comeback.
“It was a team performance,” Marciano said. “We were communicating well and that was key. In the first half, our shots weren’t falling in and after trailing by 20 points, we just stepped up our defense. Everyone was just playing hard and things started working out in the second half.”
For Penn, Jennifer Fleischer scored a team-high 12 points but her effort was in vain as the Bulldogs surged to victory. Fleischer took a jumper from the paint in the very last second, but missed to give the Elis the victory.
Davis’ winning jumper was just a part of a strong overall performance. Despite not starting and playing only 18 minutes, Davis recorded two blocks and three rebounds to go with her 15 points.
“[Davis] played great,” guard Kaitlyn Lillemoe ’09 said. “Her shot in the last few seconds was awesome. Last night was a good game and what made it fun was that everyone on the team played well.”
Lillemoe also contributed six points and three assists to her team’s victory.
“We were very happy to come back from that deficit,” St Jean said. “Our [head] coach Chris [Gobrecht] was very proud to see us not give up and come back. We played great defense and it was truly a team performance.”
The Bulldogs return to action next Friday against Columbia with high spirits and a much-awaited triumph under their belts.