The Yale women's basketball team plays the final game of the non-conference portion of its 2010-11 schedule when it visits West Point, N.Y., to take on Army. The Bulldogs are coming off of an impressive defensive effort in a 69-58 victory over Bucknell on Jan. 2 and hope to carry that into Sunday's game against the Black Knights. The Bulldogs are searching for just their second road win of the season against an Army team that has played its best basketball at home, winning five of its six contests in Christl Arena.
Last Time Out
Yale forced 13 Bucknell turnovers in the second half and held the Bison without a field goal over a 7:28 span late in the game to secure a 69-58 win on Jan. 2. The Bison maintained a small lead throughout most of the game until Mady Gobrecht converted on a 3-point play with 6:49 left. Yale held on to that lead the rest of the way thanks to its post players, who took over in the second half. Gobrecht scored 11 of her 15 points and Michelle Cashen scored 10 of her 14 points in the half to help the Bulldogs pull away.
After starting its season at 3-7, Army has won four of its last five games, including its Patriot League opener at Colgate on Friday, 54-40. Friday's win was also the first road victory of the season for the Black Knights, who enter today's game against Yale with a 5-1 record at home. The Black Knights are led by senior forward Erin Anthony, who is the team's top scorer at 14.3 ppg., but she is the only double-digit scorer on the roster. Army has ranked as high as seventh in the nation in scoring defense this season. Through games of Jan. 6, the Black Knights ranked 52nd in the nation, holding teams to 56.3 points per game. Counting Friday's win at Colgate, Army has held four opponents under 50 points and is 4-0 in those contests.
With a 54-40 win over Colgate on Friday, Army tallied its 500th win as a varsity program. The first varsity sport offered to women at West Point, the program made its debut in 1977-78. Erin Anthony powered the Black Knights to the win with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Power Presence In The Post, Classroom
Senior forward Erin Anthony has proven to be a force under the basket for the Black Knights. Following Friday's win, Anthony now maintains an average of 14.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Through games of Jan. 6, she was fifth in the nation in rebounding. She has posted six double-doubles this season. She is also a first team Academic All-American, two-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee, and a Rhode's Scholarship candidate.
In a series that dates back to 1977, when women's basketball was just a club sport at Army, the two teams have met 24 times prior to Sunday's game. Army owns a 14-10 advantage in the series. Last season, Yale defeated Army 55-42 to snap a five-game losing streak to the Black Knights. Army owns the only two winning streaks longer than two games, winning four in a row in the early 1980s and five straight between 1998 and 2008.
The Last Meeting
Yale started the game with a 10-2 run and never looked back, cruising to a 55-42 win over Army in New Haven. The Bulldogs held the Black Knights to just 15 points in the first half. Army outshot Yale, posting a .333 (19-for-57) mark to Yale's .311 (19-for-61) showing, but Yale dominated the battle under the basket, outrebounding Army 51-37. Melissa Colborne led Yale with 14 points and eight rebounds. Michelle Cashen recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Army features a pair of players with Connecticut ties. Sophomore guard Molly Yardley, a Milford native and former Lauralton Hall standout, has started in 10 of her 13 games, averaging 8.0 points per game. Senior forward Laura Burdick, a former Farmington High standout, has appeared in nine games in a reserve roll, averaging 1.1 points per game.
Yale On YES
The YES Network, the broadcast home of major league baseball's New York Yankees, will feature three Yale squads in a three-game, three-sport winter TV package. The Yale women's basketball team tips off the Yale on YES package with its Ivy League opener against Brown at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday, Jan. 14. The Yale men's hockey team, the top-ranked team in the country, will take center ice on YES when it hosts Ivy League rival Dartmouth at Ingalls Rink on Saturday, Feb. 5. The closing game in the three-game package will feature the Yale-Princeton men's basketball rivalry on Friday, Feb, 18. All three games on YES begin at 7 p.m.
Holiday To Forget
Yale took part in the fourth-annual Fordham Holiday Classic, along with Fordham, Villanova and Sienna. It turned out to be a tournament that the Bulldogs would love to forget. Yale lost both games, falling to Fordham, 62-44, on Dec. 29, and closing out the tournament with a 57-44 loss to Villanova on Dec. 30. A bright spot in the tournament was the play of senior forward Mady Gobrecht, who averaged 11.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two games. She earned a spot on the All-Tournament team, joining Villanova's Lindsay Kimmel and Laura Sweeney, Fordham's Kyara Weekes, and Sienna's Serena Moore as the five players to earn recognition for their efforts.
One For The History Books
Yale earned perhaps the biggest victory in its 38-year history on Saturday, Dec. 18, when it stunned Florida State 91-85. 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 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. Megan Vasquez and Janna Graf each recorded career scoring highs. Vasquez scored 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 tallied the 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
The historic 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 straight losses. The longest losing streak in Yale's history is 11 straight losses, which was recorded twice in the team's 38 seasons.
Just Around The Corner
The non-conference portion of the 2010-11 season is finally at an end for the Bulldogs. Army is the only opponent remaining on Yale's non-conference schedule. Following its return from the West Point, N.Y., campus of Army, Yale will take a short, five-day break before returning to action on Friday. The Bulldogs begin Ivy League play when they play host to Brown at the John J. Lee Amphitheater at 7 p.m.
Yale Sweeps Ivy Awards
After leading Yale to a pair of victories, including its first-ever win over a nationally ranked opponent, Michelle Cashen, Janna Graf and Megan Vasquez were all honored on Dec. 23 by the Ivy League for their efforts. Cashen was named the Ivy Player of the Week and Graf was named the Ivy Rookie of the Week, while Vasquez earned a place on the weekly Honor Roll. It is the first time Yale has swept the Ivy League's weekly awards since senior Erica Davis and freshman Melissa Colborne won the awards on Jan. 2, 2007. Cashen averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game in the two wins. She scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win over then-No. 15/14 Florida State. Against Quinnipiac, Cashen tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, falling just two rebounds and two assists shy of recording the first triple-double in Yale's 38-year history. Graf averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two games. She scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win over Florida State. She fell one rebound shy of her first double-double against Quinnipiac, tallying 11 points and nine rebounds. Vasquez averaged 22.5 points in the two wins. She scored a career-high 25 points versus Florida State and 20 points against Quinnipiac.
WBCA Pink Zone
The Bulldogs' Feb. 12 game against Dartmouth will be the main event of Yale's all-day WBCA Pink Zone event. The annual fund-raiser, formerly known as "Think Pink," is dedicated to raising awareness and donations for breast cancer research, with this year's proceeds being donated to the Smilow Cancer Hospital. The festivities, which will take place throughout Payne Whitney Gymnasium, will once again include a "Battle of the Badges" competition featuring the Yale and New Haven police and fire departments. The Yale gymnastics team will host the Bulldog Invitational, while the women's and men's swim teams will compete against Brown.
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 eight games with her concussion, while Vasquez and von Kaeppler both returned to action against Sacred Heart.
The 20-Point Club
With their efforts against Florida State and Quinnipiac, Megan Vasquez, Michelle Cashen and Janna Graf became one of 15 Ivy League players who have scored at least 20 points in a game this season. Vasquez reached the mark in both games, with a career-high 25 points against Florida State and 20 against Quinnipiac. Graf notched a career-high 22 points against Florida State, while Cashen scored a season-high 20 points against Quinnipiac.
Stealing The Show
With the injury to senior captain Yoyo Greenfield, sophomore guard Aarica West is making the most of her time on the court. She has earned the starts in place of Greenfield in the last eight games. She is making her mark on both ends of the floor. She is leading the team in assists (3.7 apg.) and in steals (1.8 spg.). Following games through Jan. 2, West was second in the Ivy League in assists and fifth in steals per game. The new weekly rankings are due out on Monday, Jan. 10.
Dish And Assist
Normally, the assists category is dominated by the guards, but in the Ivy League, two Yale post players have found their way onto the leaderboard. Junior forward Michelle Cashen and senior forward Mady Gobrecht are among the top 10 in the Ivy League in assists. Cashen is third in the conference with 3.3 apg., while Gobrecht is sixth with 3.1 apg. In fact, Yale players take up four of the first six places on the top 10 list. Sophomore guard Aarica West is second in the league with 3.7 assists per game and sophomore guard Megan Vasquez is fourth with 3.1 apg.
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.
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).
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 Tournament. Five others participated in the WNIT, including WNIT champion California.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity