Bulldogs Return To Action Against Saint Peter's

Alexandra Osborn-Jones (Photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Alexandra Osborn-Jones (Photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

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Bulldogs To Conclude Four-Game Homestand

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale returns to action on Thursday night when it hosts Saint Peter's at 6 p.m. The game will be the last for the Bulldogs before a break for the holidays.

Last time out, the Bulldogs took Georgetown to the wire before falling, 66-65. Yale rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half and had a chance to tie in the closing seconds. Yale forced 20 turnovers by the Hoyas and converted those into 25 points.

Sarah Halejian scored a season-high 27 points and was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week for her efforts. She leads Yale in scoring at 15.5 ppg.

Nyasha Sarju came off the bench to add 17 points. Janna Graf added 10 points and is just 19 points from scoring 1,000 for her career.

Scouting The Opponent

All-Time Series: Saint Peter's won the only meeting, 61-54, on Dec. 29, 1999 at the St. Peter's Classic.

Saint Peter's picked up its first win of the season at Fairleigh Dickinson, 62-56, on Dec. 11. Aziza May scored 12 of her 20 points after the half. Saint Peter's was tabbed 11th in the preseason coaches poll, while Aziza May was named to the preseason All-MAAC Third Team.

Antonia Smith leads three Peacocks in double-figures at 13.3 ppg, while Kaydine Bent is grabbing 6.4 rebounds to lead the team.

Pat Coyle is in her first season as head coach of the Peahens, but coached Loyola (Md.) to a pair of NCAA appearances and was also head coach of the WNBA's New York Liberty.

What To Watch For

Continue The Pressure: Yale forced 20 turnovers against Georgetown, which it converted into 25 points. The Bulldogs will look to force the Peacocks into turnovers as well, since Saint Peter's enters the game with a -5.88 turnover margin.

Staying Fresh: Yale currently has 10 players that average between 9.4 and 27.2 minutes played per game, while Saint Peter's has eight players that average similar minutes, the Peacocks also have four players that play at least 29.0 minutes per game. If the Bulldogs can wear the Peacocks down or get them into foul trouble, they may be able to take advantage of a deeper bench.

The Charity Stripe: Both teams average over 20 free throw attempts per game. Saint Peter's ranks 11th in the MAAC, making just 59.4 percent of its foul shots, while the Bulldogs have shot 64.5 percent on the year. Yale has been even better in the last three games, shooting 73.5 percent at the charity stripe.

Next Up

Yale will return to action after the holidays when it travels to face Kansas on Dec. 29 in Lawrence, Kan. KU opened the year with three straight wins and stands at 5-5 on the year after falling to Purdue, 71-68, on Dec. 15.

The Jayhawks are led by Bonnie Henrickson, who is in her 10th year. She led the program to a 20-14 mark last season and a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a final ranking of No. 25. Chelsea Gardner is one of two returning starters and leads the team in scoring at 16.8 ppg and rebounding at 8.2 rpg.

Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity