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Bulldogs Travel To Brown For Ivy League Opener

Hayden Latham. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Hayden Latham. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team opens the Ivy League slate on Friday night at Brown. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m. In the Pizzitola Sports Center. The game will be carried on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Yale (6-8) concluded its non-conference schedule with a narrow 58-53 loss at New Hampshire on Jan. 7. The Bulldogs staged a second half rally and managed to cut a 16-point deficit to two points in the closing seconds before the Wildcats held on for the win.

Sarah Halejian scored 17 points to lead Yale and was named to the Ivy League Weekly Honor Roll. She continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring on the year at 15.6 points per game. Meredith Boardman grabbed a team-high eight rebounds at UNH and leads Yale with 6.7 rebounds per game. Halejian and Boardman both rank among the top five in the Ivy League in scoring and rebounding, respectively.

Scouting The Opponent

Series History: Brown leads series, 43-33, dating back to 1973-74.

The teams split last season's meetings, with each winning on the road. Yale has won five of the last seven meetings in the series overall.

Brown comes into the contest with a 6-8 mark overall following a 48-43 loss at NJIT on Jan. 11. Lauren Clarke led the team with 11 points, but the Bears dropped their fourth contest in five games.

Clarke leads the team in scoring at 17.3 ppg, while Sophie Bikofsky adds 14.5 ppg and a team-high 4.8 rebounds per game.

Brown ranks fourth in the Ivy League in scoring at 65.3 points and is the top three-point shooting squad at .393. Bikofsky leads the league in shooting from the arc at .516.

What To Watch For

Three-Point Shooting: The game will feature two of the Ivy League's top three-point shooting teams. Yale ranks fourth in the league, hitting 33.6 of its three-point shots. Brown leads the league, and ranks ninth nationally, shooting 39.3 from three-point range. The Bears' Sophie Bikofsky leads the league hitting 51.6 of her shots from the arc, while the Bulldogs' Janna Graf ranks fourth at 42.6 percent.

Protecting Possession: Both teams are also among the league leaders in turnover margin. Yale ranks third in the Ivy League with a +1.9 turnover margin, while Brown is second at +2.2. The Bulldogs rank second in the league forcing 18.4 turnovers per game, while Brown is third and forces its opponents into 16.6 turnovers per game.

Free Throws: On paper the two teams are evenly matched, separated by less than a point per game (Yale 66.2 - Brown 65.3). The difference could come down to the foul line, where Yale ranks fourth in the Ivy League in foul shots attempted. Brown ranks fourth in free throw percentage (70.7), while Yale shoots 64.8 percent as a team from the line.

Next Up

Yale returns home to host Brown at John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday, Jan. 24. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

The home game will come after a four-game road swing for the Bulldogs and give a brief break before they return to the road for a pair of games at Columbia and Cornell the following weekend.

The game will also be a Kids Club Pizza Party promotion game. Parents or Guardians must RSVP to invitation from the Yale Marketing Office to Janel Haggerty, including the subject "Kids Club Pizza Party."

Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity