Bulldogs Begin Four-Game Homestand Against St. Bonaventure

Bulldogs Begin Four-Game Homestand Against St. Bonaventure

Jan. 3, 2009

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

The Yale women's basketball team kicks off 2009 against St. Bonaventure in the first game of a four-game homestand. The Bulldogs will also host the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Jan. 9), Bryant (Jan. 13) and their Ivy League opener against Brown (Jan. 16) on the home swing. Yale enters 2009 with a record of 5-6.

The Bulldogs split a pair of road games in California last week, knocking off UC Irvine, 75-66, on Dec. 28 and falling to UC Riverside on Dec. 30 by a score of 72-65. Junior forward Melissa Colborne was the high scorer for Yale in both games with 16 and 24 points respectively. Both teams were first-time opponents for the Bulldogs, who are now 2-2 all-time against Big West Conference foes.

Selected to finish seventh in the Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies come to the Elm City with a record of 10-4. The Bonnies, winners of three of their last four contests, most recently took the court at Bryant University on Jan. 2. Five players scored in double figures from the Bonnies and the St. Bonaventure bench contributed 41 points in the 67-58 win in Smithfield, R.I. Dana Mitchell, the top scorer in the A-10 last season, leads the Bonnies with 15.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Katelyn Murray, the Bonnies' biggest threat from three-point range, is also averaging double figures with 12.2 points per outing.

Yale won the only meeting with St. Bonaventure, an 82-30 rout on Dec. 5, 1981 in the Iona Invitational. The Bulldogs are 12-18 all-time against the Atlantic-10, while the Bonnies hold an 8-9 record against Ivy League opponents all time.

Chris Gobrecht, now in her 29th season as a Division I head coach, has amassed a career 454-375 (.548) record, ranking her 31st among active coaches in career victories. The ninth coach in the 36-year history of Yale women's basketball, Gobrecht has more career victories than any other active basketball coach (men's or women's) in the Ivy League. In her tenure at Yale, she has he has coached an Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Melissa Colborne, 2006-07) and two first team All-Ivy players (Colborne, 2007-08 and Erica Davis, 2006-07). Prior to Gobrecht's arrival in the Elm City, a Bulldog player had not earned first team accolades since the 1997-98 campaign. Last season, Gobrecht led the Bulldogs to a 7-7 record in the Ivy League, their best conference record since 2001-02. Despite a non-conference schedule that included eventual National Finalist Stanford, as well as NCAA Tournament participants Arizona State and Marist, the Bulldogs posted nine wins, the team's second-highest victory total in the last six seasons.

The Yale vs. Harvard women's basketball game on Feb. 6 will be televised live on the YES Network as part of the Yale on YES package this winter. Additionally, the men's games again Princeton on Fri., Feb. 13 and against Columbia on Sat., Feb. 21 will air live on Yale on YES.

"Our team is definitely excited to have our game against Harvard televised, but I also think this is really good for women's basketball," said Chris Gobrecht, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Yale and Harvard represent what intercollegiate athletics should be about and fans of the game will see the kind of intensity, all-out play and team attitudes that make our game popular."

Despite traveling more than 3,000 miles for road contests at UC Irvine and UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and 30, several Bulldogs were at home in the Golden State. Chris Gobrecht, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball is a graduate of Southern California. She also coached in California for 13 seasons, patrolling the sidelines at California State-Fullerton from 1979-85 and at Southern California from 1997-04. Gobrecht also spent time on the west coast from 1985-96 as head coach of the Washington Huskies in the Pac-10 Conference. Her daughter, sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht, also lived in California during her mother's stint on the west coast. Additionally, senior guard Jamie Van Horne (Healdsburg, Calif.), junior forward Haywood Wright (Irvine) and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield (Los Angeles) all hail from California.

On the heels of her best game in a Yale uniform at the University of California, Irvine on Dec. 28, freshman forward Michelle Cashen earned laurels as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Playing in the 10th game of her collegiate career, Cashen's 12 points and eight rebounds both marked career highs. The Belle Harbor, N.Y. native, who tallied eight of her 12 points in the second half, shot 6-for-9 (66.7%) from the floor and also recorded a blocked shot in her 22 minutes of action.

Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht completed her stat sheet in full in the Dec. 28 with at UC Irvine. The California native flirted with the first triple-double in Yale women's basketball history, tallying eight points on a 4-for-5 shooting day, hauling in a career-best 13 rebounds and dishing out nine assists.

After a 33-day, six-game road stint, Yale finally returned home for an intra-state clash with Quinnipiac on Dec. 21. Yale overcame a 14-point halftime deficit (43-29) to knock off the Bobcats in overtime by a score of 77-73. Junior Melissa Colborne netted a team-high 21 points for the Bulldogs. Junior Haywood Wright added a career-best 18 points and led all players with nine rebounds. Senior Jamie Van Horne, who contributed the game-winning lay-up with one second remaining in the overtime period, was the third Bulldog to reach double figures with 12 points. She also led all players with four assists.

Junior forward Haywood Wright earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors for her performance in the Dec. 21 overtime win against Quinnipiac. Wright scored a career-high 18 points, including two free throws to ice the game, and ripped down a game-high nine rebounds in the Bulldogs' 77-73 overtime win over Quinnipiac on Dec. 21. Wright shot 6-for-9 (66.7%) from the floor, knocked down her lone three-point attempt and shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. She led all players with four blocks and four steals and also dished out two assists in 34 minutes of action. On the season, Wright has been a force on both ends of the court for the Bulldogs. She is averaging 11.0 points per game and rates second in the Ivy League with a team-best 8.4 rebounds per contest. Defensively, Wright leads the Ivy League in blocked shots with 1.6 rejections per game.

Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a first team All-Ivy selection in 2007-08, leads all Ancient Eight players with 18.4 points per game so far this season. Most recently, Colborne led all players and matched her season high with 24 points on Dec. 30 at UC Riverside. Colborne averaged 15.7 points per game last season, the second-highest average in the Ivy League.

With a three-pointer with 5:15 remaining the second half against Kentucky on Nov. 28, her fourth of five treys on the day, senior Jamie Van Horne eclipsed Tory Mauseth '05 to become Yale's all-time leader in career three-point field goals. Van Horne, who is shooting 28-for-74 (.378) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, has connected on 182 three-pointers in her career. The captain of the Bulldogs sank 59 triples in 2007-08, the second highest single-season total in Yale history. The single-season mark at Yale belongs to Maria Smear `03, who sank 62 treys in the 2000-01 season.

The Bulldogs have been the best free throw shooting team in the Ivy League this season at 211-for-278 (.759). Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .785 free throw shooter, has drilled 90 of her 101 attempts from the charity stripe in 2008-09. She matched her own Yale record with a 12-for-12 day at the line on Dec. 8 at Stony Brook, and also set the program record for most made free throws in a game with 14 (on 16 attempts) at UC Riverside on Dec. 30. Colborne hit 22 consecutive free throws this season, a streak spanning from the second half on the Nov. 29 win over New Hampshire to the first half of the Dec. 10 contest at Army.

The Bulldogs' 77-73 overtime victory against Quinnipiac on Dec. 21 was their third straight game to be tied in the final two minutes of regulation. In total, seven of the Bulldogs' 11 contests this season have been deadlocked within the final three minutes of the second half, and nine of their 11 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points.

Preseason opponents Bucknell (L, 73-70) and Minnesota (L, 87-63) marked two of the three 2008-09 Yale opponents that participated in last season's NCAA Tournament. Ivy League foe Cornell also went to the Big Dance in 2007-08. Additionally, Division I newcomer Bryant, who will visit the Elm City on Jan. 13, played in the Division II NCAA Tournament last season.

Minnesota (L, 87-63), UC Irvine (W, 75-66) and UC Riverside (L, 72-65) were all first-time opponents for the Bulldogs. Contests with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Jan. 9) and Bryant (Jan. 13) will also be first-time meetings.

For the first time since the 2001-02 campaign, Yale started a season at 1-0 after defeating Holy Cross on Saturday, Nov. 15 by a score of 65-63. Junior forward Melissa Colborne netted 14 points to lead the Bulldogs, while sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht added seven points and a game- and career-high 11 rebounds.

In the Ivy League Preseason Poll, the Bulldogs were selected to repeat their 2007-08 fourth place finish. After winning the Ivy League title outright in 2006-07 and sharing the crown in 2007-08, the Harvard Crimson have once again been tabbed to win the Ivy in 2008-09, as voted on by the media and women's basketball sports information directors of the Ancient Eight. Harvard notched 128 total points and 10 of 17 first place votes Dartmouth, who along with Harvard and Cornell shared the Ivy title at 11-3 last season, was slotted to place second with 117 points and four first place votes. Big Red received the other three first place votes and 94 points overall to land in third place. Cornell will have an upward climb to stay on par with the other 2007-08 co-champions of the Ivy League, as Ivy League Player of the Year Jeomi Maduka has left the program to pursue track and field. The Bulldogs are the first team behind the trio of 2007-08 champions in the poll, garnering 83 points. The preseason poll is rounded out by Columbia (74 points), Penn (52), Princeton (46) and Brown (18).

Once again in 2008-09, Bulldogs' fans can watch every home game from the John J. Lee Amphitheater live and for free via the new "Yale All-Access" package. All Yale All-Access content will also be archived on www.yalebulldogs.com. The webcasts include audio commentary by WYBC, Yale's student radio station. To access the feed, simply click on the "Yale All-Access" logo in the upper right corner of the Yale Athletics home page, or the "watch" link on the schedule. Viewers will need to create an account by entering a username and password.

After playing nine of their first 11 games on the road in 2008, the Bulldogs will wrap-up their non-conference schedule with a two more games at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven. Yale hosts NJIT on Jan. 9 and Bryant on Jan. 13 to close out the 2008-09 non-conference slate. The Ivy League schedule starts up in the Elm City as the Bulldogs host Brown on Jan. 16.

Yale Women's Basketball Main Page
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St. Bonaventure Women's Basketball Main Page

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity