Brown Visits Elm City to Kick Off Ivy League Play

Brown Visits Elm City to Kick Off Ivy League Play

Jan. 15, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After wrapping up its 2008-09 non-conference schedule at 7-7, the Yale women's basketball team enters Ivy League play with a Friday night contest against Brown. A live video stream will be available on-line via Yale All*Access, and GameTracker will provide live statistics beginning at tip-off. Both features are available free of charge at The Bulldogs enter league play on a two-game winning streak.

Junior forward Melissa Colborne scored a season-high 25 points, and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield matched her career best with 19 as the Yale Bulldogs outlasted the Bryant Bulldogs on Tuesday evening at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven by a score of 77-71. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht hauled in 11 rebounds, dished out a game-best eight assists and added three points for Yale.

Selected to finish eighth in the Ivy League, Brown enters Ancient Eight play with a record of 2-12. The Bears are led by Karly Grace, who is averaging 7.9 points per game, and Natalie Bonds, who is hauling in 5.1 rebounds per contest. The Bears last took the court on Jan. 10, defeating Bryant by a score of 64-62. Brown also dropped preseason games to Army, who defeated Yale on Dec. 10, and Quinnipiac, who Yale hosted and defeated in overtime on Dec. 21.

Jean Marie Burr is in the midst of her 21st year at the helm of the Brown women's basketball program. The winningest coach in Brown basketball history (men's and women's), Burr has compiled 14 winning Ivy League seasons, including three consecutive Ivy League Titles from 1991-94. The Bears went 2-26 in 2007-08 season and 1-13 in league play.

The Bulldogs swept the home-and-home series with Brown in the 2007-08 campaign. Junior Melissa Colborne averaged 15.5 points and senior Jamie Van Horne averaged 14.5 points in those two contests last season. Yale has won three of the last four meetings, though the Bears hold a 41-25 edge in the all-time series.

Yale was 7-7 in Ivy League last season, its best conference record since the 2001-02 campaign. The Bulldogs last above-.500 finish in league play came in the 1997-98 campaign, when the squad finished 8-6. Yale's lone Ivy League Championship came in the 1978-79 season.

Chris Gobrecht, now in her 29th season as a Division I head coach, has amassed a career 456-376 (.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 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.

After piling up 517 career head coaching victories at St. Francis (N.Y.) and Fairfield, Yale Assistant Coach Dianne Nolan was recently one of 14 inductees enshrined into the Camden County (N.J.) Sports Hall of Fame. Nolan's ties to Camden County athletics begin at Gloucester Catholic High School. A 1969 graduate of the school, Nolan was a three-sport athlete. She played basketball under the coaching of her mother, Bert Nolan, a fellow Camden County Sports Hall of Famer. Nolan was recognized five times as the MAAC Coach of the Year, taking the honors in 1983, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2000. She was named the MBWA Coach of the Year in 2001 and earned New England Coach of the Year honors in 1984.

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 Coach Gobrecht. "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."

After netting a season-high 25 points in Tuesday's home win over Bryant, junior forward Melissa Colborne sits just 17 points shy of 1,000 for her career. Colborne, a first team All-Ivy selection in 2007-08, ranks second among Ivy League players and 47th in the nation with 17.9 points per game so far this season. She will be the 16th member of Yale's 1,000-Point Club, and will be just the seventh Bulldog to reach the milestone in three seasons.

In the Bulldogs' 74-66 victory over NJIT on Jan. 9, Melissa Colborne, Kaitlyn Lillemoe, Jamie Van Horne and Yoyo Greenfield all scored in double figures. Additionally, forwards Mady Gobrecht and Michelle Cashen each contributed nine points. Four Bulldogs have scored 10 or more points in four contests this season. The last time five Bulldogs reached double-figure points was a 71-69 loss to Stony Brook on Nov. 18, 2006 at the DePaul Invitational in Chicago.

Senior guard Kaitlyn Lillemoe, who missed the entire 2007-08 season due to injury, netted 12 points in the Jan. 9 win over NJIT. This marked her highest scoring output since netting 12 points against Cornell on Feb. 11, 2006 in the midst of her freshman season. In total, Lillemoe, whose career high of 19 points was set in her collegiate debut, has reached double figures six times in her Yale career.

Despite traveling more than 3,000 miles for road contests at UC Irvine and UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and 30, several Bulldogs were right at home in the Golden State. Head Coach Chris Gobrecht is a graduate of the University 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 nearly posted 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.

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, half of the Bulldogs' 14 contests this season have been deadlocked within the final three minutes of the second half, and 11 of their 14 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points. Yale is 6-5 in those 11 games.

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 34-for-89 (.382) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, has connected on 188 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.

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.

The Bulldogs have been the top free throw shooting team in the Ivy League this season at 249-for-334 (.746), slotting them at 29th in all of Division I from the line. Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .780 free throw shooter, has drilled 102 of her 119 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.

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.

After allowing 87 points in consecutive losses to Minnesota and Kentucky, the Bulldogs stepped up on the defensive end of the floor against New Hampshire Nov. 29 at Long Island University. Yale forced 26 turnovers and surrendered a season-low 55 points to the Wildcats en route to running away with a 76-55 victory. Offensively, sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield led all scorers and set a new career high with 19 points.

Junior forward Melissa Colborne averaged 19.5 points per game in match-ups with Kentucky and New Hampshire en route to earning a slot on the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic All-Tournament Team this past week. Colborne and Haywood Wright were named to the Subway Classic All-Tournament team for their efforts against North Carolina State and Minnesota on Nov. 22 and 23. Colborne also claimed Ivy League Player of the Week honors for her performance in the Subway Classic.

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 reigning 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 free of charge via the Yale All*Access package. All Yale All*Access content will also be archived on 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.

Non-conference foes Minnesota (L, 87-63), UC Irvine (W, 75-66), UC Riverside (L, 72-65), NJIT (W, 74-66) and Bryant (W, 77-71) were also first-time opponents for Yale.

Non-conference 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 Division I NCAA Tournament. Ivy League foe Cornell also went to the Big Dance in 2007-08. Additionally, Division I newcomer Bryant (W, 77-71) competed in the Division II NCAA Tournament last season.

Yale's 14 non-conference games in 2008-09 featured eight different conferences (America East, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big West, Northeast, Patriot and Southeastern) as well as two independents (New Jersey Institute of Technology and Bryant).

Though there are 32 American universities with the "Bulldogs" mascot, the Jan. 13 win over Bryant marked just the second time that Yale women's basketball had met another team sporting the "Bulldogs" moniker. The Yale Bulldogs dropped a 69-48 decision to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Nov. 29, 2003 as a part of the Seattle Times Classic.

Senior guard Jamie Van Horne has been selected as team captain for the 2008-09 season. Van Horne finished second on the team with 9.1 points per game and fourth with 1.5 assists per contest last season. She placed second in the Ivy League with 59 three-pointers, and sank at least one three-pointer in 20 games, draining at least five treys four times. "I am honored that my teammates have chosen me to be captain," Van Horne said of her position. "I am excited for next year and will work hard to help this team be the best it can be. [2007-08 captain] Stephanie [Marciano] is a hard act to follow in her ability to motivate and lead, but she was a good teacher. This team has a lot of potential, and it will be fun to see how successful we will be."

Yale will meet Brown once again, this time on the Bears' home court, on Friday, Jan. 23 in Providence, R.I. Tip-off is schedule for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs return home the following weekend for Ivy League games against Columbia and Cornell on Jan. 30 and 31.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity