The Yellowjackets hit the road last weekend to take on Emory University in Atlanta and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The ‘Jackets (17-2) entered the games ranked No. 7 in the nation and were looking to move up the UAA standings. In two close games, the ‘Jackets came out on top, defeating Emory, 68-63, and nipping Case two days later, 74-71.
The ‘Jackets easily handled Emory last weekend at home, blowing out the Eagles 75-52. The going wasn’t as easy this time around on the road, however. In Atlanta, the girls got off to a hot start, jumping out to an early 19-9 lead after freshman guard Jessica Mastronardi’s three-pointer with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. The lead stayed relatively large throughout the half as the ‘Jackets headed into halftime up 36-25.
At the beginning of the second half, however, the Eagles came out strong and brought the lead down to just two points, 41-39. Sophomore forward Helen Baroody sparked a run, hitting a pair of three-pointers to bring the lead back to 47-40. Baroody hit four of six from downtown and finished the game with 16 points.
The ‘Jackets’ lead grew to 12 points, but Emory made another run and closed the gap to three points with two minutes to go in the game. That’s as close as they got, however, as clutch free throw shooting helped UR pull away at the end for a final score of 68-63.
Free throws and three pointers were crucial to the team’s success. They finished the game hitting 15 of 18 (83 percent) from the charity stripe and nailing nine of 19 (47 percent) from beyond the arc.
Sophomore center Julie Marriott had a solid all around game, finishing with nine points and 10 boards. Senior point guard Emily Bango led the team with four assists and had three steals. Mastronardi was deadly from long range again, hitting three of four from three-point land and finishing the game with nine points.
The second game of the UAA road trip matched UR with Case during their annual “Throwback” weekend. During this weekend, the team wears its old school uniforms and plays in its old gymnasium, which was built in 1888.
The game got off to an odd start as both teams seemed to hit every shot they took, but also turned the ball over numerous times. Missed shots were hard to come by, as both teams either made their shot attempt or turned the ball over instead.
Senior forward Emily Lyons provided a spark off the bench, netting 16 points for the game, 13 of which came in the first half.
Case started the game on fire, hitting seven of 10 three point attempts in the first 20 minutes. They led for the entire half until the last two minutes when the ‘Jackets stole the lead thanks to a jumper by senior Meghan Krebbeks and two free throws from sophomore Alex Porter. The halftime score was 39-36.
In the second half, the ‘Jackets never trailed despite a couple runs made by Case. The lead grew to as much as 11 points, but Case cut it down to three points with a minute left in the contest.
Lyons converted on an old fashioned three point play, however, and extended the lead to six points. A Case three pointer in the final second of the game narrowed the ‘Jackets win to three points, 74-71.
The Yellowjackets shot well from the field, hitting 52 percent of their shots including seven of 14 from the three. Krebbeks was deadly from beyond the arc, hitting four of six and finishing with 15 points.
Marriott led the team in points with 18, and Bango dished out eight assists with only two turnovers. UR shared the ball well as a team with an overall assist total of 22.
The two wins this weekend, along with a key Washington University in St. Louis loss on Friday night, created a three way tie in the UAA for first place. UR is tied with Wash. U and New York University atop the league with a 7-2 record.
The Yellowjackets will travel to NYU (18-2) this Friday in a crucial game with playoff implications. They will then head to Boston to take on Brandeis University (15-4) on Sunday. UR beat both teams in their previous match-ups earlier in the season.
Brackney is a member of the class of 2007.