Following a blowout victory two weekends ago against Brown, the Yale women’s basketball team found itself in a neck-and-neck rematch with the Bears that required a strong final five minutes for the Bulldogs to secure a 48–39 win.
Friday’s contest, pushed ahead a day in Providence due to the snowstorm, featured a slower and less proficient Yale offense, which scored 33 fewer points than in its first meeting between the two teams and 17 points fewer than its season average. Despite the quiet offensive performance, captain and guard Whitney Wyckoff ’16 was able to find the bottom of the net when it mattered most to help lead the Bulldogs. The senior scored eight of the team’s 13 points in the final period.
“It was not a perfectly pretty one, but a win is a win,” guard Mary Ann Santucci ’18 said. “We did not shoot well, and neither did Brown, so it was pretty low scoring. But we fought through and came out on top, securing the road win.”
The Bulldogs only scored seven points in what became their lowest scoring frame of the season. However, the Elis still managed to carry a 7–2 lead into the second as the Eli defense held the Bears to 1–15 shooting.
Both teams were able to ramp up their offensive output in the second quarter, with Brown cutting the deficit to just one at halftime.
After the half, the Bulldogs widened their lead immediately, scoring 10 of the first 14 points in the quarter. Yale sunk twice as many shots as the Bears during the third period to secure a nine-point lead heading into the final quarter of the rematch.
In the fourth, a five-minute scoring drought for Yale allowed Brown to climb within three points with less than five minutes to play. It was at this critical point in the game that Yale’s captain took control.
Wyckoff hit a three-pointer to snap the scoreless stretch and wound up either scoring or assisting on the final 11 points of the game for the Bulldogs. In particular, an assist to guard Meg McIntyre ’17, who knocked down a three-point jumper, pushed Yale ahead by seven with 1:26 to play, creating too large a deficit for Brown to overcome.
Wyckoff not only came up big offensively in the final 10 minutes, but also had a crucial block and took a charge to contribute to the Eli victory. She recorded her third double-double of the season in the process, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds, both team-highs.
The victory was also the Bulldogs’ first on the road this season, and it came against a Brown team that had not yet lost on its home court.
“Playing on the road is always tough, and I think we had a lot of trouble getting in rhythm offensively,” guard Nyasha Sarju ’16 said. “Brown did some different things that made it harder to get our transition game going and their pressure inside made it hard for us at times.”
Yale’s shot just 30.5 percent from the floor on Friday, which was almost five percentage points lower than in the first meeting between the teams, a 81–54 victory for the Elis. Although their offense struggled, the Bulldog defense stepped up to hold the Bears to just 22.6 percent shooting from the field and a 1–19 night from behind the three-point line.
Yale held Brown’s leading scorers Jordin Alexander and Shayna Mehta to 10 and nine points, respectively, and also outrebounded the Bears 49–37.
Completing the season sweep of Brown keeps Yale at the top of the Ivy League standings. Although 12 games remain on the Ivy calendar, players know that each game counts the same toward the standings during league play.
“Each game in the Ivy League is really important because we don’t have a conference tournament, so there’s minimal room for error,” guard Clara Mokri ’18 said. “It wasn’t our prettiest game, but a win is a win, and we’ll take it.”
Yale will continue conference action at Penn this Friday at 7 p.m., where it seeks to secure its second road win.