BULLDOGS SET FOR FIRST CONTEST IN NEW YEAR
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale will flip the calendar on the new year looking to pick up a win when it travels to Maine to face the Black Bears on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs are in the midst of a four-game road trip that will wrap up the non-conference slate and lead into the Ivy League opener.
The Bulldogs played at Kansas on Dec. 29, falling 79-63. Yale mounted a charge in the second half to trim its deficit in half and close within 67-56 before KU held on down the stretch. Yale shot a season-best .571 (8-of-14) from three-point range and forced 18 turnovers, but were unable to overcome its slow start.
Janna Graf, who was returning to her home state and playing in front of a large group of family and friends, scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career. Graf earned a spot on the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll for her efforts.
Scouting The Opponent
All-Time Series: Maine leads, 1-0.
This is the second meetings all-time for the squads. The Black Bears won the only other meeting, 92-62, on Jan. 11, 2003, in Orono.
Richard Barron is in his third year at the helm of Maine, but was head coach at Princeton for six seasons, leading the Tigers to the 2005-06 Ivy League title. He has also spent time as an assistant at NC State and Baylor.
Maine has dropped two straight after falling to Green Bay, 72-49, on New Year's Day. The Black Bears, who are 0-1 in America East play, will wrap their non-conference slate with the game against Yale.
The Black Bears are a young squad with just two upperclassmen playing more than 15 minutes. Asheigh Roberts averages 12.8 ppg, while Liz Wood adds 11.5 ppg and grabs 7.1 rebounds.
What To Watch For
Three-Point Shooting: Yale shot a season-best .571 (8-of-14) from three-point range at Kansas. The Bulldogs rank 76th nationally, shooting .339 from the arc as a team this season. Janna Graf (.440) and Nyasha Sarju (.375) lead the barrage and both rank among the Ivy League's leading three-point shooters.
Following Their Shots: The Bulldogs and Black Bears have both been outrebounded by their opponents on average this season. Yale, however, is the Ivy League's top offensive rebounding team at 16.3 per game. Graf, Meredith Boardman and Alexandra Osborn-Jones are all among the league leaders and could help Yale collect second-chance opportunities with solid offensive rebounding.
Turn Up The Pressure: Yale has been able to consistently force turnovers this season and rank second in the Ivy League, forcing 18.3 turnovers per game. The Bulldogs have forced at least 18 turnovers in the last five games, including three games of 20+ turnovers in that span. If Yale can continue to collect turnovers and convert them into points it will play a key role in picking up the road win.
Yale wraps up its non-conference slate with a game at New Hampshire on Jan. 7. New Hampshire has dropped three straight and is 4-7 on the year before an 11-day layoff before facing Brown on Jan. 3.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 10-1, including a 57-51 win at John J. Lee Amphitheater last season.
Corinne Coia leads UNH in scoring at 12.1 ppg, while Kelsey Hogan adds 10.4 ppg. Kaylee Kilpatrick and Elizabeth Belanger are the team's leading rebounders at 6.9 and 6.8 rpg, respectively.
Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity