Bulldogs Host Bobcats in Intra-State Showdown

Bulldogs Host Bobcats in Intra-State Showdown

Dec. 19, 2008

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

After a 33-day, six-game road stint, the Yale women's basketball team finally returns home for a Sunday afternoon contest in New Haven, as intra-state rival Quinnipiac University makes the short trip from Hamden to the Elm City for a non-conference showdown. Tip-off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater is scheduled for 1 p.m. In addition to the game, the 2008 "Christmas Clash" will feature candy canes, Christmas music and a visit from Santa Claus.

The Bulldogs lost a pair of heartbreakers on the road last week, falling to Stony Brook, 73-68, on Dec. 8 and then dropping a 62-60 decision at Army on Dec. 10. Yale led by double digits in the second half of both contests, and each game was tied in the final two minutes. In total, four of the Bulldogs' five losses this season have been deadlocked in the final two minutes.

Selected to finish second in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Quinnipiac Bobcats enter today's game at 8-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The 2007-08 co-champions of the NEC are currently riding a five-game winning streak. Most recently, the Bobcats took a 78-52 decision at Wagner, led by 20 points from senior Erin Kerner. Kerner leads Quinnipiac this season with an average of 17.0 points per contest. Senior Mandy Pennewell joins her in double figures with 11.6 points per game. The lone setback for the Bobcats came at the hands of then-unbeaten Michigan State, 81-48, in the championship game of the TD Banknorth Classic hosted by the University of Vermont.

Today's meeting marks the 11th consecutive season that Yale and Quinnipiac have played. Yale is 3-7 in the intra-state series over the last 10 years, with Quinnipiac claiming last year's contest by a score of 70-60 in Hamden. Erin Kerner led all scorers in that game with 25 points. Melissa Colborne (21 points), Jamie Van Horne (15) and Mady Gobrecht (10) all netted double-figures for the Bulldogs. The Bobcats lead the all-time series, 7-5.

The all-time winningest coach in Quinnipiac women's basketball history, Tricia Fabbri entered her 14th season on the Bobcats' sidelines with 177 career victories. She was named the 2000-01 and 2005-06 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and, this past season, Fabbri led the Bobcats to a berth in the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The WNIT bid marked the first national postseason tournament appearance in Quinnipiac women's basketball Division I history. She led the Bobcats to 25 wins in the historic season, the most by Quinnipiac since joining the Division I ranks. Fabbri was a 1,000-point scorer for Yale Assistant Coach Dianne Nolan at Fairfield University from 1987-1991 and served as an assistant coach for the Stags from 1993-97.

Chris Gobrecht, now in her 29th season as a Division I head coach, has amassed a career 452-374 (.547) 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. In her third season at Yale, 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."

Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a first team All-Ivy selection in 2007-08, leads all Ancient Eight players with 17.6 points per game so far this season. Colborne averaged 15.7 points per game last year, 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 23-for-52 (.442) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, has connected on 176 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 are shooting 160-for-212 (.755) from the free throw line this season. Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .777 free throw shooter, has drilled 63 of her 71 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. 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 will close out 2008 on the west coast with non-conference games at California-Irvine and California-Riverside on Dec. 28 and 30. After the trip, Yale kicks off 2009 with a four-game homestand against St. Bonaventure (Jan. 4), New Jersey Institute of Technology (Jan. 9), Bryant (Jan. 13) and the Ivy League opener against Brown (Jan. 16).

Yale Women's Basketball Main Page
GameTracker Live Stats
Yale All*Access Live Streaming Video

Quinnipiac Women's Basketball Main Page

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity