Only days after Christmas, while most of us were sleeping in and enjoying holiday left-overs, the Yellowjackets could be found in the Palestra with two-a-day practices to prepare for the second half of the season.

Sacrificing a large part of winter break is something the players are willing to do in order to achieve their high goals for this season.

“Overall the season has gone well,” senior Megan Fish said. “We have grown a lot as a team and are looking forward to continuing and building upon that the remainder of the season.”

Improving their record to 6-2, UR kicked off 2005 with a victory over Rochester Institute of Technology on Jan. 4. Senior Kelly Wescott had a season high 22 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Freshman Emily Bango also had a season high 17 points along with seven steals, six assists and five rebounds.

UR then lost consecutive away games to Brandeis University and New York University.

Brandeis, then 9-0, held UR to 45 points in the team’s 13th straight win, including last season’s play.

UR came out strong against NYU, but five minutes into the second half they had lost that lead and were facing a 13 point deficit.

In an aggressive eight minute attack, the Yellowjackets brought NYU to within three points. Despite the 14-4 run, NYU pulled away to defeat UR 71-61.

The 6-4 Yellowjackets were hungry for more wins entering the JP Morgan Chase Scholarship Basketball Tournament. The third-seeded Yellowjackets – and defending tournament champions the last two years – faced off against sixth-seeded RIT in the quarterfinals.

UR dominated the boards with 46 rebounds and pressured the ball resulting in 17 steals.

Fish had eight points and a game high eight rebounds. Junior Jessie Graham led all scorers with 13 points.

UR clobbered RIT 64-38. The Yellowjackets advanced to the semifinals to face second-seeded Roberts Wesleyan College. After trailing the Raiders in the first 12 minutes of the game, the Yellowjackets regained the lead and maintained it for a 67-58 victory.

The entire team stepped up to the challenge with all nine players scoring. Freshman Emily Lyons led UR with 14 points, and freshman Jamie Mooney had a career high of ten points. Graham had numbers across the board with ten points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists.

In UR’s third straight appearance in the Chase tournament finals, they faced top-seeded St. John Fisher College. UR faced an impressive display of shooting by Fisher, who threw down 13 of 21 three-pointers.

Graham also had a notable shooting night from behind the arc with a career high 15 points.

Lyons had 13 points and pounded the boards with a game high 9 rebounds.

The Yellowjackets were not able to overcome the Cardinals’ hot hands and lost 56-72.

Lyons and Graham were both named to the All-Tournament First Team.

With nearly the entire University Athletic Association schedule ahead of them, the Yellowjackets are preparing for intense matches against UAA competition.

“We have the potential to win every game we play,” Fish said. “We just need to focus on playing our game.”

The 8-5 Yellowjackets’ next game is Jan. 21 against league rival Washington University in St. Louis.

McLean can be reached at amclean@campustimes.org.



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