January 9, 2009

Balanced Attack Leads Bulldogs Passed NJIT, 74-66

Jan. 9, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team played to a dead heat against the New Jersey Institute of Technology for 20 minutes on Friday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. But, propelled by a 15-4 run to open the second half, the Bulldogs broke away from the visiting Highlanders to claim their sixth victory of the season by a score of 74-66. Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, and two others finished with nine points, in the winning effort.

With the victory, Yale improves to 6-7 entering its final non-conference game of the season. The Highlanders from NJIT dropped their sixth straight contest to fall to 2-11.

"NJIT is a much improved team," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "We overcame foul trouble to win a very tough match-up tonight".

Senior guard Kaitlyn Lillemoe notched a season-high 12 points for the Bulldogs, her highest scoring output since a Feb. 11 win over Cornell in of her freshman campaign in 2005-06. Junior forward Melissa Colborne and senior guard Jamie Van Horne also netted 12 points to share the team high for Yale. Colborne, the second-most prolific scorer in the Ivy League this season, reached double figures for the 14th consecutive outing, dating back to the final game of the 2007-08 season. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield also tallied double figures with 10 points and dished out a career- and game-high six assists. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht scored nine points and shared the team high of eight rebounds with Colborne. Freshman forward Michelle Cashen also scored nine points. Junior forward Haywood Wright contributed six points, and senior Ashley Easley and freshman Brianna Segerson each added two to round out the Bulldogs' scoring.

The first half was tightly contested throughout. Neither team led by more than four points at any time in the first 20 minutes, and the scored was deadlocked on five occasions, including the halftime tally of 30-30. Gobrecht and NJIT's Jessica Gerald each scored seven points before the intermission to lead their teams. Gobrecht also hauled in five rebounds, splitting the half high with Taiwo Oyelola.

The Bulldogs scored the first points of the second half on a Wright lay-up, and continued to roll on a 15-4 run over the first four minutes of the frame. NJIT Head Coach Margaret McKeon called a timeout with 15:54 remaining and her team now trailing 45-34, and the Highlanders responded immediately with an 11-2 run that brought the Yale lead to within two points at 47-45 with 12:47 left in the game. The visitors from the Garden State would get no closer, however; a Van Horne three-pointer, her fourth of the evening, keyed another 15-4 Bulldog run that put the game out of reach at 70-55 with 4:13 left. The Highlanders wrapped up the game with an 11-4 run from that point forward, but the effort proved to be too little, too late as Yale walked away with a 74-66 victory.

Greenfield scored all 10 of her points after halftime, shooting 3-for-4 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 20 minutes. Jessica Gerald netted 13 of her game-high 20 points for NJIT in the second half. Kehinde Oyelola also reached double figures from the Highlanders with 16 points on the evening, while her twin sister Taiwo Oyelola led all players with 11 boards.

The Bulldogs will wrap-up their non-conference schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 13, as Division I newcomer Bryant visits the Elm City. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Ivy League slate begins at home on Jan. 16, as Yale hosts Brown in a 7 p.m. contest.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity

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