Yale Falls At Cornell, 65-56

Lena Munzer (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)
Lena Munzer (photo by Alexandra Schmeling)

Bulldogs Drop First Ivy League Contest

ITHACA, N.Y. - The Yale women's basketball team was stymied offensively during a critical stretch of the second half and dropped its first Ivy League contest of the season, falling at Cornell, 65-56, on Saturday night.

Yale (9-9, 3-1 Ivy League) took a 47-45 lead with 9:25 to play on a Katie Werner layup before Cornell responded with seven straight points to take the lead for good. The Big Red pushed its lead to as many as 14 points down the stretch, as they outscored the Bulldogs 20-4 over an eight-minute span and held Yale to just one field goal during the stretch.

Cornell (11-7, 3-1) took the lead on a Shelby Lyman three-pointer and got consecutive layups from Stephanie Long to go ahead 52-47 with 6:36 to play. A pair of foul shots by Sarah Halejian cut the lead to three before Cornell came back with two more short field goals to go ahed 56-49.

Halejian cut the deficit to 56-51, but Cornell, which hit field goals on five straight possessions, came back with nine straight points to push the lead to double-digits. Christine Kline scored the last six in the run, including a pair of foul shots to give Cornell a 65-51 lead and put the game out of reach for Yale.

A three-point play by Lena Munzer and a layup by Halejian accounted for the final five points of the contest, but it was not enough for Yale.

The teams played an even first half, which featured five ties and seven lead changes, but a 12-2 run by the Bulldogs midway through the period erased a 16-11 deficit and gave them their largest lead of the night at 23-18.

Meredith Boardman opened the spurt with a jumper and Alexandra Osborn-Jones gave Yale its first lead at 17-16. After a Lyman basket, Janna Graf, Osborn-Jones and Halejian scored on three straight possessions to put the Bulldogs ahead by five points.

The lead was short-lived, as Cornell came back with six straight points to regain the lead, before the teams traded baskets over the final 4:43 of the period and went into halftime tied, 32-32.

The second half started in the same back-and-forth fashion, with Cornell going ahead by three points, before Nyasha Sarju scored five quick points to help Yale retake the lead. The teams traded baskets on the next six possessions leading up to the decisive Cornell run.

Halejian was the only Bulldog in double-figures with 19 points, while Munzer and Graf added, eight and seven points, respectively. Boardman grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Yale shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but finished at 40 percent for the game.

Nia Marshall led all scorers with 14 points for Cornell, while Long and Kline added 12 and 10, respectively. The Big Red did most of their damage in the paint, outscoring Yale, 36-12. Cornell shot 44.4 percent from the field for the game.

Yale is back in action when it returns to John J. Lee Amphitheater to host Dartmouth on Friday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity