Bulldogs Edge Niagara 67-64 in Preseason WNIT

Ellen Margaret Andrews. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Ellen Margaret Andrews. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Yale women's basketball team held off a pesky Niagara squad 67-64 Friday afternoon in the Preseason WNIT Consolation Round at Stephen F. Austin's William R. Johnson Coliseum. With the win, on Saturday the Bulldogs will face the winner of Friday's Morgan State-Stephen F. Austin game. Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman led Yale with 23 points, hitting eight of her 15 shots and adding six assists. Junior forward Megan Gorman added nine rebounds.

Yale (2-1, 0-0 Ivy League) worked all three of its Texans into the game early -- sophomore guard Ellen Margaret Andrews of Dallas started, while first-year guard Mackenzie Hewitt of McKinney and senior guard Gabby Nelson of Hurst checked in off the bench. Andrews went on to score 11 points, second only to Barahman, and she had eight rebounds and a team-best three blocked shots.

A Niagara run gave the Purple Eagles an early 13-9 lead, but the Bulldogs started cutting into the deficit when Andrews hit a jumper in the lane for the final points of the first quarter.

Trailing 13-11 heading into the second quarter, the Bulldogs began pulling ahead on back-to-back layups by sophomore guard Tori Andrew and junior guard Roxy Barahman -- Barahman's was part of a three-point play that gave Yale an 18-13 lead at 7:49. Niagara hung close for most of the rest of the quarter, though, and Yale's lead was just 31-29 at halftime.

Niagara (0-4, 0-0 MAAC) hit a pair of three pointers late in the third to go up 46-44, but senior forward Alexandra Maund ended that run with a layup. Still, the Bulldogs went into the final quarter down 50-46.

A three-pointer by sophomore guard Tori Andrew pulled Yale even with the Purple Eagles, 54-54, with 7:20 left. The teams remained close throughout the rest of the game, and a three-pointer by Barahman with 2:10 left off a Maund assist finally gave Yale the lead for good, 63-62. Barahman later set up sophomore forward Alex Cade for a layup that extended the lead to 65-62.

A pair of Niagara free throws, and one for Yale, left the score 67-64 with 3.6 seconds left. The Purple Eagles tried one last full-court fling, but could not get in position for a potential game-tying three.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity