New Haven, CT- Yale's Jana Graf scored 26 points, including six three pointers to lead the Bulldogs to a 66-54 victory over the visiting Brown University women's basketball team tonight in the Ivy League opener. Sophomore guard Sheila Dixon led Brown with 21 points and four rebounds, as the Bears fall to 4-11 overall and now have a 0-1 mark in Ivy play.
Dixon was a big spark for the Bears in the first half leading the squad with 13 points and three steals. Dixon scored nine straight points in the final six minutes to hand Brown a 25-22 lead heading into the locker room at the half.
Both teams displayed some nerves in the first few minutes of the Ivy League opener being broadcast live on the YES Network, but the Bears were able to jump out to a 6-2 lead three minutes in. Yale's Megan Cashen scored the Bulldogs first four points and a three pointer by Yale's Allie Messimer tied the game 8-8 at the 13:37 mark.
Both squads battled and went basket-for-basket over the next few minutes, but Bruno was able to earn a six-point lead with the help of Dixon's nine-point run to lead by three at the half.
Graf, Yale's leading scorer in the first half, lit up for 15 points in the first 12 minutes of play in the second stanza to help the Bulldogs to its largest lead of the night, 49-42, with 7:48 left on the clock.
The Bulldogs came out of the locker room and hit five three's in the first nine minutes, but the Bears were able to hang in and hold onto a 31-27 advantage at the 15:39 mark. A 13-0 run by Yale gave the Bulldogs a 54-52 lead with just under seven minutes left in the half
Two free throws by Daniels cut Brown's deficit to eight with 1:20 left on the clock, but Yale was able to extend it back up to 12 with free throws from Aarica West and Megan Vasquez.
Dixon led Bruno in scoring with 21 points, while freshman point guard Lauren Clarke added 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Also chipping in was junior co-captain Aileen Daniels with 10 points and seven boards.
Graf led the Bulldogs with a game-high 26 points, while Mady Gobrecht earned a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bears are back in action next Friday night when it finishes its home-and-home series with Yale at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.