The women’s basketball team looks like it’s ready for Ivy League play. On Saturday, the Bulldogs (3–3) held on to defeat the Bucknell Bison (2–6), 54–50 in Lewisburg, Pa.
“I think that the way we handled this game is how we need to play in the Ivy League,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said.
The Elis rode a balanced effort, in which all nine Yalies who played scored, to an impressive road victory in a hostile environment.
Forward Melissa Colborne ’10 led the Bulldogs with 10 points while forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 added nine points and a team-best seven rebounds. Guard Yoyo Greenfield ’11 chipped in seven points and backcourt mate Megan Vasquez ’13 hit three three-pointers to score nine points, as the Elis shot 4-for-12 (33.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
“We improved a lot in terms of our offense,” forward Emily Wanger ’13 said.
Yale showed impressive balance from the beginning, racing out to a 30–19 halftime lead.
Bucknell, however, did not go down easily, fighting back in the second half to tie the score at 46–46 with 2:47 remaining. Yet it was the Elis who showed composure down the stretch.
“We had the lead,” coach Gobrecht said. “Then they got the momentum, but we took care of the end of the game.”
Once again, it was captain and guard Ashley Carter ’10 who came through in the clutch.
Carter hit two huge free throws in the last minute to push the Yale lead to four and seal the win.
“It always seems that in every close game, Carter comes up with a big play,” said injured forward Lindsey Williams ’11.
Yale benefitted from forcing 31 Bucknell turnovers and committing 11 fewer themselves. And the Bulldogs took advantage of Bucknell’s miscues, scoring 19 points off the turnovers. The Elis also had the advantage in bench points, 19–10.
Yale overcame the odds not only in winning a road game in a tough setting, but also by winning while having to deal with the stresses and difficulties of academics during reading week.
“It’s a rough time for teams in season,” Gobrecht said. “Early December is worse than finals week.”
Additionally, the Bulldogs continue to miss two key players. Williams is recovering from knee surgery while guard Aarica West ’13, an instrumental part of Yale’s comeback victory over Holy Cross the first game of the season, has lingering issues with her ankle.
Next up for the Bulldogs are the Boston University Terriers, who will pay a visit to John J. Lee Amphitheater tonight at 5:30 p.m.
The Elis expect a physical game against a big Terrier squad.
“BU has got a lot of size,” Gobrecht said. “It will be a challenging game for us.”
Yale will play its final home game of the calendar year on Dec. 19 against UC Davis at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs then will play five straight non-conference road games at Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, Kansas State, Colorado and the New Jersey Institute of Technology before Ivy League play starts on Jan. 15 at Brown.
As Yale gets ready for the long and difficult road trip, the team hopes to rely on the persistent spirit that has marked the first six games of the season.
“We always keep fighting,” Williams said.