For the second consecutive game, when the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation, the scoreboard showed the Yale women’s basketball team tied. This time, though, the Bulldogs needed not just one but two extra periods to squeeze by Stony Brook, 77–71 in a hard-fought, back-and-forth game.
The Elis (5–3, 0–0 Ivy) looked to carry the momentum from their overtime win against the Bearcats on Saturday into Long Island, facing off against a Stony Brook (5–3, 0–0 America East) team looking to get back on track after losing two games in a row. The double-overtime success showcased the team’s depth and resilience.
“We really pushed through and were able to make some key steals and free throws to finish out the game,” guard Roxy Barahman ’20 said. “They got lucky on a couple shots, but we knew we were the better team.”
The Seawolves’ defense, which came into the game allowing an average of 51.9 points per game, fifth-best in the nation, proved difficult for the Bulldogs to crack initially. Yale entered the game averaging 70.0 points per game, but found itself well off its normal offensive pace during the first half.
The first two quarters were a grind for both teams, as neither team was able to garner enough momentum to create significant separation on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs struggled shooting from the field, including a brutal 2–14 showing in the second quarter. But the Seawolves’ sloppiness with the ball — they committed 11 first-half turnovers — gave the Elis’ extra opportunities to stay close.
Yale’s biggest first-half problem came down low, where Stony Brook dominated the Bulldogs on the boards, outrebounding them 22–11, including 8 on the offensive glass. The Elis were able to limit the damage done with solid defense, though, limiting the Seawolves to 40 percent shooting from the field, leaving the Elis only a five-point deficit, 29–24, at the intermission.
The Bulldogs came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders to turn the game around, shooting a sizzling eight-of-nine from the field to begin the third quarter. The Bulldogs also switched defensive schemes to a 2–3 zone on defense, which wreaked havoc on the Seawolves’ passing lanes. Yale used a 7–0 scoring run to seize its biggest lead of the game, 43–36.
But Stony Brook didn’t relent, responding right away with a 9–0 run of its own and taking advantage of its edge in the paint to wrestle the lead back. The game evolved into a back-and-forth contest going into the final minutes.
With 27 seconds left in regulation, the Bulldogs turned the ball over, and Seawolves forward Cheyenne Clark sent the game into overtime with a put back layup off of a missed jumper.
In the overtime period, the Bulldogs held the Seawolves without a single field goal for over four minutes, and they took a 63–60 lead with under a minute remaining. Stony Brook came up clutch, however, breaking the drought with a game-tying 3-pointer from guard Shania Johnson.
During the ensuing possession, forward Alexandra Maund ’19 found forward Jen Berkowitz ’18 wide-open underneath the basket to reclaim the lead. After a free throw by Berkowitz put the Elis up 66–63 with 13 seconds to go, guard Jerell Matthews hit the Seawolves’ second clutch three of the overtime period on a difficult step-back jumper, forcing another five minutes of play.
Coming out of the breal, the Bulldogs looked inside to Berkowitz, who continued to be effective in the post off of good passes from the perimeter. Berkowitz scored seven of the team’s 11 points in the second overtime. With 40 seconds remaining, Simpson snatched the ball away for her ninth steal of the night and dished it off to forward Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 for a layup to seal the game. The Bulldogs put in their best defensive effort in the second overtime, holding the Seawolves to five points in the final period.
Cheyenne Clark was Stony Brook’s standout player on the night, with a dominant display on the glass. The forward poured in 12 points and snatched 23 rebounds, matching a school record.
Yale will take on Central Connecticut State on Saturday, which will mark their third home game in a row.
Jimmy Chen | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cristofer Zillo | email@example.com