Sam Rubin '95
Following a 79–72 win against Brown, the women’s basketball team is off to the best start to a season in program history.
Yale (11–3, 1–0 Ivy) jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, but Brown (6–8, 0–1 Ivy) closed the deficit to a single point at the end of the first quarter. In the third quarter, the Bulldogs brought a much more aggressive game to the court. However, after establishing a 20 point lead, the Elis were outscored in the fourth quarter by 11 points and almost allowed the Bears back into the game. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs achieved their seventh-straight home victory against Brown. Still, the near slip-up in the fourth quarter warns of a potentially challenging rematch in Providence this weekend.
“We had a lot of lapses, that was most definitely not our best basketball, and we still came away with a dub,” forward Camilla Emsbo ’22 said. “That’s a testament, I think, to the strength of our team this year, that we have that potential. But the fact that we lost the lead that we had built — it’s inexcusable. I think that’s something we need to work on, just putting teams away and keeping them there.”
After the back-and-forth play of the first half, the Bulldogs returned to the court in the second with renewed energy. Guard Tori Andrew ’21 led the Elis’ third quarter charge, netting 11 of her 13 points in that frame alone. Nine of those 11 points came from three-point range.
Andrew’s sharp shooting was complemented by the Blue and White’s suffocating defense. Even when the Elis struggled from the field in the final quarter, their defense kept them in the game.
“I love the way we were defending,” head coach Allison Guth said. “We were just not in a flow, we were not sharing it with our zip passes the way we could.”
Brown managed to cut the deficit to just three points with 33 seconds remaining on the clock. However, on the ensuing Yale possession, Roxy Barahman ’20 was fouled and sank both of her free throws. Barahman then applied heavy ball pressure on the following Brown possession, forcing a turnover and sealing the much-needed win.
The Blue and White also got help from a number of bench players in its victory. With the team in some foul trouble in the third quarter, Guth put in players such as guard Mackenzie Hewitt ’22, guard Klara Astrom ’23 and forward Robin Gallagher ’22.
“The bench is going to be important,” Guth said. “When you get to Ivy play, and you’re playing back to back [games], minutes are really important … We’re deeper than we’ve ever been any year so we’re going to utilize it.”
The Bulldogs need to address some of the problems that left them looking more than vulnerable when they face off against the Bears next Saturday. Lapses of concentration in the fourth quarter and poor ball movement in the first half made the game far closer than it needed to be.
“We know that we can beat them if we play our game, and truly I think we only played our game in the third quarter today,” Andrew said. “I think we had three quarters of not Yale basketball and the third quarter kind of set us apart, but I think if we do that every quarter, it’s not even close.”
Yale will look to defeat Brown for the second consecutive week this Saturday in Providence. The game tips off at noon and will be streamed live on ESPN+.
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