PHILADELPHIA, PA 3/9/2013 – The Yale Bulldogs started quickly scoring the first ten points of the game, and never looked back defeating the University of Pennsylvania 70 – 65 in an Ivy League women’s basketball game at the Palestra. It got close, but Penn could not overcome late what was started earlier.
“I think so, but I thought we managed it good,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “We couldn’t get multiple stops. It struck us at the beginning and we had to catch up the rest of the game.”
The three-point shot was the main weapon for Yale as they made 12 – 22 (54.5%). Junior guard Janna Graf was 4 – 8 from beyond the arc, while senior guard Megan Vasquez made 5 of 8 from distance a career-high in made three-point baskets. Vasquez also posted a career-high in points with 24. Graf scored 19 for the Bulldogs.
“They had eight at halftime and twelve for the game,” McLaughlin said. “Twelve of their twenty-one baskets were three’s, most of them on breakdown plays, offensive rebounds, and kick-outs. They made tough shots at the right time.”
Penn cut the deficit to 4-points at 25 – 21. Yale answered with consecutive three-pointers by Graf and Vasquez to get Yale a comfortable lead. The Bulldogs took a 12-point halftime lead at 38 – 26 as Vasquez canned a three just before the break.
In the second half Penn would show signs of a comeback, something they have done all year. Each charge was answered by a Yale three to thwart the comeback. The Quakers cut the gap to 60 – 51 behind a 15 – 5 run. Penn made it interesting over the last three minutes. Trailing 62 – 53 the Red and Blue made it interesting. Staying within striking distance, Baron drove the lane and made a layup to bring Penn to within 63 – 59 at the 1:15 mark. A three-pointer by Baron got Penn to within a possession at 64 – 62 at the 35 second mark. Yale made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to get the win. It was a case of too little, too late according to McLaughlin.
“We got it down to two with 35 seconds to go,” said McLaughlin. “We didn’t do enough for forty minutes to get what we wanted. We did enough to fight and battle and give ourselves a chance. For that I am proud of them. We just didn’t do enough over the game to win tonight.”
Sophomore forward Kara Bonenberger registered her first double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Alyssa Baron scored a team-high 22 points and contributed 4 assists for the Red and Blue. Yale guard Sarah Halejian scored 12 points and added 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Vasquez and Graf also dished out 4 assists each.
Yale improves to 13 – 15 and are 8 – 6 in conference play. Penn (16 – 11) falls to 9 – 4 in the Ivy League and drops out of a second place tie. The Red and Blue have one more game on Tuesday against league champion Princeton.
Written By: Glenn Papazian