In a battle between Bulldogs, Yale came out on top last night after fighting off Bryant for three quarters of the game to snap a three-game losing streak.
Bryant (2–5, 0–0 Northeast) started the game off on a 6–0 streak before Yale (4–4, 0–0 Ivy) could score, then extended its lead to 11–3 a little over three minutes into the game. Yale went on a run to go up by one point, 14–13, at the 11:52 mark. The two teams continued to trade baskets through the end of the half, even as 24 total fouls called by the referees slowed the game.
The Elis continued their shooting prowess from long range, shooting almost 43 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, but Bryant stayed in the game by knocking down 8–9 of its free throws. Heading into the locker room at the end of a very physical first half, Yale led Bryant 37–35.
“We’re a good three-point shooting team,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “It’s something that we like to do. It’s not unusual for us to shoot that well. We have very good three-point shooters in Jana Graf ’14, Hayden Latham ’15, Meghan McIntyre ’17 and Lena [Munzer ’17] a very good three-point shooter and [so is] Sarah [Halejian ’15] … It’s kind of not a good idea to give us that shot.”
The two teams appeared to be evenly matched, as both squads grabbed 15 rebounds in the opening frame. Turnovers marred both teams, as Bryant had 15 turnovers and the Elis had 13. The teams battled back and forth, tying three times and trading the lead nine times.
The second half appeared to be a continuation of the first as neither team was able to pull away by more than a couple points. Yale finally wore out Bryant and the Elis, keyed by three point baskets and missed opportunities by Bryant, led 64–51 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.
Yale extended its lead by taking advantage of Bryant’s sloppy play, capitalizing on its copious number of turnovers to score 26 points. Bryant finished with 26 turnovers, while Yale limited its mistakes in the second half to finish the night with 19 turnovers.
“We definitely took a better care of the ball, that was obviously one of our bad points of the game, but I think we got more composed later in the second half,” Halejian said. “I think that’s what really helped us push ahead.”
Bryant attempted to close the gap following a timeout at the 3:13 mark, but the closest it was able to reach was 70–61 with less than 30 seconds remaining. The Elis finished the game with a couple of made free throws by Halejian to bring the final score to 72–61.
Halejian played well down the stretch, leading Yale with 15 points, seven assists and seven steals. Two more players scored in double figures for Yale, as Graf and Latham added 14 and 11 points, respectively. Forward Meredith Boardman ’16 grabbed 10 rebounds for Yale, which in total had 36 rebounds compared to Bryant’s 37.
Yale received valuable bench minutes from forward Katie Werner ’17, center Zenab Keita ’14 and Munzer, as the reserves added 21 points.
The Elis will play the second game of their four-game home stand on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against Army.