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Huskies Hold Off Bulldogs in First Round of Preseason WNIT

Alexandra Maund. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Alexandra Maund. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

DeKALB, Ill. –The Yale women's basketball team traded runs with a high-powered Northern Illinois offense almost all night in the first round of the Preseason WNIT at NIU's Convocation Center. But in the end, the Huskies utilized a 14-0 run starting late in the third quarter to pull away for an 89-80 win and send the Bulldogs to the consolation round. Junior guard Roxy Barahman scored a career-high 29 points, while first-year forward Camilla Emsbo added 21.

Yale (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) led for most of the first three quarters, but could not put the Huskies away. Barahman scored 11 of her points in the first quarter, when the Bulldogs grabbed a 21-19 lead and committed just two turnovers.

By halftime Barahman was up to 21 points, and Yale was holding the Huskies to shooting just 35.9 percent from the field. Having led by as many as 11 in the second quarter, the Bulldogs' lead was 47-41 at the break.

Late in the third quarter NIU (1-0, 0-0 MAC) scored 12 points in a row, capped by a three-pointer from guard Mikayla Voigt -- part of a 17 point night for her. That gave the Huskies a 64-63 lead.

"At halftime our message was this is going to be a game of runs," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "That three shifts the entire momentum."

Neither team scored for nearly two minutes at the start of the fourth. After a pair of NIU free throws, sophomore guard Tori Andrew finally ended NIU's 14-0 run by hitting a pair of free throws at 7:09.

Yale re-took the lead with a 5-0 run midway through the fourth, culminating with a three-pointer from sophomore forward Ellen Margaret Andrews. NIU answered with a three from forward Courtney Woods with 5:37 left, part of a 38 point night for her. Neither team led by more than two for the next three-and-a-half minutes. With the game still hanging in the balance, NIU closed things out with a 10-2 run to make the final 89-80.

"We came out hot after halftime, but the 2-3 [zone defense] slowed us a down a little bit," said junior forward Megan Gorman, who finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. "They knocked down a couple shots. Props to them, they took advantage of it."

Emsbo added 13 rebounds and senior forward Alexandra Maund had six, but NIU wound up with a 48-42 edge on the boards.

"I have so much respect for NIU -- what they do, and how [Lisa Carlsen] coaches," said Guth. "They exposed us in terms of getting stops. We did not rebound the ball very well. It's two things -- the box-out and the board."

After winning the opener vs. Colgate by 19 points this past Tuesday, the Bulldogs will now attempt to draw some lessons from a hard-fought road game.

"We love the battle," said Gorman. "As an athlete, you love games that come down to the wire. This is something that will make us better."

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity