Vasquez Scores 18 Points To Lead Bulldogs To 2-0 Ivy Start
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Yale University women's basketball team has tipped off its Ivy League season with a home-and-home series against Brown in each of the last nine seasons, and for just the second time in this stretch, the Bulldogs are off to a quick Ivy start at the Bears' expense.
Sophomore Megan Vasquez tallied a game-high 18 points and six rebounds and senior Mady Gobrecht recorded her second consecutive double-double and third of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Yale University women's basketball team to a 71-59 victory over Brown in Ivy League action in the Pizzitola Center at Brown University.
The Bulldogs tipped off the home-and-home series with a 66-54 win at Yale on Jan. 14 in the Ivy League opener for both teams.
It is the first time either team swept the home-and-home series since Yale pulled off the feat in the 2007-08 season. It is also Yale's first win at Brown since the 2008-09 season when it pulled off a 71-37 win at the Pizzitola Center on Jan. 23, 2009.
Since this nine-year run began, Brown opened the stretch with four consecutive season sweeps, but the teams split the series in three of the previous four seasons prior to Yale's sweep this week.
"It is really hard to beat a good team back to back," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "That has been shown the last two years when we had split the season series. Whoever lost the first one would win the second one and I thought they definitely had the advantage going into tonight's game of having that extra motivation. It's tough to win both games in the series and I am really glad that we were able to do it."
The Bulldogs (6-10, 2-0 Ivy League) used an 8-0 run midway through the first half to open up a 26-15 lead behind four points each from Vasquez and Gobrecht. The teams traded points for the final five minutes, although Brown (4-12, 0-2) got as close as 28-22 with 2:08 left in the half. Gobrecht drained a 3-pointer to answer the Bears and Michelle Cashen scored four of her 10 points in the final 1:12 of the half to help the Bulldogs go into the halftime break with a 35-26 lead.
Yale held a 46-36 lead with 10:12 remaining when Brown's offense woke up and put together an 8-2 run to cut its deficit to 48-44 with 7:37 left, but Yale bounced back with a 16-2 run over the next 3:49 to put the game out of reach.
"I thought the real key was when they closed the game to four points and the way we answered was really important," Coach Gobrecht said. "That was their last gasp, and we took their best shot and answered their run with one of our own. Our response was the key to the victory for us."
Freshman forward Janna Graf, the reigning Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week, was quiet for much of the game, playing a good portion of the game in foul trouble. Graf finished the game with eight points, all in the second half, and five rebounds, but she played only 19 minutes. With Graf on the bench for long stretches, Yale relied on its reserves to fill in the gaps, and they came through with 16 bench points and key defensive stops throughout the game.
"Megan Vasquez was unbelievable," Coach Gobrecht said. "She was so good on defense and on offense. She set the pace for us. I thought she competed on every inch of the floor and really did a great job in leading us to this win. Mady played really well for us as well. But to me, it was key that we had to play that many kids off the bench in the first half. They did a very solid job. They did what we needed them to do — play defense, not turn the ball over and contribute on offense. That was significant."
Brown was led by Lindsay Nickel, who scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. Hannah Passafuime added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Sheila Dixon, who scored a career-high 21 points in last week's meeting, was held to just eight points.
Yale is off until Friday, Jan. 28, when it tips off its first back-to-back weekend of Ivy League play with a home game against Penn in the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs will finish off the weekend against Ivy League defending champion Princeton on Saturday. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity