The Bulldogs play the final road game in a stretch of five out of the first six games of the season that were away from home. It is the final road game until a year-ending tournament at Fordham University. This is the first visit to Providence in five seasons. The Bulldogs are back on the East Coast after a pair of games in California that resulted in a pair of losses to quality opponents in California and UC Davis. Yale is looking for its first victory since a season-opening win at Holy Cross.
Last Time Out
Yale closed out its West Coast trip with a 73-62 loss at UC Davis. For the second time in three games, Sophomore Ericka von Kaeppler matched her career-high scoring mark. The Palo Alto native led the Bulldogs with 14 points in 12 minutes off the bench. Paige Mintun led all scorers with 20 points, including 13 in the second half to pace the Aggies. Yale outrebounded UC Davis 36-34, but 19 turnovers led to 23 Aggie points. UC Davis put the game out of reach with a 20-4 run that opened the second half.
End Of The Road
Only one of Yale's first six games this season was held on the Yale campus inside the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Of the first four games on the road, Yale has won only once — at Holy Cross, 74-71, in the season opener. Tonight's game represents the final road game of the stretch. Yale is 0-5 against Providence at Alumni Hall, but a win tonight would give the Bulldogs momentum that they can carry into the upcoming stretch of four home games against Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart, Florida State and Quinnipiac.
Strength In Numbers
Despite allowing an Ivy League-worst 74.0 points per game, the Bulldogs are still showing some positive signs on the defensive end. They are the top team in the Ivy League in steals with an average of 10.2 per game, an average that dropped from 11.5 per game after the Bulldogs were held to just five steals at UC Davis. They are also second in 3-point defensive shooting percentage, allowing a league-low 14 made threes on just 26.4 percent success. Offensively, the signs are just as positive. The Bulldogs are third in the Ivy League in scoring (60.4 points per game) and second in free-throw percentage (73.6 percent). They are also third in the league in assists (13.2 apt) and third in 3-pointers made per game (6.2).
Dominating The Leaderboard
After leading the Bulldogs in scoring last season as a freshman, sophomore point guard Megan Vasquez is already making her mark on the Ivy League leaderboards. Counting all games through Nov. 29, Vasquez is sixth in the Ivy League in scoring (12.6 points per game), third in 3-pointers per game (1.8), and fourth in assists (2.8 apg), which is tied with teammate Yoyo Greenfield. She is also sixth in 3-point shooting percentage (40.9 percent), seventh in free-throw percentage (76.9 percent), and 20th in rebounding (4.4 rpg).
Despite missing the first game of the season, junior forward Michelle Cashen is making a name for herself among the top defenders in the nation. Cashen has collected a total of 12 steals in the four games that she has played in for the Bulldogs. She matched her career-high of five steals on two separate occasions this season — at Boston University and again last week at California. Her average of 3.0 steals ranks her first in the Ivy League for steals per game and 36th in the nation for stats that include games through Nov. 28.
The Bulldogs' West Coast trip gave them a chance to face a pair of foes that they have met only once prior to the 2010-11 season. On Nov. 23, Yale met California for the first time since Jan. 9, 1979, in Berkeley, where they fell 64-41. It was the sixth loss for the Bulldogs in six tries against an opponent from the Pac-10. Following the stay in Berkeley, the Bulldogs headed east to take on UC Davis, which is located just west of Sacramento. For sophomore Ericka von Kaeppler, the trip was a chance to return home. She grew up in Palo Alto, which is located just south of Berkeley. Two other Bulldogs also had the opportunity to play in their home state, but still hours away from home. Yoyo Greenfield is a Los Angeles native, while sophomore Aarica West is from Buena Park, just south of Los Angeles.
Every Day is Mother's Day
Senior forward Mady Gobrecht is the daughter of head coach Chris Gobrecht. They are the only current active mother-daughter, coach-player tandems in Division I women's basketball. This is the sixth time in Yale's 157-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).
The Fab Four
Yale has bolstered its lineup for 2010-11 with four freshmen that are expected to make an immediate impact. Guard Amanda Tyson, forwards Janna Graf and Alexandra Osborn-Jones, and center Zenab Keita comprise one of the strongest freshman classes during Head Coach Chris Gobrecht's tenure.
Nice to Meet You
Non-conference games against Florida State, Delaware and Villanova will all be first-time meetings. The scheduled West Coast trip will mark just the second meeting Yale has had with California and UC Davis.
Making the Rounds
The Bulldogs' 14 non-conference games feature opponents from nine different conferences (ACC, Big East, Pac 10, America East, Big West, Northeast Conference, Atlantic 10, Colonial Athletic Association, and the Patriot League.
Seven teams on the Bulldogs' 2010-11 slate participated in the postseason last spring. Florida State and Princeton earned a berth in the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Five other Bulldog opponents participated in the WNIT, including WNIT champion California.
Providence is coming off of a 19-15 campaign in 2009-10, during which it finished 7-9 in the Big East, good enough for a tie for eighth place with Syracuse. The Friars earned a berth in the 2010 WNIT, where they advanced all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Miami. The three postseason wins are the most in program history. Providence opened the 2010-11 season with a 3-1 record that included quality wins over UMass, Rhode Island and at Hartford, but it has sinced dropped three straight games, including a pair of losses to Arizona State and Alabama at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. The Friars lost six players from last year's squad, including three starters to graduation, namely leading scorer Chelsea Marandola, an All-Big East First-Team selection in 2009-10. She posted 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
Erica Davis tallied 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Yale to a 68-55 win over Providence at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Dec. 29, 2006. Melissa Colborne added 10 points and three assists. The Friars (42.3 percent) outshot the Bulldogs (34.6 percent), but Yale outrebounded Providence 43-31. Providence held an advantage in several categories, including points in the paint (30-24), second-chance points (11-7), field-goal percentage, and blocks (6-4), but the game was won at the free-throw line. Yale made 28-of-38 free throws on 32 Providence fouls, while the Friars were just 7-of-15 from the line on 17 Yale fouls.
This is the 11th meeting between the two teams, but the first since Yale defeated Providence, 68-55, at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Dec. 29, 2006. It was the only win for Yale in the series. The Friars hold a 9-1 series advantage, including a 5-0 record inside Mullaney Gymnasium at Alumni Hall. The last meeting at Alumni Hall came on Nov. 21, 2005, a game that Providence won 74-53.
Symone Roberts, from New Britain, Conn., is making a name for herself at Providence. The sophomore guard was the Friars' shining star at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. In two games, she averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 3.5 steals per game to earn a spot on the Junkanoo Jam All-Tournament Team.
Welcome to the Club
Junior guard Miranda Tate and senior forward Teya Wright join the Friars this season after sitting out all of last year due to NCAA transfer rules. Tate, from South Carolina, and Wright, from UMass, have both started all seven games and are making the most of their first season in a Providence uniform. Wright is the Friars' leading rebounder (9.1 rpg) and is fourth in scoring (8.6 ppg). Tate is third on the team in scoring (9.7 ppg) and tied for fourth in rebounding (4.4 rpg).
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity