First Place Princeton Tops Yale, 65-44

Melissa Colborne. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Melissa Colborne. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For the second time this season, the Yale women’s basketball team turned in a solid defensive effort against Ivy League frontrunner Princeton, holding the Tigers below their season average of 71 points. However, also for the second time this season, the Princeton defense locked down the Bulldogs en route to claiming a 65-44 decision on Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. Senior Haywood Wright led the way for Yale with eight points and 10 rebounds. Senior Melissa Colborne netted seven points for Yale to move into fifth place on the Bulldogs’ all-time scoring list.

With the loss, Yale falls to 10-13 overall and 5-4 in Ivy League play. The Tigers remain unbeaten in the Ancient Eight at 8-0 and now boast an impressive 20-2 overall record.

“We didn’t play our best offensive game; even our great looks weren’t falling,” said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women’s Basketball. “But I give all of the credit in the world to Princeton. They could go out and run and score 80 points every night, but instead they are very committed to playing defense and doing the ‘dirty work’”.

Colborne’s seven points bring her career total to 1,363, surpassing the 1,361 points tallied in the career of Lisa Brummel ’81. Colborne also had six boards and dished out three assists. Junior Mady Gobrecht joined Wright as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer with eight points, as Yale shot just 24.2% (15-62) from the field, 21.4% (3-14) from three-point range and 73.3% (11-15) from the free throw line. Sophomore Michelle Cashen added six points to the Yale effort, while junior Yoyo Greenfield and freshman Allie Messimer each notched five. Freshman Megan Vasquez tallied three points and freshman Alicia Seelaus had two to cap the Yale scoring.

Wright’s 10 rebounds matched her season best and paced the Bulldogs to a 49-40 edge on the glass, including 17 offensive boards. However, Yale converted those 17 offensive rebounds into just 11 second-chance points. Cashen had nine rebounds and Gobrecht pulled down seven. The Bulldogs would commit 24 turnovers, several of which came on charges drawn by Princeton defenders, and forced 13 Tigers’ miscues. Princeton, which had 22 points off turnovers in a 21-point win over Yale on Jan. 30 in New Jersey, had 24 points off Yale turnovers in this evening’s 21-point victory.

The Tigers were led by 18 points and 14 rebounds from freshman Niveen Rasheed, who ranks among the Ivy League leaders in both categories. Lauren Edwards and Addie Micir both reached double figures as well, netting 17 and 14 points, respectively. As a team, Princeton shot 43.1% (28-65) from the floor, 22.2% (2-9) from beyond the arc and 50% (7-14) from the charity stripe.

Princeton wasted no time jumping out to a double-digit lead, using an early 12-2 run to claim a 14-4 advantage. Yale would soon trim the lead to seven points, 15-8, but the Bulldogs would not get closer than three possessions from the Tigers for the rest of the contest as the visitors went into the locker room holding a 37-26 lead.

A pair of Cashen free throws to open the scoring in the second half marked the last time that the deficit would be within double figures, as the Tigers defense held Yale to just 16.7% (6-36) shooting after the intermission. The Princeton offense never made a sustained run in the period, but the defensive effort allowed the Tigers to slowly construct a 21-point lead, 55-34, at the 11:41 mark. That margin proved to be the difference at the final buzzer, with Princeton leaving New Haven with a 65-44 win.

The Bulldogs are back in action tomorrow night for their annual WBCA Pink Zone event against Penn at 7 p.m. The Quakers fell at Brown tonight, 54-42, to drop to 1-21 overall and 0-8 in the Ivy League.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity