The Yellowjackets (6-0) traveled to Pittsburgh this past Saturday and beat the Carnegie Mellon Tartans (4-1) with a solid 67-58 win in their UAA league opener. The team’s balanced scoring attack and great defense were key to the victory.

Senior forwards Emily Lyons and Danielle Muller led the team in scoring with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Yellowjackets overcame a season high 29 turnovers by playing great defense, evidenced by the 18 steals they had during the game. They also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding the Tartans, 42-34.

The game started with the visiting ‘Jackets in control for much of the early going, only to have their lead squandered just before halftime. UR jumped out to an early 8-2 lead just three minutes into the game.

The Tartans tied it up minutes later after a three-pointer by guard Ashley Mazziotta-her only basket during the contest.

The Yellowjackets stayed in control, however, extending their lead to as much as eight points midway through the first half.The Tartans came back strong, going on a 9-0 run and gaining their first lead of the game, 21-20, with 7:28 left to play in the half.

A baseline jumper from Muller quickly gave the ‘Jackets back the lead after a timeout to stop Carnegie’s momentum. It was merely a stopgap solution, however, as the Tartans went on another run and went into halftime with a 36-34 lead. Carnegie Mellon forward Ashley Rothwell dominated the UR defense, putting up 14 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone. Head coach Jim Scheible emphasized that the ‘Jackets weren’t being outplayed by the Tartans, but rather beating up on themselves.

“He really wanted us to go back to what we do well, which is defend at a high level, run the ball in transition and beat the other team with our depth,” Lyons said. “He challenged us to step up our intensity and to execute things better on both ends of the court.”

The ‘Jackets came out of halftime fired up, jumping out to a 49-38 lead five minutes in. Scheible used his deep bench, making sure that all five players on the court were fresh, and he eventually wore down a tired Carnegie squad.

UR didn’t trail at any point during the second half and had its lead grow to as much as 16 points before finally winning 67-58.

The Yellowjackets’ bench scored 16 points all together, as opposed to Carnegie Mellon, whose bench scored only five points. Lyons led the team in scoring, while sophomore guards Johanna McNelis and Helen Baroody chipped in six apiece. Junior Jessica Waddell also scored six points and grabbed four rebounds.

Sophomore forward Alex Porter led the team in rebounding once again, pulling down 10 rebounds. Porter’s been the team leader in rebounding in all but one game and is averaging 11.8 rebounds per game.

Turnovers were a problem for the team once again, as CMU was able to score an astounding 32 points off of the Yellowjackets’ “negative offense.” The Tartans weren’t much better themselves, however, as UR’s tenacious defense forced them to commit 23 turnovers.

The Yellowjackets continued their success witha 74-69 win against William Smith College on Tuesday night. Their final game of the semester will be on Saturday, Dec. 9 at home against Union College.

Brackney is a member of the class of 2007.

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