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WEST POINT, N.Y. – Yale and Army battled down to the wire at West Point, but Army emerged with a 59-55 win in its home opener. The loss moves Yale to 1-2 on the season after coming out on the wrong end of two highly competitive games in a row.
The game featured nine lead changes, and neither team held a double-digit lead at any point. Army relied heavily on two players, forwards Lena Hicks and Madison Hovren. No other Cadet made more than two shots from the field, but Hicks went 9-for-13 for 20 points and Hovren finished with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Hicks and Hovren also combined for 7 offensive rebounds (19 total rebounds) and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Joel E. Smilow '54 head coach Allison Guth said, "We're allowing teams to get to the free-throw line many, many more times than we are. It was 17-5 today." Guth also pointed to the Cadets' offensive rebounding success as a key to their victory.
However, Yale also had success on the offensive glass, actually outperforming Army 17-12 in offensive rebounds. This helped spark the best offensive performances of the year from Jen Berkowitz and Megan Gorman.
Guth said, "I think the biggest positive is getting some offensive production finally out of our bigs consistently. We had Jen Berkowitz doing some good things for us with 9 boards and 15 points and Gorman with 10 boards and 8 key points for us." The 8 points and 10 rebounds were career highs for Gorman early in her freshman season.
Another freshman, Roxy Barahman, made the play of the game at the end of the first half. She took an inbounds pass with 0.6 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 29-27 halftime lead.
But the momentum did not carry over into the 3rd quarter, as Army had a strong start to the second half and forced Yale to play from behind. The Bulldogs stayed within striking distance, and in the final 65 seconds of the game, both Barahman and Meghan McIntyre had chances to give Yale the lead with 3-point attempts. Both shots missed, and Madison Hovren sealed the win for Army with some crucial free throws.
Yale senior Lena Munzer was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll for her performance in last week's win over Binghamton, and she followed that with a career-high 25 points against Manhattan. Munzer has now scored in double figures in all three games for Yale this season, but her 10 points and 3 rebounds did not quite meet the lofty standards she had set for herself in the first two games.
The win was the 200th of Army head coach Dave Magarity's career at West Point. Magarity has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in two of the last three seasons. Army finished 29-3 last season, won the Patriot League, and entered the NCAA Tournament on a 19-game winning streak before losing to Syracuse. Playing games like this against winning programs should give Yale valuable experience before beginning its slate of conference games.
Next up for Yale is Vermont, at home on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity