Bulldogs Close Out Home Slate Against Penn, Princeton

Bulldogs Close Out Home Slate Against Penn, Princeton

Feb. 25, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs wrap up their 2008-09 home schedule this weekend with a pair of Ivy League showdowns against Penn and Princeton. The Quakers visit the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday, while the Tigers travel to the Elm City for Senior Night on Saturday. Both contests are schedule to begin at 7 p.m. and will feature GameTracker Live Stats and a live video stream courtesy of Yale All*Access. The Bulldogs enter the weekend at 10-14 overall and 3-7 in Ivy League play.

Yale found itself on the short end of a pair of shootouts this past weekend, dropping contests at Cornell (80-62) and Columbia (77-61). The Bulldogs shot a 42% from the floor in the two contests, but their opponents went a blistering 62-113 (54.9%) from the field, including a 20-for-26 (76.9%) first-half performance by Big Red on Friday. Junior forward Melissa Colborne matched her career high with 27 points in Ithaca, while freshman forward Michelle Cashen posted her first career double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, at Columbia on Saturday.

Junior forward Melissa Colborne leads Yale this season with 16.2 points per contest. She also leads the way in field goal percentage (.463) and free throw percentage (.817). Senior captain Jamie Van Horne heads the Bulldogs' efforts from beyond the arc with 2.4 three-pointers made per game and has also been the most efficient shooter from downtown at 57-for-154 (.370). Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht leads all active players on the squad with 7.3 rebounds per contest and has swatted a team-best (among active players) 0.8 blocked shots per game. She also leads the way in offensive rebounds (2.5 per game), assists (3.4) and steals (1.8). The Bulldogs recently announced that junior forward Haywood Wright, who is averaging 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and an Ivy League-leading 1.6 blocked shots per game, will miss the remainder of the season due to injury.

With a 3-7 mark in league play, coupled with Dartmouth's perfect 9-0 mark, the Bulldogs have been officially eliminated from the Ivy League Title picture. The league-leading Big Green will travel to Cornell and Columbia this weekend, as will second-place Harvard (7-2). A pair of Dartmouth wins will clinch at least a share of the Ivy League crown, while a perfect weekend coupled with at least one Harvard loss will give the outright title to Big Green.

Junior forwards Melissa Colborne (Nov. 24) and Haywood Wright (Dec. 22) each earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Additionally, freshman forward Michelle Cashen (Dec. 29) took home an Ivy League Rookie of the Week laurel during the non-conference slate.

Yale was 7-7 in Ivy League last season, its best conference record since the 2001-02 campaign. The Bulldogs swept Brown and Columbia, dropped two decisions to Cornell and Dartmouth and split with Harvard, Penn and Princeton. Forward Melissa Colborne was the lone sophomore to earn first team All-Ivy honors, and just the second Bulldog to do so since 1998, while Lindsey Williams was unanimously selected to the All-Ivy Rookie Team.

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, Harvard has once again been tabbed to win the Ivy in 2008-09. Dartmouth, who along with Harvard and Cornell shared the Ivy title at 11-3 last season, was slotted to place second, while Big Red landed in third place. The Bulldogs are the first team behind the trio of 2007-08 champions in the poll at fourth. The preseason poll is rounded out by Columbia, Penn, Princeton and Brown.

Penn (6-17, 3-6 Ivy) boasts the Ivy League's leading scorer in senior Carrie Biemer. Biemer, who is averaging 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, recently became the 18th Quaker to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Sophomore Erin Power leads Penn on the glass with 5.8 rebounds per game. The Quakers dropped road contests at Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend, snapping their first three-game winning streak since the 2006-07 season.

Including this season's meeting in Philadelphia, the Quakers hold a 35-30 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to Dec. 7, 1974. Penn has won five of its last six meetings with Yale, including the last two at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs are 16-13 against the Quakers all-time in New Haven.

