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After the season opener against Providence was suspended due to a scoreboard malfunction, the Yale women’s basketball team emerged victorious in its first full game of the season against longtime rival Quinnipiac. Three days later, the Bulldogs hit the road for another challenging matchup against Colgate, falling 70–67 in overtime.

The Elis (1–1, 0–0 Ivy) hosted local rival Quinnipiac (1–2, 0–0 MAAC) last Wednesday in what promised to be a challenging game. The Bobcats, coming off of five consecutive MAAC championships and a perfect 18–0 record in conference play last year, are a well-respected program that always draws attention come tournament time. But the Bulldogs proved themselves as they battled to a 63–59 victory. The Blue and White then traveled north to face off against Colgate (4–0, 0–0 Patriot) in its first of six consecutive road games. Despite 20 points from guard Tori Andrew ’21, the Elis fell just short, losing the contest by three points in overtime.

“Quinnipiac was a great win to have under our belts since we knew how well they have done in their conference in previous years,” forward Alex Cade ’21 said. “We really focused on playing aggressive defense and we were pleased with our ball pressure — that was a real catalyst for how we boxed out and rebounded for the rest of the game.”

Led by guard Roxy Barahman ’20, the Bulldogs defeated the Bobcats to tally their first win of the season. Barahman, who recorded 23 points and seven rebounds, led the charge, coming up with timely baskets when the Elis needed it the most. In the first quarter, Yale hit the ground running, especially on the defensive end. Holding Quinnipiac to a mere 12 points, Yale ended the period with a five-point lead.

The two teams continued trading punches in the second frame. After a 16–5 Yale run, the Bobcats narrowed the margin to four at the half with a 7–0 run of their own. The second half was no different, as neither team managed to take a definitive lead. When Quinnipiac went ahead 45–44, the Bulldogs responded with a 9–2 run to close out the quarter with a six-point lead.

Despite the Bobcats’ persistence, the Bulldogs negated any chance of a comeback with a convincing defensive effort that limited their I-91 rival to just 12 points in the final period of play. Although Quinnipiac cut the lead to two with 2:30 remaining, Yale’s defense shut the Bobcats out for the remainder of the game. A final layup by Barahman extended the lead to four and sealed the win.

“Against Quinnipiac, we played defense with the sense of urgency and discipline that’d we’d been practicing with all preseason,” guard Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 said. “In particular, Roxy was especially effective against their point guard, and it was essential to our win. Her intensity really fired up the rest of us on defense and gave us confidence that carried over to our offensive play.”

On Saturday, the Blue and White found themselves in another back-and-forth game against Colgate. The Raiders, who defeated Cornell on Thursday after a 17-point comeback, held the momentum early after jumping out to a seven-point lead. Yale, fueled by 20 points from Andrew and a double-double from center Camilla Emsbo ’22, weathered the storm and entered halftime up by one.

In the third, Andrew scored eight of her 20 points, including a pair of threes, putting the Bulldogs ahead by as many as 10 points. After establishing a six-point lead by the end of the third quarter, the Raiders fired back with a 7–0 run to retake the advantage. In a final period that featured runs by both teams, the game came down to a three-point attempt by Colgate guard Keelah Dixon. Down by three with the clock about to expire, Dixon nailed a shot from beyond the arc, sending the game to overtime.

The teams matched one another’s baskets in the first eight minutes of overtime, keeping the game within three points. With 1:20 of play left, Emsbo, playing with a bloody nose at this point in the game, put the Bulldogs up 67–66 with a layup. Opposing guard Alexa Brodie turned the game back in Colgate’s favor with a jump shot. On the following Raider possession, the Bulldog’s fouled guard Haley Greer, who sank both free throws to put the hosts up by three. In the final seconds of the game, Andrew launched a three-point attempt, but the shot missed, securing the Raiders’ fourth win of the season.

“We came out with a lot of intention in the third quarter because we knew they prided themselves on being a second half team and wanted to throw the first punch to start the half,” leading scorer Andrew said. “We did not play team defense down the stretch and that’s why we fell in overtime.”

Despite holding Colgate to 36.7 percent shooting, the Bulldogs were hurt by their 19 turnovers, which allowed the Raiders to tally 23 points. By contrast, Yale only recorded eight points off of Colgate turnovers. In addition, the Raiders recorded a season high of 41 rebounds. Colgate is currently on its best start to a season since 2009.

Even with the narrow loss, Yale demonstrated the strength of this year’s team, with four players scoring 10 points or more compared to Colgate’s two. Emsbo, in addition to her 16 points, secured 10 rebounds, while captain and forward Megan Gorman ’20 led the team with 12 boards. Andrew also contributed six assists to her 20-point effort.

The Bulldogs return to the court on Thursday to play UMass Lowell at 7 p.m.

Drew Beckmen | drew.beckmen@yale.edu and
Sophie Kane | sophie.kane@yale.edu

Correction, Nov. 18: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Tori Andrew as Ellen Margaret Andrews in several instances.