The women’s basketball team defeated Dartmouth on Friday night before falling to Harvard in the matchup between top Ivy League teams on Saturday.
“For the most part, we enforced our style of play onto our opponents,” said guard Sarah Halejian ’15. “We still need to improve on our consistency and play well for the full 40 minutes of the game.”
Yale (10–10, 4–2 Ivy) began the weekend against the Big Green (3–17, 0–6), with an 86–52 win. The Elis shot a season-high 53.6 percent from the field led by 16 points from Halejian. Two other Bulldog players scored in double figures, as guards Nyasha Sarju ’16 and Meghan McIntyre ’17 each added 10 points.
Overall the Bulldogs dominated, leading the whole way after the first minute of action. Dartmouth scored the first bucket of the game, but a three-point shot by the Elis gave the Bulldogs a lead that they would not relinquish. Yale’s lead reached double digits with 11:13 left in the first half as the Elis took a 17–7 lead. Heading into the locker room, the Bulldogs had extended their lead to 16 points, up 38–22.
Guard Fanni Szabo of Dartmouth attempted to keep the game close by scoring the Big Green’s first 10 points of the second period. With fewer than 10 minutes remaining in the game, however, the Bulldogs still led by a significant margin, 60–36, which would only continue to grow. A strong finish by the Elis led to Yale’s biggest lead with nine seconds remaining before a final jump shot by Dartmouth made the final score 86–52.
The Bulldogs’ bench was a key factor to the game, scoring 42 points compared to the 12 points scored by Dartmouth’s bench. The Elis were able to limit their turnovers to 12 while forcing 22 turnovers from the Big Green, resulting in 26 points off turnovers for Yale.
In the second game of a back-to-back weekend, the Bulldogs faced a tough matchup against Harvard (15–5, 5–1) with both teams entering the game atop the Ivy League Conference. The game ultimately came down to the wire with the Crimson coming away with a narrow 58–57 win.
The game featured five ties and eight lead changes between the two teams, but at the end of the first half Yale had claimed an eight-point lead off the sharp shooting of Halejian, 31–23. Harvard was able to erase the deficit with 14:20 remaining in the second period, but Yale would regain the lead shortly thereafter.
The two teams traded baskets and were tied at 41 with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the half. The Crimson then took the lead less than a minute later off of free throws from guard Christine Clark. Harvard would keep the lead, which was extended to eight points with 5:35 remaining in the game, until the last minute of the contest.
Guard Lena Munzer ’17 tied the game at 55 with a three-point shot with 52 seconds remaining, but Yale was unable to capitalize upon the momentum and push ahead of Harvard. The Crimson scored 13 seconds later and then made a free throw to claim a three-point advantage. Two free throws by Halejian brought the deficit to one point, but a missed shot on Yale’s last possession led to the loss and final score 58–57.
While Halejian led the Bulldogs with 27 points, the Elis were able to convert only 27.4 percent of their field goals while Harvard shot 38.9 percent from the field. And although Yale also forced 19 turnovers while only turning the ball over 10 times, the squad was outrebounded 49–42.
“Every game in the Ivy League is an adventure and we will be in a position to win them all,” said head coach Chris Gobrecht. “The challenge is to get better and through improvement, find the defensive stops and extra points needed to win all of them, not just some of them.”
The Elis hit the road again next weekend with tough matchups against Penn and Princeton at 7 p.m. on Friday and at 6 p.m. on Saturday, respectively.