Jan. 1, 2012
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -
It was déjà vu for the Army women's basketball team at Yale on Sunday afternoon at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. For the second game in a row, the Black Knights battled back from a double-digit deficit only to fall in the final seconds, 63-62.
Army trailed by as many as 10 points (25-15) with 6:32 left in the first half and faced a 34-25 halftime deficit. The Black Knights out-scored Yale 37-29 over the final 20 minutes and put itself in a position to win the non-conference contest. After sophomore Anna Simmers missed a pair of free throws with 49 seconds to go, but the Black Knights got a timely defensive stop to stay alive in the waning moments. With the clock dwindling, rookie Olivia Schretzman got an open look at the buzzer, but the shot would not fall in Army's favor. Army had one timeout remaining, but elected not to use it.
"We've been involved in so many close games this season," said veteran head coach Dave Magarity. "I question 'Do you call a timeout there?' The bottom line is, we got a great shot. You're not going to get a better shot off than that. You come out of a timeout with six or seven seconds left and the defense has a chance to get set and switch everything.
"Again, we didn't do the little things down the stretch," Magarity continued. "You can't fault our effort or toughness. The resiliency of some of these kids is going to pay off."
A season-best four Army players finished in double figures, including Simmers and sophomore guard Jen Hazlett with a team-high 17 points apiece. Junior guard Molly Yardley registered her first double-double of the season, pouring in 10 points to go with a career-high 12 rebounds. Schretzman totaled 13 points.
Army shot 40 percent (25-of-62) from the field, including a 47 percent (14-of-30) effort in the second half. The Black Knights out-rebounded Yale 47-41. In addition to Yardley's career-best performance, sophomore forward Jessica Waggoner amassed 11 caroms.
Yale controlled much of the first half. Simmers' layup through traffic with 17:10 on the clock marked the Black Knights' first basket of the game. Meanwhile, Yale scored nine of the first 11 points of the contest before Army's offense got rolling. The Black Knights netted nine of the ensuing 14 points and inched within 14-12 after a Schretzman layup with 11:55 remaining.
The Bulldogs led the rest of the half and took its largest lead of the game, 25-15, with 6:38 remaining before the break.
After Yale held a 34-25 halftime lead, Army opened the second half with a 9-1 run that got the Black Knights back into the game. Schretzman's long jumper at the 16:51 mark made it a one-point affair, 35-34, in favor of the Bulldogs.
The teams traded points over the next two minutes before Army took its first lead of the game, 38-37, on a baseline jumper courtesy of Hazlett at the 14:53 mark.
Yale went back on top by five points, 48-43, on a Michelle Cashen layup with 10:30 remaining. Army wasted no time tying the score at 50-all thanks to Yardley's lone three-pointer of the game (9:22).
Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the way.
Cashen and Megan Vasquez paced Yale with 11 points apiece.
A quick turnaround awaits the Black Knights as they travel to Bryant for a Tuesday matinee. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. in Smithfield, R.I.
Game Notes: Army's starting five changed for the second game in a row and featured Molly Yardley, Jen Hazlett, Anna Simmers, Olivia Schretzman and Jessica Waggoner ... Simmers made her third start of the season and Waggoner the second of her career ... Army's starting players accounted for all 62 points ... Army's losing streak reached six ... the Black Knights have lost their last two games by a combined three points.