The Yellowjackets beat Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, 72-57. The game was the last regular season home game, and the win propelled the team to an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The ‘Jackets finished the season with an overall record of 20-5 and a UAA record of 9-5, good enough for a share of third place with Brandeis University.
Saturday’s game was a momentous occasion, as the team honored its graduating class of seniors before the 500 fans in attendance. Five seniors – Emily Bango, Danielle Muller, Megan Krebbeks, Emily Lyons and Joy Sadaly-all played their final regular season home game of their career at the Palestra.
Before the game started, sophomore guard Johanna McNelis paid tribute to the seniors in her own fashion by giving a performance of the National Anthem.
In honor of Senior Day, all five members of the graduating class started the game.
The pre-game festivities may have distracted the ‘Jackets just a bit, however, as they came out of the gates slowly, and Carnegie jumped out to an early 21-17 lead midway through the first half.
A couple of jumpers from Krebbeks and Muller tied the game back up at 21 apiece and a lay-up from sophomore forward Marlena Fisher gave the ‘Jackets the lead, 27-26, with just under four minutes remaining in the half.
Fisher helped spark an 11-2 run in the last four minutes to give UR a 35-28 advantage going into halftime.
The second half was all Yellowjackets as they extended their lead to as much as 24 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half en route to their 72-57 blowout win.
Muller enjoyed her last home game especially well, as she led the ‘Jackets in scoring, dropping 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the field.
Bango had another solid all-around performance, contributing nine points, six assists, six rebounds and five steals.
Not to be outdone, the sophomore frontcourt duo of Alex Porter and Julie Marriott added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Porter nearly had a double-double, grabbing a team high nine boards as well.
During the last minute of the game, all five seniors were subbed out one by one to a standing ovation from the crowd in honor of their four year contributions to the program.
The celebrating didn’t end for the ‘Jackets as they learned late Sunday night that they qualified for a Pool C at-large bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The ‘Jackets will travel to Cortland on Friday night to take on St. Lawrence University (24-3) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The game begins at 6 p.m.
The ‘Jackets beat the Saints in the Chuck Resler Tournament at the beginning of last season, 61-47. The Saints lost in the championship of the Liberty League conference tournament, but similar to UR, had a good enough record to qualify for an at-large bid.
The regular season is one that the ‘Jackets can surely be proud of, and expectations going into the tournament remain high.
Muller finished the season as the leading scorer for the team, averaging 12 points per game, and she ranked eighth in the UAA in scoring. Muller had a season high 30 points in the first semester in a win over RIT.
Bango made a case for being the best point guard in the conference, leading the UAA in assists by a whopping margin with 123 (the next closest player had 99). She also started every game for the third consecutive season.
Krebbeks, a first year starter, led the team with 21 three pointers, hitting 46 percent of her attempts. Lyons provided the team with a scoring threat off the bench, scoring six points per game.
The senior class is by no means content with merely making the tournament. This year’s senior class, as well as the rest of the underclassmen on the team, have big expectations to go deep in the postseason and it all starts on Friday night.
Brackney is a member of the class of 2007.
To view more photos of the Womens game vs. Carnegie Mellon, click here.