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Defense Stifles Seahawks in 74-41 Win

Bronwyn Davies. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Bronwyn Davies. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Just seven games into a season in which the Yale women's basketball team has an entirely new defensive system, the Bulldogs came up with a dominant effort Tuesday night that showcased their defensive potential. Yale held Wagner to 27 percent shooting from the field -- blocking seven shots -- en route to a 74-41 win at Spiro Sports Center.

"Given the fact that we just started this system, we're still growing into it," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "They key tonight was the way our players worked together. We were consistent with our ball pressure and close-outs."

The Bulldogs also enjoyed a 47-26 advantage in rebounds. Junior forward Megan Gorman led the way with 11, while junior guard Roxy Barahman and first-year forward Camilla Emsbo had nine each.

"We have been working on that all season," said Guth. "It's a matter of attention to detail -- boxing out before going for the ball. I thought we were more physical tonight. That was definitely an area of improvement we identified after our games in Ohio last week. I'm very proud of their effort."

A buzzer-beater from Barahman capped a dominant first quarter for the Bulldogs, who jumped out to an 18-6 lead thanks in part to eight points from Emsbo. Yale held Wagner to 17 percent shooting from the field in the quarter.

The Bulldogs got the lead up to 21 at one point in the second, eventually heading into halftime with a 19 point edge at 38-19. Three Bulldogs had already reached double figures by that point -- Emsbo (12), Barahman (11) and sophomore forward Alex Cade (10).

The Bulldogs' dominance on the boards remained on display as the third quarter got underway. At one point Emsbo grabbed three offensive boards on one possession, eventually earning a trip to the free throw line to get Yale's lead to 44-21. The lead eventually ballooned to 32, 55-23, on a jumper by Gorman at 3:55 before Wagner got back-to-back three pointers from forward Jordan Hobson to cut into the deficit.

Yale (4-3, 0-0 Ivy League) led by as many as 35 in the fourth quarter, closing out the win by limiting Wagner (1-6, 0-0 NEC) to nine points in the final frame.

Barahman finished as Yale's leading scorer with 22 points, and she also had a team-best five assists. Thanks largely to 17 points from Emsbo and 16 from Cade, the Bulldogs held a 52-18 advantage in points in the paint. Emsbo added three blocks.

The win was all the more impressive given that four players -- 25 percent of Yale's roster -- were out for the game, including starting guard Ellen Margaret Andrews. A host of Bulldogs stepped up to fill the void.

"Cade's been that consistent factor for us," said Guth. "There's nobody that's going to out-work that kid when she's on the floor. We also saw some production from [first-year forward] Erin Hill in the post. [Junior forward] Bronwyn Davies gave us some key minutes in terms of controlling the tempo. We're going to have to have some answers with those players out, and tonight we saw that."

Yale returns to action Thursday at Providence (7:00 p.m.).

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