The Bulldogs and Quakers found themselves locked in a defensive struggle at the Palestra on Feb. 14. Though the Ivy League's top two scorers, Yale's Melissa Colborne and Penn's Carrie Biemer, led their teams with 16 and 17 points respectively, both squads could muster little else on the offensive end as the Quakers walked away with a 62-46 victory. Joining Colborne in double figures for Yale was senior captain Jamie Van Horne, who knocked down five three-pointers en route to tallying 15 points.

The Princeton Tigers (9-14, 4-5 Ivy) enter the weekend on a two-game losing streak. The Tigers will travel to Brown on Friday before visiting the Elm City on Saturday. Princeton's biggest offensive threat is sophomore Addie Micir, the Ivy League's leader in three-point percentage. Micir averages a team-best 11.7 points per contest. Freshman center Devona Allgood leads the Tigers with 6.5 rebounds per game, while also contributing 7.4 points per contest. Princeton dropped a pair of games at Harvard and Dartmouth this past weekend.

Including Yale's 56-54 win at Jadwin Gymnasium on Feb. 13, the Tigers own a 39-29 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to the fourth varsity contest that the Bulldogs ever played (Feb. 9, 1974). The home-and-home series was a split in each of the last two seasons, with each team winning on its home court. The series has featured six overtime contests, Yale's most against a single opponent.

The Bulldogs entered halftime trailing by seven points, 31-24, and in danger of losing its fourth straight contest on Feb. 13 at Princeton. But, propelled by a game-high 17 points from junior forward Melissa Colborne, Yale stormed back to edge the host Tigers by a score of 56-54. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield also reached double figures for Yale with 12 points.

With five three-pointers this past weekend at Cornell and Columbia, senior guard Jamie Van Horne has knocked down 211 career treys. The all-time leader in three-point field goals at Yale is the fifth player in Ivy League history to eclipse 200 career three-pointers. Van Horne, who is shooting 57-for-154 (.370) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, sank 59 triples in 2007-08, the second highest single-season total in Yale history. She is the only Bulldog to appear four times in the single-season top 10. The single-season mark at Yale belongs to Maria Smear `03, who sank 62 treys in the 2000-01 season. Van Horne is currently on pace to surpass Smear's record, needing six three-pointers in her final four games to do so.

10 of the Bulldogs' 24 contests this season have been tied within the final three minutes of the second half. Additionally, 16 of their 24 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points, including half of their 10 Ivy League contests.

Once again in 2008-09, Bulldogs' fans can watch home games 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 yalebulldogs.com. The webcasts include audio commentary by WYBC, Yale's student radio station. To access the feed, 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. Since it is airing live on the YES Network, the Feb. 6 contest against Harvard will not be a part of the Yale All*Access package.

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 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 in the Pacific Time Zone 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), junior forward Haywood Wright (Irvine) and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield (Los Angeles) all hail from California.

The Bulldogs have been one of the top free throw shooting teams in the Ivy League this season at 370-for-512 (.723), slotting them at 64th in all of Division I from the line. Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .775 free throw shooter, has drilled 143 of her 175 attempts (.817) from the charity stripe in 2008-09. She holds the career record for made free throws at Yale with 400, and is 25 free throw attempts shy of the career record in that category. Colborne rates second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage, with the most attempts of all players in the top 10. 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. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield ranks third in the Ancient Eight, shooting 73-for-93 (.785) on free throw attempts this season.

After dropping a 64-62 decision to Brown on Jan. 16, the Bulldogs traveled to Providence on Jan. 23 to wrap up the home-and-home season series. Yale turned in its best defensive performance since 1996, surrendering just 37 points to the Bears in a 71-37 trouncing. The 34-point margin of victory was the largest for the Bulldogs since 1987 and is the largest in an Ivy League game this season.

The Bulldogs wrap up the 2008-09 season next weekend with Ivy League showdowns at current Ancient Eight frontrunners Dartmouth and Harvard. Yale heads to Hanover for 7 p.m. contest on Friday night before closing out the season against the Crimson at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity