Feb. 24, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Junior forward Haywood Wright, who has missed the Bulldogs' last three games with a knee injury suffered in the Feb. 13 win at Princeton, will sit out the final four games of the 2008-09 season. The injury, which has recently been diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate ligament, leaves Yale without its second-leading scorer and top rebounder. Wright averaged 9.5 points and 7.5 rebounds through the Bulldogs' first 21 games this season and led the Ivy League at the time of her injury with 1.6 blocked shots per game.
"This is a tremendous loss for our team," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale. "Haywood is one of our premiere players on both ends of the floor."
In the Bulldogs' most recent outing, a 77-61 loss at Columbia on Saturday, freshman forward Michelle Cashen played a career-high 34 minutes and posted her first career double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Additionally, sophomore forward Victoria Perez, also setting a personal best with nine minutes played, scored the first four points of her collegiate career.
"Our younger post players have stepped up in the last few games, but there is no quick fix to replace Haywood's talent and experience," said Gobrecht.
The Bulldogs have also played the entire 2008-09 season without sophomore forward Lindsey Williams, a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy Rookie Team in 2007-08. Williams, who averaged 8.6 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds in her freshman season, underwent surgery this off-season to repair a knee injury.
"Lindsey made a choice that hopefully benefits the team and, more importantly, her overall health in the long run," said Gobrecht. "With Lindsey and Haywood rejoining Mady [Gobrecht, 7.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg] in the post and the addition of an extremely talented incoming class, we will be a greatly improved team next season."
The 2008-09 Bulldogs wrap up their home schedule with Ivy League contests against Penn and Princeton on Feb. 27 and 28. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven on both Friday and Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m. The following weekend, Yale closes out the regular season with games at Dartmouth and Harvard.
report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity