Balanced Effort Propels Yale To Win At Dartmouth
Seven Bulldogs Score At Least Eight Points In Ivy Road Victory
HANOVER, N.H. — It has been 22 years since the Yale University women's basketball team last won more than eight games against Ivy League competition in a season, but with three games remaining in the 2010-11 regular season, it looks like that run is on the verge of coming to an end.
With a balanced offensive effort and a relentless defense, the Bulldogs kept themselves in the hunt for the Ivy League championship.
Seven of the eight players who scored Friday night scored at least eight points to lead Yale to a 70-45 Ivy League win over Dartmouth at Leede Arena.
Senior forward Mady Gobrecht led the starters with 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Ericka von Kaeppler came off the bench to score 13 points, one shy of her career-high, on 6-of-8 shooting. Sophomore guard Megan Vasquez recorded nine points and four assists, while junior forward Michelle Cashen chipped in with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Senior guard Yoyo Greenfield, freshman forward Janna Graf, sophomore guard Allie Messimer all added eight points.
"Different people picked us up at different times," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "We were running on all cylinders and we're really tough when that happens."
With the win, Yale improves to 12-13 overall, 8-3 in the Ivy League, matching last year's Ivy League win total (8-6). The Bulldogs remain in third place in the Ivy League standings, a half-game behind Harvard (16-8, 8-2) and a game and a half behind first-place Princeton (20-4, 9-1).
The Bulldogs will face Harvard on Saturday
The Bulldogs finished 10-4 in Ivy League play in 1988-89 and they have finished 8-6 in league competition five times since then, but with one win over the final three games, they will snap that spell.
"We talked about how this is our playoff run right now. If we can think that way as we go through these last three games, who knows what could happen," Coach Gobrecht said. "We have a really tough game Saturday night, so we'll see what happens tomorrow night and then see where we're at."
Yale opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers from Janna Graf and another from Megan Vasquez to take a 9-0 lead. The Bulldogs held the Big Green to no field goals until Megan McFee drained a jumper with 10:45 left in the first half. Dartmouth shot 7-for-26 in the opening half, but only two of those field goals happened in the first 15:50. Prior to Kelsey Byrd's layup at the 4:10 mark, Yale had opened up a 24-9 lead. The Bulldogs would only add to it in the final 3:39, building a 38-20 lead by the halftime buzzer.
All eight of Graf's points came among Yale's first 13 points to spark the early push. Cashen also scored all eight of her points in the first half to help the Bulldogs build a lead that grew to 20 points (38-18) with 24 seconds left in the half before Cassie Cooper's jumper with 4 seconds left accounted for the halftime score.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 21-8 run to extend the lead to 49-26, putting the game out of Dartmouth's reach with 15:39 remaining.
Mady Gobrecht and von Kaeppler took over the lead on offense in the second half. Gobrecht scored 11 of her points in the half and von Kaeppler scored nine of her points in the half, all coming in a 4:54 span midway through the second half.
"I thought Ericka von Kaeppler played really well. She's been looking really good in practice so it didn't surprise me," Coach Gobrecht said. "She has really picked up her game these last couple of weeks so I was glad to see her have such a good night."
Yale, which never trailed, outrebounded Dartmouth 49-32. The Bulldogs shot 42.2 percent (27-for-64), including 40.9 percent (9-for-22) from 3-point range. The Big Green, meanwhile, made only 27.8 percent of its shots (15-for-54).
"When you go on the road, you have to think about defense first. You don't always expect to shoot that well, so we were thinking that's where we had to get it done," Coach Gobrecht said. "We really wanted to keep the heat on them because they will play a really slow game if you let them. We just felt it really important to keep the tempo of the game up and we worked really hard defensively to do that."
Faziah Steen scored 12 points to lead Dartmouth. Cooper finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Yale remains on the road for a showdown at Harvard on Saturday, which tips off at 6 p.m.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity