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Bulldogs Fall in Preseason WNIT at SFA, 67-57

Mackenzie Hewitt. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mackenzie Hewitt. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin women's basketball team has made William R. Johnson Coliseum one of the toughest places in the nation for visiting teams, and Yale found that out first-hand in a matchup in the Preseason WNIT Consolation Round Saturday evening. A 37-30 halftime lead for the Bulldogs evaporated in a 21-4 third quarter run for SFA, and the Ladyjacks went on to win 67-57 -- improving to 67-11 on their home court since the start of the 2013-14 season. Junior guard Roxy Barahman led Yale with 26 points.

Barahman scored 14 of her points in the first half, helping the Bulldogs get out to an early lead. The score was 19-17 SFA after a three-pointer by SFA guard Chanell Hayes at 8:33. But a layup by first-year forward Camilla Emsbo off an assist by junior forward Bronwyn Davies sparked a 20-11 Yale run that saw six different Bulldogs contribute points, led by five from Barahman and four each from Emsbo and sophomore guard Ellen Margaret Andrews.

A third-quarter cold spell for the Bulldogs gave SFA (2-1, 0-0 Southland) the chance to take the lead for good. Yale held a 39-37 advantage after a layup by Davies at 7:51, but did not score again until a layup by junior forward Megan Gorman at 2:33. By then the Ladyjacks had built their lead up to eight points, and they wound up taking a 10-point bulge into the final quarter. Adding to Yale's issues, Andrews fouled out early in the quarter.

"We didn't do the things that worked for us in the first half," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball, of the Bulldogs' third-quarter struggles. "We didn't talk on off-ball screens, we fouled and negated our hustle, we turned the ball over -- we were not poised under pressure."

Threes by Barahman on Yale's first two possessions of the fourth trimmed the lead, and the Bulldogs were within four as late as 4:52 after a Davies layup. Yale also had inserted senior guard Gabby Nelson, the team captain and a Texas native, at 5:14 looking for a spark. But a three by SFA guard Marissa Banfield started a 12-6 run that closed out the game for the Ladyjacks.

Sophomore guard Tori Andrew added 11 points for the Bulldogs, and Emsbo led the team with nine rebounds.

The Bulldogs wound up with a 1-2 record in the Preseason WNIT. Iowa State hosts Miami Sunday in the tournament championship game.

"It's an honor to be a part of this tournament, to be selected," said Guth. "There are some up-and-coming teams and some quality programs in it. What this showed us is how much work we have to do to become the team we want to be -- a post-season team."

Yale (2-2, 0-0 Ivy League) returns to action Wednesday at Cincinnati.

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