Sacred Heart Outguns Yale, 76-67

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

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Ten different players scored for the Yale women’s basketball team at Sacred Heart on Monday night, but the Bulldogs came up short to the host Pioneers, falling by a score of 76-67. Freshman Megan Vasquez paced the Yale offense with 14 points, but the defending Northeast Conference Champions got 26 points from Alisa Apo and a double-double from Callan Taylor to improve to 8-3 on the season. Yale falls to 4-6 in defeat.

“Sacred Heart is a tough team, especially in their gym,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Yale. “If you make mistakes against them, they’re going to make you pay”.

Junior Yoyo Greenfield and sophomore Michelle Cashen joined Vasquez in double figures for Yale with 12 points apiece. Cashen also led the Bulldogs’ rebounding effort with eight boards as the visitors were bested on the glass by a 41-32 margin. Freshman Allie Messimer had a career-high nine points, and junior Mady Gobrecht added six. Senior Haywood Wright and freshman Ericka von Kaeppler notched four points each, and two points from senior Melissa Colborne, junior Victoria Perez and freshman Alicia Seelaus rounded out the Bulldogs’ offense. Gobrecht and Vasquez each doled out a team-high three assists.

The contest started at a torrid pace, with Sacred Heart holding a slim 15-14 lead entering the first media stoppage at the 14:02 mark. Vasquez netted seven points during the opening stretch of action as the Bulldogs and Pioneers each shot 60% (6-for-10) from the field. Messimer drained a three out of the timeout to give Yale a lead and spark a 9-2 run that put the Bulldogs on top, 23-17. Sacred Heart responded in kind, however, with an 11-4 spurt to reclaim the lead at 28-27. A Cashen layup on the ensuing possession gave Yale the edge once again at the 8:16 mark, but that would be the Bulldogs’ last field goal over the next 7:20 as the home team raced out to a 43-32 advantage with 56 seconds remaining before halftime. Yale would net the final three points of the half to enter intermission trailing by eight points, 43-35.

Vasquez scored nine points to pace the Bulldogs in the frame as Yale shot 40% (12-for-30) from the field, 37.5% (3-for-8) from three-point range and 66.7% (8-for-12) from the free throw line. The Pioneers, led by 17 points by Apo, shot 51.7% (15-for-29) from the floor, 66.7% (6-for-9) from downtown and 77.8% (7-for-9) from the charity stripe. Sacred Heart won the rebounding battle, 19-16, and Yale had the edge in turnovers by an 11-10 margin.

The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the second half to cut the lead to one possession at 43-40, but the Pioneers soon held a seven-point cushion at 47-40. A von Kaeppler putback and a quartet of consecutive Greenfield free throws, awarded courtesy of a Sacred Heart personal and technical foul, cut the lead down to a single point at 47-46. Sacred Heart answered back, however, with a 10-2 run as the Pioneers’ lead was soon up to double figures at 63-53 with 7:46 left in the contest. Yale would climb back to within five, but Sacred Heart’s hot shooting kept the Bulldogs at an arm’s length as the Pioneers hit their free throws down the stretch to escape with a 76-67 victory.

“The important thing is that we continue to stick with our young players and continue to improve”, said Gobrecht. “We are going to be in good shape entering the Ivy League season”.

The Bulldogs will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 2 at Kansas State. Tip-off from Manhattan, Kan. is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST. Yale will also play at Colorado on Jan. 4 as a part of the Midwest swing.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity