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Yale Falls At Home To Princeton

Aarica West. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Aarica West. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Loss Snaps Bulldogs' 5-Game Home Winning Streak


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University women's basketball team did everything it could to contain Princeton's top scorers Addie Micir and Lauren Edwards in the first half of Saturday's game. However, the Bulldogs could not sustain that defensive effort for the entire game, and Micir and Edwards took advantage over the game's final 15 minutes.

Micir scored 11 of her game-high 18 points in the second half and Edwards scored all but two of her 17 points in the final 20 minutes to pace Princeton to a 52-37 win over Yale in Ivy League play at John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday night.

"I think Princeton really needs to give an assist to Penn because I think Penn really took it out of us last night, but the bottom line is we just didn't play well," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Too many people didn't show up to play well. You're not going to beat Princeton if you don't show up."

The Bulldogs defense showed up in the first half and shut down Princeton's offense over the opening 20 minutes, which was enough to go into the halftime break with a slim 22-20 lead. The 20 first-half points tied the lowest output for the Tigers in a single half this season. The Tigers were held to just 20 points in first half of their Ivy League opener against Penn on Jan. 8.

Mady Gobrecht scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the first half to help the Bulldogs maintain the offensive edge in the opening half, but the Bulldogs could not carry that effort over into the second half.

Freshman forward Janna Graf opened up the second half with a 3-pointer to give Yale a 25-20 lead. Penn scored the next four points and then the team's traded points until the score was tied 28-28 at the first media timeout of the half. Micir sank a free throw right out of the timeout and Edwards followed with a jumper to give Princeton a 31-28 lead.

Graf followed with a jump shot to pull the Bulldogs within 31-30 with 13:46 remaining, but that was Yale's final point over the next 7:24. Outside of a single free throw from Gobrecht at the 6:22 mark, the Bulldogs' offense was silent for a 10:04 span that lasted until Allie Messimer converted a three-point play with a layup and the resulting free throw with 3:42 remaining.

Before those points went up on the scoreboard, Princeton had broken the game open with a 15-1 run and led 46-31 until Messimer's drive into the lane snapped the drought, but it was too late for Yale to mount a comeback attempt.

Princeton's offense shot 13-for-23 in the second half (56.5 percent) to snap out of the 9-for-23 effort (39.1 percent) from the first half. Princeton's defense held Yale to just four field goals in the second half (4-for-19, 21.1 percent). The Bulldogs were just 1-for-11 from 3-point range in the second half.

The Tigers outrebounded the Bulldogs 33-25, but Princeton held a slim 18-17 rebounding margin at that first media timeout in the second half. Over the final 14:40 of the game, the Tigers dominated the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs 15-8 down the stretch.

"Princeton just beats you up. They are probably the most physical team in the league. They just physically come after you and when we couldn't score in the second half, we just lost our will to defend," Coach Gobrecht said. "Princeton plays very, very tough defense. That's what people don't realize. It is their defense that sucks the will out of you. When you can't score, then they know that you'll loosen up a little bit defensively and that's what we did. If we hadn't loosened up, I think they would have continued to struggle. Then they went to their senior and she hit some big buckets."

Yale is off until Friday, when it will make the five-hour trip to Cornell for the first game of the weekend. The Bulldogs will then visit Columbia on Saturday in Manhattan. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity