Army Visits New Haven for Tuesday Night Contest

Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yoyo Greenfield. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Coming off of a comeback win in Friday’s season opener against Holy Cross, the Yale women’s basketball team looks to keep its momentum as Army visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater for a Tuesday night contest. Tip-off from the Elm City is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live via Yale All-Access with audio commentary provided by Jonathan Zelig ‘11L and Sam Purdy ‘10 from WYBC, Yale’s student radio station.

Last Time Out
The Bulldogs trailed 16-0 and entered halftime down 14 points to Holy Cross in the season opener on Friday night, but a team-high 15 points from freshman Megan Vasquez in her collegiate debut and double-doubles from sophomore Michelle Cashen and junior Mady Gobrecht led a furious second-half comeback as Yale downed the Crusaders by a score of 66-60. The Bulldogs outrebounded Holy Cross, 54-41, and held the visitors to just 21 second-half points.

Double Double-Doubles
Sophomore Michelle Cashen (13 pts., 15 rebs.) and junior Mady Gobrecht (12 pts., 10 rebs.) both posted double-doubles in the Bulldogs’ season-opening victory over Holy Cross on Friday. The last Yale double-double was Cashen’s 22-point, 11-rebound performance at Columbia on Feb. 21, 2009. The last time two Yale players had double-doubles in the same game was on Jan. 13, 2007, when Erica Davis ’07 (21 pts., 11 rebs.) and Chinenye Okafor ’07 (10 pts., 13 rebs.) each performed the feat against Brown.

Starting Strong
Freshman Megan Vasquez led all Bulldogs with 15 points in her collegiate debut against Holy Cross on Friday night. Vasquez, who scored six points during a 13-0 run in the second-half that cut the Crusaders’ lead from 17 to 4 and later iced the game with four free throws in the final 24 seconds, shot 4-for-14 from the field and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in the contest. She is the first freshman to lead Yale in scoring in her collegiate debut since Kaitlyn Lillemoe ’09 scored a team-best 19 points against New Hampshire to open the 2005-06 season.

Climbing the Ladder
Two-time All-Ivy honoree Melissa Colborne currently ranks ninth in Yale history with 1,177 career points. She is just six points behind Kelly LeComte ’86 (1,183) for eighth all-time, and an 194 points shy of the all-time top five (Lisa Brummel ’81, 1,371). In 2008-09, Colborne eclipsed the program records for free throws made in a game (14, at UC Riverside, 12/30/08), season (156) and career (413). Her career free throw percentage of .772 (413-534) is fifth-best in Yale history.

Familiar Faces
The Bulldogs return four starters and eight letterwinners in total from the 2008-09 campaign. In addition, Yale expects to return junior Lindsey Williams, a unanimous 2007-08 All-Ivy Rookie Team selection who missed the entirety of last season due to injury, in time for the Ivy League slate.

Room for Six More
Yale has reloaded its lineup for 2009-10 with six freshmen expected to make an immediate impact for the Bulldogs. Guards Allie Messimer, Megan Vasquez and Aarica West and forwards Alicia Seelaus, Ericka von Kaeppler and Emily Wanger comprise the nationally-recognized Yale Class of 2013.

Scouting Army
Selected to finish sixth out of the eighth teams in the Patriot League Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Army Black Knights come to New Haven with a record of 1-1. Army hosted and defeated Wagner, 74-70 in overtime, on Friday and fell at Loyola (Md.) on Sunday, 63-48. Army is led by junior Erin Anthony, a preseason All-Patriot League selection, with 20.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest thus far in 2009-10. Nalini Hawkins (13.5 ppg) and Jessie Coiffard (10.5 ppg) join Anthony with double-figure scoring averages. Coiffard is also averaging nine rebounds per game to compliment Anthony’s team-best 10.0 boards per contest.

In 2008-09…
The Bulldogs traveled to West Point last season and were edged by the host Black Knights by a score of 62-60. Jamie Van Horne ’09 knocked down four three-point field goals en route sharing the game high of 16 points with Army’s Alex McGuire. Joining Van Horne in double figures for Yale were Yoyo Greenfield (11 points) Melissa Colborne (10 points). Haywood Wright led all players with nine rebounds. The Black Knights return five players, including three starters, who saw action in that contest.

Series History
This encounter marks the 24th meeting between Yale and Army, with the Black Knights holding a 14-9 series lead. When Army takes the court on Tuesday, it will officially become the Bulldogs’ most frequent non-conference opponent, a distinction it currently shares with Fairfield University.

That’s a Lot of W’s
With 460 wins in her career entering 2009-10, Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale ranks 30th among active Division I coaches in all-time victories. Among coaches on Yale’s 2009-10 schedule, only Bill Gibbons of Holy Cross (476 wins) has more career victories than Gobrecht. Gobrecht and Gibbons are both topped, however, by another coach from the Yale sidelines: Associate Head Coach Dianne Nolan, who amassed 517 wins as head coach of St. Francis (N.Y.) and Fairfeld.

Nice to Meet You
Non-conference games against Toledo, North Carolina A&T (possible opponent), UC Davis and Colorado will all be first-time meetings.

Schedule Strength
Five teams on the Bulldogs’ slate participated in the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Dartmouth, Sacred Heart and North Carolina A&T all received automatic bids as conference champions and lost in the first round to higher-seeded opponents. Kansas State advanced to the second round as a No. 5 seed, and No. 6-seeded Arizona State’s season ended in the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) at the hands of the eventual national champion, Connecticut.

Making the Rounds
Including possible opponents, the Bulldogs’ 14 non-conference games could feature as many as 10 different conferences (Big XII, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Mountain West, Northeast, Pac-10, Patriot) as well a Division I independent (Bryant).

The Bulldogs in 2008-09
Shorthanded for much of the Ivy League season, Yale went 4-10 in Ancient Eight play in 2008-09 and 11-17 overall. Melissa Colborne earned a spot on the All-Ivy Second Team, and Michelle Cashen punctuated her freshman season with a selection to the All-Ivy Rookie Team. With a healthy roster in the pre-Ivy League season of 2008-09, Yale defeated North Carolina State- the program’s first-ever win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent- and was tied with Southeastern Conference foe Kentucky with 15 seconds remaining in the contest.

Top Dogs
Though there are 32 American universities with the “Bulldogs” mascot, last season’s win over Bryant marked just the second time that Yale women’s basketball had met another team sporting the “Bulldogs” moniker. The 2003-04 Yale Bulldogs dropped a 69-48 decision to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Nov. 29, 2003 as a part of the Seattle Times Classic.

Every Day is Mother’s Day
Junior forward Mady Gobrecht is the daughter of head coach Chris Gobrecht. They are one of two active mother-daughter, coach-player tandems in Division I women’s basketball (Southern Mississippi: Coach Joye Lee-McNelis and Whitney McNelis). This is the sixth time in Yale’s 156-year athletic history that a head coach is mentoring his or her child in a varsity sport, and the first where the combo is mother-daughter (men’s fencing: Robert & Maurice Grasson, 1936-38; baseball: Smoky Joe & Joseph Wood, 1939-41; men’s basketball: Howard & David Hobson, 1952-55; men’s squash: John & Jack Skillman, 1954-55; football: Jordan & Harry Olivar, 1957-59).

An Early Test
The Bulldogs wrap up their season-opening home stand on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. against No. 11/16 Arizona State. The Sun Devils, who defeated South Dakota State in their lone contest thus far in 2009-10, advanced to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament last season before falling to the eventual national champion, Connecticut.

Yale Women's Basketball
Army Women's Basketball

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report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity