With just six seconds remaining and the women’s basketball team down by two points in its game against Brown on Saturday, senior forward Clare Fitzpatrick received a pass from junior guard Allyson Dimagno and converted a three-point play — her second game-winning shot in the Red’s last two contests with the Bears.
Before hosting Brown (7-15, 1-7 Ivy) on Saturday, however, the Red (11-10, 3-4) suffered a 58-67 defeat to Yale (9-13, 4-4) in Newman Arena on Friday night. Both teams shot close to forty percent overall, but the Bulldogs capitalized on shots from three-point range.
“I thought at times we missed some defensive assignments, but there were some times that Yale was just able to hit some tough shots,” said head coach Dayna Smith.
Though the Red led for most of the second half, the Bulldogs capitalized in the last eight minutes of the half with a 9-4 run to give the team a lead that it would not surrender. According to junior guard Stephanie Long, the Red struggled with turnovers and fouls.
“We needed to take care of the ball better, particularly in the first half,” she said. “Defensively, I think we needed to step up and stop penetration and silly fouls that sent them to the line.”
Despite the loss the Red drew a few positives from the game. Allyson DiMagno scored a career-high 23 points and picked up nine offensive rebounds and the Red outrebounded Yale — a statistic of which Smith said she was proud.
“We rebounded the ball much better. It was definitely a focus of ours,” she said.
After the loss on Friday, the team regrouped to for its battle against Brown. In a game that was characterized by runs, the Red gave up double-digit leads three times.
“[Not] giving those [leads] up — that’s something we’d like to work on,” Smith said.
After leading by as much as thirteen, the Red found itself down by five points with just over two minutes to go. Layups by Dimagno and Fitzpatrick cut the lead to one, Brown missed a layup on the other end and Smith called a timeout to set up a last possession play.
“Our coach drew up a play that involved a screen for Spencer to come off and me to roll to the basket and Allyson to be a pressure release and to look for me in the paint,” Fitzpatrick said.
When the women returned to the court, the team executed. Dimagno drove to the basket, drew Fitzpatrick’s defender and made a crisp pass.
“Allyson delivered an amazing pass and I just put the ball in the hoop,” Fitzpatrick said.
The play was reminiscent of the Red’s game against Brown last February when Fitzpatrick received a pass and converted an open layup with 3.3 seconds left in the game.
“Clare has been in that situation … and she feels comfortable getting the ball and finishing under pressure, and we feel comfortable with her in that position too” Long said. “She is a senior leader with four seasons of experience, so the winning basket on Saturday was the kind of play you come to expect from players like her.”
According to Fitzpatrick, the outcome of the game is a testament to the Red’s determination.
“We weren’t leaving that gym without a win,” she said. “We knew we were going to do whatever possible.”
Original Author: Skyler Dale