Elis fall in overtime to Bears

By Jimmy Chen | Posted on, 9:27 p.m.
Jen Berkowitz '18

After a furious fourth quarter rally that erased a 15-point Brown lead, the Yale women’s basketball team came up short in overtime, losing 81–71 in the second game of conference play.

The Bulldogs (8–7, 1–1 Ivy) chased the Bears (13–2, 1–1 Ivy) on the scoreboard all game long before catching fire late in the fourth quarter. Forward Jen Berkowitz ’18 led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Tamara Simpson ’18 poured in 11 points, 6 steals, 5 assists, and four rebounds to fill up the stat sheet.

Down 15 points with 4:41 to go in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs looked out of contention after the Bears had gradually suffocated the Yale offense with the 3–2 zone defense. In a role reversal of the last matchup between the top two offenses in the Ancient Eight, the Elis were the ones who struggled to find a rhythm against a stifling zone defense. The Bulldogs were forced to resort to perimeter jumpers that largely missed the mark, shooting an abysmal 33 percent overall and 28 percent from behind the three-point line.

However, the Bulldogs stormed back into the game by catching the hot hand when they needed it most. Simpson netted two shots from long distance before forward Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 added another three points with a huge and-1 layup, cutting the 15-point deficit to eight. In transition off a Brown miss, Andrews found Berkowitz inside for a another score. The starting first-year continued her role in the comeback with a clutch triple that was followed by another three by guard Tori Andrew ’21, who played in her second straight game after missing the previous ten games with an ankle injury. In combination with the Bulldogs shifting to a fullcourt press and man-to-man defense in the halfcourt set, the pair of baskets from downtown capped off a 17–2 run that tied the game at 64.

The Bears responded with a quick floater from guard Justine Gaziano, taking a 66–64 lead with 1:29 remaining. A few possessions later, Simpson drove the ball to the hoop before getting fouled with 22.7 on the clock. The Bulldogs’ leading scorer calmly sank two crunchtime free throws to knot the game at 66. Yale would hold off multiple Brown shot attempts in the next sequence to force an extra five minutes.    

In the extra period, the Bulldogs seemed out of steam after completing their impressive fourth quarter comeback. The Bears opened the overtime with a 8–0 run after attacking the basket on several drives that led to free throws. The Brown zone defense resumed giving the Bulldogs heaps of trouble on the offensive end. With 1:08 left in the overtime, Berkowitz finally broke the Yale scoring drought, but the Bears had all but sealed the game away at that point.

The Bears received key contributions from forward Janie White, who had a double double with 17 points and 12 boards, while Gaziano led all Brown scorers with 20 points.

The Bulldogs will travel to Harvard for a rivalry match next Friday.