Bring out the brooms. For the first time in three years, the women’s basketball team (9–11, 4–2 Ivy) completed a weekend sweep of two Ivy League teams, downing Cornell (5–14, 0–6) 74–50 on Friday night and defeating Columbia (13–7, 4–2) 81–74 on Saturday night. Both wins took place at home, at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The Bulldogs are now tied with Columbia for second place in the Ivy League.
“This doesn’t surprise me,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “We’ve been getting better, and it shows.”
The team had practiced its offensive execution the entire week, Gobrecht said, and the results were on display this weekend.
The Elis hit their first 10 shots against the Cornell Big Red to take a 24–14 lead. Yale’s first missed field goal was a half-court three pointer from guard and captain Ashley Carter ’10 to beat the shot clock 11 minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs rode that offensive efficiency to a 40–19 halftime lead, shooting 61.5 percent from the field and hitting 5-of-9 three-pointers.
Yale continued its scoring spree in the second half, putting together an 11-0 run to take a 51–31 lead. The Bulldogs did not look back, leading by as many as 27 in the second half.
Forward Mady Gobrecht ’11 scored 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting while forward Michelle Cashen ’12 tallied her fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Overall, 11 Yalies scored on 46.3 percent shooting, and the Bulldogs outrebounded the Big Red 44-31.
After the game, the team was happy with the win but ready to take on second-place Columbia.
“We figured a lot of things out,” coach Gobrecht said. “Tomorrow will be entirely different, though.”
Added Cashen: “We’ve got to play the same way, but better.”
The next night, the Elis put up even bigger numbers on offense, shooting 69.0 percent from the field and making 5-of-6 from behind the arc in the first half alone to take a 47–37 lead over the Columbia Lions.
Guard Yoyo Greenfield ’11 continued her high-percentage shooting with 13 points in the first half, including 3-for-3 from downtown. Cashen added 11 points and five rebounds in the first 20 minutes. The 47 points marked the highest-scoring half for the Blue this season.
The Elis took the momentum into the second half, scoring the first eight points of the period to build a commanding 55–37 lead and forcing the Lions to take a timeout. But Columbia responded with a 8-0 run of its own to cut the lead to 10.
Yet three-pointers helped the Bulldogs to maintain their lead, as triples from guard Megan Vasquez ’13 and Carter pushed the Yale lead to 61–45 with 13:23 remaining. The Lions slowly but surely whittled down the Bulldog lead with intense pressure defense, outscoring the Elis 26-10 over the next 12 minutes and cutting the lead to one with 1:24 remaining.
Then, with Yale clinging to a 72–71 lead, Greenfield stepped up again, not from behind the arc as is her norm, but in driving to the basket, weaving between Columbia defenders and making a layup to put the Elis up 74–71.
On Columbia’s next possession, Lion forward Lauren Dwyer missed two crucial free throws. Yale responded by hitting 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch from Vasquez, Cashen and Gobrecht to seal the victory.
“To beat a good team, that’s what’s most important,” coach Gobrecht said. “We really held them off when they hit big shots. We’ve learned how to finish games.”
Greenfield scored a career-high 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including 4-for-7 from three-point range. The junior guard capped another efficient weekend, scoring 28 points on 11-for-20 shooting and 6-for-10 from behind the arc.
“I’ve been working on speeding my shot off,” Greenfield said. “It’s helped.”
Vasquez scored 19 points and dished out seven assists, while forward Melissa Colborne ’10 added 10 points. Cashen, who for much of the game guarded the leading rebounder in Division I and the Ivy League’s leading scorer in Columbia forward Judie Lomax, outrebounded Lomax with nine rebounds and scored 15 points.
Yale returns to the road next weekend to face rival Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. The Elis is focused on building on its success.
“We want to keep improving,” coach Gobrecht said.