VESTAL, N.Y. – Records keep falling for the Yale women's basketball team as the Bulldogs continue their run through the Women's Basketball Invitational tournament. With a 70-64 win at Binghamton Tuesday night, the Bulldogs advanced to the WBI semifinals and tied the school record for wins in a season with their 17th. Yale will host South Alabama Saturday night at 5:00 p.m. in the WBI semifinals (note day and time change as of Mar. 21).
It was a big night for a couple Bulldogs in particular -- both of whom came off the bench. First-year guard Tori Andrew led Yale with 16 points, tying her career high. She hit five three pointers.
"That kid is a shooter, and when she's on, she's on," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "We're excited she's finding this consistency in the post-season. She had some really key threes when we needed them."
Junior forward Alexandra Maund added a career-high 14 points, along with 12 rebounds.
"Maund's been practicing really hard," said Guth. "She's just a fantastic kid, playing behind a really talented player in [senior forward] Jen Berkowitz. We needed someone to give us a spark rebounding. She committed to our defensive game plan, and she was physical on offense."
Yale (17-13, 8-6 Ivy League) took control of this one early. Berkowitz was left wide-open for a three near the end of the first, and she drained it to send the Bulldogs into the second quarter up 16-10. That was part of a six-point quarter for Berkowitz, who was coming off a 23-point night in Yale's 68-58 win at Northeastern in the tournament's first round.
Andrew hit a three to open the second quarter, and after she hit another to cap an 8-0 run Binghamton called time down 24-10. The Bulldogs outscored the Bearcats 13-10 the rest of the way, including another three-pointer from Andrew, to take a 37-20 lead into halftime. The Bearcats were shooting just .243 at the break, including a 1-for-12 performance from guard Imani Watkins -- the America East Player of the Year and Binghamton's all-time leading scorer. She would bounce back in the second half to finish with 23 points, but it wound up being too little, too late.
Binghamton (20-11, 10-6 America East) showed signs of life with a 9-0 run early in the third that cut the Bulldogs' lead to 39-31 and prompted a Yale timeout. The Bearcats were still within eight when Andrew hit her fourth three, with 5:19 left in the quarter. She then hit her fifth at 2:49 to make it 49-37, and Yale would take a 53-42 lead into the fourth.
After an early Binghamton layup got the Bearcats within nine, junior Alexandra Maund came up with a jumper and a layup to give Yale some breathing room. Binghamton got within seven with 3:30 to play, but senior guard Tamara Simpson answered with a three-point play.
Binghamton eventually pulled within five on the three-pointer by guard Carly Boland with 2:27 to play. The Bearcats had multiple chances to pull even closer, but Boland and Watkins both missed three pointers before sophomore guard Roxy Barahman came away with a rebound and Yale called time with 1:50 to play.
A layup by Simpson and a block by Berkowitz, followed by a steal from Maund, helped the Bulldogs stay in control heading into the final minute. Barahman's steal then enabled Yale to work the clock down to under 30 seconds. Shortly after that, they celebrated the record-tying win.
"That was only something that we began thinking about near the end of the season," said Guth of the chance to set the school record. "What a credit to this group, putting in the time in the offseason. We're extremely proud of the way we put the loss at The Palestra [to Princeton in the Ivy League semifinals] behind us and capitalized on our chance in this tournament. It says a lot about our players and a lot about our coaching staff."
There will be no admission charge for Saturday's semifinal game at Lee Amphitheater. The winner of that game faces the winner of the Central Arkansas-Nevada game for the WBI championship.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity