Bulldogs Host UC Davis in Saturday Night Showdown

Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Complete Game Notes in PDF

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a week away from the hardwood to close out the fall semester of classes, the Yale women’s basketball team returns to the court on Saturday night against UC Davis as the Aggies, making their first-ever appearance in the Nutmeg State, visit the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven for 7 p.m. contest. Sam Levander ‘10 and Lizz Reeves ‘11 will be on the call for WYBC, Yale’s student radio station, with Live Stats and streaming video via Yale All-Access also available. The game will be the Bulldogs’ final home game prior to a seven-game road trip.

Last Time Out
Junior Mady Gobrecht scored a career-high 18 points to lead four players in double figures as the Bulldogs defeated visiting Boston University on Dec. 9 by a score of 61-57. Gobrecht added eight rebounds to her career-high scoring output, as she shared the game best in points with BU’s Mo Moran. Freshman Megan Vasquez netted 13 points for Yale, junior Yoyo Greenfield had 12 and senior Melissa Colborne was the fourth Bulldog in double-figures with 10 points. Sophomore Michelle Cashen scored five points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds, and freshman Allie Messimer drained a trey to round out the Yale offensive attack.

Points at a Premium
In all four of their victories, the Bulldogs have held their opponents to just 60 points or fewer. Yale surrendered less than 20 points in the first half of wins against Army (15) and Bucknell (19), while holding Boston University to 22 first-half points and limiting Holy Cross to only 21 points in the second half of a comeback victory.

Leading the Way
Two-time All-Ivy honoree Melissa Colborne is once again Yale’s offensive pacesetter in 2009-10 with 11.0 points per game. The senior, who ranked second in the Ivy League in scoring in each of the last two seasons, currently ranks eighth in Yale history with 1,248 career points. Colborne is 14 points away from the seventh slot on the list, held by Erica Davis ’07 (1,262 points) and 123 points shy of the all-time top five (Lisa Brummel ’81, 1,371 points). The former Ivy League Rookie of the Year has already eclipsed the Yale program records for free throws made in a game (14), a season (156), a career (432) and in a game without a miss (12-for-12), as well as for free throw attempts in a career (565). Her career free throw percentage of .765 is fifth-best in Yale history.

No Sophomore Slump
Sophomore Michelle Cashen, a 2008-09 All-Ivy Rookie Team selection, has been one of the Bulldogs’ most consistent players this season. Cashen is currently one of five Yale players averaging over 8.0 points per game (8.7 ppg) and is the Bulldogs’ top rebounder with 7.3 boards per contest. The sophomore has also played a team-best 28.9 minutes per game and has tallied two double-doubles in 2009-10.

Spreading the Wealth
Yale’s active roster boasts six players averaging at least 5.0 points per game, led by 11.0 per contest from Melissa Colborne. The Bulldogs, who have seven players averaging over 20 minutes per game, have had four different players lead them in scoring and four different players lead the way in rebounding through seven games this season.

Picking on the Patriot

The Bulldogs went 3-0 against Patriot League foes this season, besting Holy Cross, Army and Bucknell. Yale was 1-2 against the same trio of opponents last season, posting a win at Holy Cross while dropping one-possession decisions to both the Bison (73-70) and Black Knights (62-60).

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 Nov. 13. 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 Nov. 13. 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.

Scouting UC Davis
The UC Davis Aggies, currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak, enter their contest at Yale with a record of 6-3. UC Davis, which will play at Seton Hall on Sunday before heading back to the West coast, are led by Paige Mintun with 12.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The Aggies are knocking down 6.6 three-pointers per game while shooting at a 37.1% clip from beyond the arc. Four of the five UC Davis shooters with more than 10 attempts from long range are shooting over 40%.

Series History
This is the first-ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Aggies. After winning at UC Irvine and falling at UC Riverside last season, Yale is 2-2 against the Big West Conference. This will be the Bulldogs’ first home game against a Big West foe. UC Davis defeated Brown in Providence in the 2006-07 season, the program’s lone contest against an Ivy League opponent.

Nice to Meet You
The Aggies are Yale’s third of four first-time opponents on the non-conference slate this season. An upcoming game at Colorado will be a first-time meeting. Both of Yale’s opponents at the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament, Toledo and North Carolina A&T, were first-time challengers for the Bulldogs.

Branches on the Coaching Tree
Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale, was very familiar with her counterparts on the Arizona State bench on Nov. 19. Charli Turner Thorne, the head coach of the Sun Devils, was an assistant on Gobrecht’s staff at the University of Washington. Prior to the Sun Devils’ postseason matchup with Connecticut, the New Haven Register cited that Thorne “still teaches the defensive principles she first learned from [Gobrecht]”. In addition, Arizona State Associate Head Coach Meg (Gallagher) Sanders played collegiately on Gobrecht’s Cal State Fullerton squad from 1982-85.

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 Fairfield.

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
The Bulldogs’ 14 non-conference games will feature 10 different conferences (America East, Big XII, Big West, Great West, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Mountain West, Northeast, Pac-10, Patriot) as well a Division I independent (Bryant).

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.

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.

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 “Away” Game
While Yale doesn’t play another game at the John J. Lee Amphitheater until Jan. 22, the Bulldogs won’t have to travel far for their next contest. Quinnipiac hosts Yale on Monday, Dec. 21 at the TD Bank Sports Center, located less than nine miles from Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Tip-off from Hamden, Conn. is slated for 7 p.m.

Yale Women's Basketball
UC Davis Women's Basketball

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Yale All-Access Streaming Video
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report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity