December 20, 2010

Bulldogs To Host In-State Rival Quinnipiac

Complete Game Notes in PDF

 

In the final game of a four-game homestand, the Bulldogs are hoping to carry the momentum from Saturday's win over No. 15/14 Florida State into tonight's game against in-state rival Quinnipiac. Yale snapped a seven-game losing streak with the weekend victory. After starting its season with five straight losses, Quinnipiac comes into tonight's contest riding a three-game winning streak.

 

Last Time Out

Yale earned what is believed to be the first win over a ranked opponent when it shocked Florida State on Saturday with a 91-85 win. The Seminoles came into the game ranked 15th in the AP Top 25 and 14th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, with Megan Vasquez leading the way with a career-high 25 points. Janna Graf also notched a career-high with 22 points. Michelle Cashen tallied a double-double with 11 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Aarica West dished out a career-high 10 assists.

 

One For The History Books

Yale earned perhaps the biggest victory in its 38-year history on Saturday when it stunned Florida State, 91-85, on Saturday. At the time, the Seminoles were ranked 15th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 14th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is believed to be Yale's first-ever win over a ranked opponent. It was just the second win for the Bulldogs in 10 attempts against an opponent from the ACC. Yale's first win against the ACC came against North Carolina State University on Nov. 22, 2008, in the first game of the Subway Classic played at the University of Minnesota. It was a night of firsts for the Bulldogs. Megan Vasquez and Janna Graf each recorded career scoring highs. Vasquez recorded 25 points, which was the highest scoring output for a Yale player since Melissa Colborne scored 27 against Cornell on Feb. 20, 2009. Michelle Cashen recorded her first double-double of the season (11 points, 13 rebounds), while Graf recorded her first 20-point effort of her Yale career with 22 points. Aarica West dished out 10 assists, becoming the first Bulldog to record at least 10 since Stephanie Marciano had 10 against Stony Brook on Dec. 7, 2007.

 

Ending The Streak

Saturday's win over Florida State halted Yale's seven-game losing streak. It was the longest losing streak during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as Yale's head coach since her first season when the Bulldogs began the 2005-06 season with 10 consecutive losses. The longest losing streak in Yale's history is 11 straight losses, which was recorded twice in the team's 38 seasons. In the 1983-84 season, when the Bulldogs went 6-20 overall, the season started with 11 straight losses. The  streak was matched during a stretch that began at the end of the 2002-03 season and spanned over the beginning of the 2003-04 season.

 

On The Holiday Horizon

Following the Christmas weekend, the Bulldogs will depart for the Bronx to take part in the Fordham Holiday Classic, joining the teams from Fordham, Villanova and Sienna. On Dec. 28, Villanova will meet Sienna and Yale will take on the tournament hosts at Rose Hill Gym on the Fordham campus. On Dec. 29, Yale will face Villanova, while Fordham will square off against Sienna. It will be the 16th meeting for Yale against Fordham, which leads the series 10-5. The tournament will also feature Yale's first-ever game against Villanova.

 

Just Around The Corner

Quinnipiac is the 10th opponent on Yale's 2010-11 schedule. Following tonight's game, only four opponents remain on the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Bulldogs begin Ivy League play in four weeks when they play host to Brown on Jan. 14 at Yale at 7 p.m. The only non-conference teams remaining on the schedule are Fordham and Villanova, which will face Yale in the Fordham Holiday Classic on Dec. 28-29, as well as Bucknell at home on Jan. 2 and at Army on Jan. 9.

 

Bring On The NEC

Tonight's game against Quinnipiac represents the last of three games against opponents from the Northeast Conference. Yale is a combined 23-28 against eight of the 12 teams in the NEC. Yale has never faced Robert Morris, Monmouth, St. Francis (Pa.), or Mount St. Mary's.

 

Injury Bug

Because of injuries and illness, Yale has yet to play a game this season with its lineup intact. Freshman forward Janna Graf missed the first three games of the season with mononucleosis. Starting guards Yoyo Greenfield and Megan Vasquez, as well as reserve forward Ericka von Kaeppler, all missed time due to concussion symptoms. Freshman forward Alexandra Osborn-Jones also missed time, sitting out the first six games of the season. Greenfield, the team's senior captain, has missed the last four games with her concussion, while Vasquez and von Kaeppler both returned to action against Sacred Heart.

 

Time To Shine

Due to the injuries to Yoyo Greenfield and Megan Vasquez, the Bulldogs saw a pair of players earn their first starts of their collegiate careers at Providence. Aarica West certainly got her chance to shine. She played a game-high 33 minutes and made almost every one of those minutes count. She collected a career-high seven assists to go along with four points, five rebounds and three steals. Alicia Seelaus also earned the chance to start, playing 16 minutes. The pair of sophomores have played in all seven games this season. West also earned the start against Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart, while freshman forward Janna Graf earned the first starts of her college career against Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart. She scored 10 points in 34 minutes in her debut in the starting lineup against FDU and made a shot just after the final buzzer that would have forced overtime.

 

Strength In Numbers

Despite allowing an Ivy League-worst 71.6 points per game through games from Dec. 12, 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 9.1 per game. They are also second in 3-point defensive shooting percentage, allowing a league-low 27 made threes on just 28.7 percent success. Yale is also second in turnover margin at +1.9 per game. Offensively,  the signs have been just as positive. The Bulldogs are third in the Ivy League in scoring (61.2 points per game) and third in free-throw percentage (71.2 percent). They are also third in the Ivy League in assists (14.1 apg).

Home Sweet Home

Yale is playing its fifth game at home this season tonight when it faces Quinnipiac. The Bulldogs opened the season with five of their first six games away from the friendly confines of John J. Lee Amphitheater. It is the final game of a four-game homestand. Following tonight's game, Yale's next home game is Jan. 2 against Bucknell.

 

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 Dec. 12, Vasquez is fourth in the Ivy League in scoring (13.2 points per game), sixth in 3-pointers per game (1.7), and third in assists (3.2 apg). She is also 10th in 3-point shooting percentage (35.7 percent), fifth in free-throw percentage (78.1 percent), and 17th in rebounding (4.8 rpg).

 

Dish And Assist

Despite missing a pair of games, sophomore guard Megan Vasquez is leading the team in assists, which is third among Ivy League players, but she's not the only Bulldog making her mark with her passing skills. The Bulldogs have four players ranked in the top five among the Ivy League leaders. Junior forward Michelle Cashen is fourth in the Ivy League with 3.1 assists per game, while senior forward Mady Gobrecht and sophomore guard Aarica West are tied for fifth among league leaders with 2.6 per game.

 

California Dreaming

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 1979, in Berkeley, where they fell 64-41. Last month's meeting was the sixth loss for the Bulldogs in six tries against a Pac-10 team. The Bulldogs then headed east to take on UC Davis, where they lost a hard-fought battle against the Aggies, 73-62. For Ericka von Kaeppler, the trip was a chance to play in front of friends and family. 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 Aarica West is from Buena Park.

 

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.

 

Schedule Strength

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.

 

Scouting Quinnipiac

After starting its season with five consecutive losses, Quinnipiac has since won three straight games against Vermont, Wagner in a Northeast Conference contest, and Army, and all of those victories were played at home. The Bobcats are coming off of a nine-day break. Their last game, the win over Army, was played on Dec. 11. The Bobcats have yet to win a game away from home this season, losing all four games played away from TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden. Sophomore Felicia Barron leads Quinnipiac with a scoring average of 12.1 points per game, but she is the only double-digit scorer for the Bobcats. In their eight games this season, the Bobcats have been outscored by an average of 12.4 points per game and have turned the ball over 20 more times than their opponent.

 

Series History

Tonight's game between Yale and Quinnipiac is the 15th all-time meeting between the two teams. Quinnipiac owns an 8-6 advantage, including a 75-59 win last season. Quinnipiac owns eight victories over Yale over the last 10 years. The two teams have traded home victories over the last four seasons. Prior to that stretch, Quinnipiac won six in a row from 2000-2006. Prior to that, Yale had won the first four meetings from 1980-1999, although the teams did not play between 1981 to 1998. There was only one overtime game in the series, a game that Yale won at home, 77-73, on Dec. 21, 2008. Overall, Yale is 3-3 at home against the Bobcats and 3-5 in games played in Hamden. In its 38-year history, Yale is 60-61 overall against the 12 opponents it has played from colleges that reside in the state of Connecticut.

 

The Last Meeting

Kathleen Neyens posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead Quinnipiac to a 75-59 home win over Yale on Dec. 21, 2009. Courtney Kaminski scored 14 points for the Bobcats. Yoyo Greenfield scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs, who battled back from a 10-point first-half deficit to tie the game at 29-29 by halftime. However, Quinnipiac used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to take control and never let Yale get within seven points the rest of the way.

 

Common Opponents

The Bobcats have four opponents on their schedule that also take on Yale this season. Yale beat Holy Cross, which coasted past Quinnipiac by 12 points. Quinnipiac edged Army, 69-65, in its last outing. Army will face Yale on Jan. 9. Yale suffered a pair of losses to Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart last week. Both teams await Quinnipiac in conference play.

 

Spreading Out The Starts

Of the 15 players on the Bobcats' roster, only five have not recorded a start. Camryn Warner, Lisa Lebak, Ellen Cannon have played in all eight games without a start, while Robin Keke has played in two games and Mia Picillo has appeared in one. No Bobcat has started every game this season. Felica Barron, Brittany McQuain, and Alyssa Jann lead the Bobcats with six starts apiece.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity