The Yale women's basketball team returns to the road following a pair of defensive struggles at home that resulted in a split of the weekend games against Penn (W) and Princeton (L). The road has not been kind to the Bulldogs, who are 2-7 in games played away from New Haven this season. The two wins include the season opener at Holy Cross and the Bulldogs' most recent road game and first of the Ivy League season at Brown. Yale swept the season series against Cornell in 2009-10, but split with Columbia with the two teams each winning at home.
Cornell started its season 1-9, including a six-game losing streak. However, the Big Red are 4-4 in their last eight games, including a 2-2 mark in Ivy League play. Cornell started its Ivy League schedule with a split against Columbia. Cornell followed with a 53-50 win over the Lions in Ithaca on Jan. 22 and a 66-55 win over Dartmouth on Jan. 28. The wins over Columbia and Dartmouth were Cornell's first back-to-back wins since it beat Colgate and Manhattan last season and the first back-to-back Ivy wins since the Big Red beat Brown and Dartmouth in 2008-09. Cornell is coming into Friday's game off of a tough 67-36 home loss to Harvard.
In a series that dates back to 1974-75, the two teams will meet for the 64th time on Friday. Yale leads the all-time series by a 41-22 margin, including a sweep of the season series in 2009-10. The Big Red own a 13-7 advantage since 2000, which includes seven straight wins from the 2000-01 season to the first meeting of the 2003-04 season. Yale followed that run with five wins in the next six meetings, but then lost five straight to Cornell before earning the sweep last season. Yale is 4-6 against Cornell during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as head coach.
Three of Cornell's top five scorers are freshman. Allyson DiMagno is second on the team with 8.5 ppg., while Stephanie Long (8.0 ppg.) is third on the team and Shelby Lyman (4.9 ppg.) is fifth. All three have cracked the Big Red's starting lineup and are expected to start against Yale on Friday.
Last Meeting Vs. Yale
Melissa Colborne scored a season-high 20 points in the final game of her Yale career to lead the Bulldogs to a 74-60 win over Cornell on March 6, 2010. Senior Haywood Wright added a season-high 13 points. The win gave Yale an 8-6 mark in Ivy League play and a fourth-place finish. The 8-6 record was Yale's best finish in Ivy play since the 1997-98 season. Overall, four players scored in double figures for Yale, including Megan Vasquez (18) and Michelle Cashen (15). Cornell celebrated Senior Night and was led by seniors Allie Fedorowicz, who had a team-high 17 points, Lauren Benson, who added 10, and Virginia McMunigal, who tallied nine points.
Of the 12 players on the roster, Cornell is relying on five freshmen and four sophomores in 2010-11. The Big Red have only one senior, Susie Doyle, and a pair of juniors, Allie Munson and Maka Anyanwu. Six players on the roster entered the season with no varsity experience, including the five freshmen and Anyanwu, who is a transfer from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.
Three Cornell players hail from the Nutmeg State, led by junior Allie Munson, who is from Southington. Sophomore Clare Fitzpatrick is from Southbury, while freshman Stephanie Long is from Norwich.
While Columbia is 3-15 so far this season, the record is somewhat deceiving since the Lions started their season with 13 straight losses. The Lions snapped the long losing streak with an impressive 61-54 win at home over Cornell in the Ivy League opener. The Lions have won three of their last five games, including Ivy League victories over Cornell and Dartmouth and a non-league victory over St. Francis (N.Y.). The two losses in the last five games include a 53-50 loss at Cornell and a near-upset of Harvard in a 69-69 loss at home.
Yale holds a 38-14 edge in a series that dates back to 1975-76 and includes four wins over Barnard College from 1975-1980. Yale and Columbia did not start competing until the Lions' jump to Division I at the start of the 1986-87 season, and Yale owns a 34-14 advantage beginning with that season. Since 1999-2000, Yale is 4-7 in games at Columbia and 8-3 in games at home. Yale has won four of the last six meetings. However, over the past two seasons, the two teams have split the season series, with the home teams winning each of the four games. The Bulldogs are 4-6 against the Lions during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as head coach at Yale.
Last Time Vs. Yale
Columbia got the best of a defensive battle, pulling out a 64-47 victory at Columbia. Megan Vasquez scored 13 points to lead Yale, but Columbia's Judie Lomax led all players with 21 points and 21 rebounds. Danielle Brown added 17 points for the Lions. Columbia started the second half with an 8-2 run to take its largest lead of the night at 41-23. Yale battled back and trimmed the deficit to 49-40, but the Lions closed the game with a 15-7 run.
Former Teammates Now Opponents
Yale sophomore guard Megan Vasquez and Columbia guard Jazmin Fuller were teammates at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, N.Y. Both players were co-captains for the Colts. Fuller was a two-time all-conference honoree, while Vasquez was the Nassau County Player of the Year in 2008-09. The two helped lead the Colts to the conference championship in 2007-08 and the finals of the Nassau County championship.
Columbia senior guard Kathleen Barry recorded her Ivy League-leading fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season last weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth. They were the second and third consecutive double-doubles for Barry, who leads the Ivy League in rebounding (7.6 rpg.). The reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, Barry has averaged 14.0 points and 12.3 rebounds against Ivy League opponents.
Introducing The Class of 2015
Four players will join the Bulldogs' roster as incoming freshman for the 2011-12 season. On Thursday, Jan. 27, the Bulldogs announced the additions of Sarah Halejian, Hayden Latham, Arrice Bryant and Natasha von Kaeppler. Halejian, a 5-9 guard from Franklin Lakes, N.J., is a two-time North Jersey Player of the Year and entered the season already atop her school's all-time scoring list. Latham, a 5-9 guard from Greenville, S.C., is a two-time South Carolina Coaches Association Women's Sports Player of the Year and a 1,000-point scorer. The two guards are versatile additions that can play multiple positions. Bryant, a 6-2 center from Detroit, brings size and power to the roster along with a soft touch around the basket. She was ranked as the No. 39 center among the nation's recruits for the Class of 2015 by ESPN. Finally, von Kaeppler, a 6-0 forward from Palo Alto, Calif., will join her sister, Ericka, on the roster. Natasha is already her school's all-time leader in rebounds, double-doubles, field-goal percentage and steals.
Breaking Out The Broom
With the 71-59 win at Brown, Yale earned its first sweep of the Bears since the 2007-08 season. Yale opened Ivy play with a 66-54 win at home. Megan Vasquez led all scorers with 18 points and five steals. Mady Gobrecht recorded her second consecutive double-double and third of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Yale has opened Ivy League play with the home-and-home series against Brown in every season since 2002-03.
Ivy League Honor For Vasquez
After scoring 18 points and collecting five steals in the Jan. 21 71-59 win at Brown, sophomore point guard Megan Vasquez was honored by the Ivy League as its Co-Player of the Week. It was her first Player of the Week award. She earned the Rookie of the Week honor three times last year on her way to finishing the year with a spot on the All-Rookie team. It was her first double-digit scoring performance since the Jan. 2 home win over Bucknell in which she scored 16 points.
Cleaning The Glass
In the Jan. 14 win over Brown, Yale outrebounded its opponent for just the second time this season (39-35). Mady Gobrecht was a big reason for the Bulldogs' big night under the glass. Gobrecht grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in the victory. She secured her second double-double of the season in the win, adding 11 points to the 14 rebounds. She also blocked four shots.
Graf Reaping The Rewards
After scoring a career-high 26 points to power Yale to a 66-54 win over Brown in the Ivy League opener on Jan. 14, freshman forward Janna Graf became the first Yale player to win both the Ivy League's Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors in the same week since Erica Davis won both awards on Jan. 12, 2004. Graf is the first player in the Ivy League to win both honors since Princeton's Addie Micir earned both awards on Jan. 14, 2008. Against Brown, Graf broke her previous high of 22 points. Although she was 10-for-17 overall against the Bears on Jan. 14, she was a stellar 5-for-7 in the second half, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, Yale used an 18-3 run late in the second half to break the game open. Graf opened and closed the run with a 3-pointer and scored 10 of Yale's 18 points in the run. The effort gave Graf her first Ivy Player of the Week honor and her third Rookie of the Week award in the last four weeks.
One For The History Books
Yale earned perhaps the biggest victory in its 38-year history on Saturday, Dec. 18, when it stunned Florida State 91-85. At the time, the Seminoles were ranked 15th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 14th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is Yale's first-ever win over a ranked opponent. It was just the second win for the Bulldogs in 10 attempts against an opponent from the ACC. Yale's first win against the ACC came against North Carolina State University on Nov. 22, 2008. Megan Vasquez and Janna Graf each recorded career scoring highs. Vasquez scored 25 points. Michelle Cashen recorded her first double-double of the season (11 points, 13 rebounds), while Graf tallied the first 20-point effort of her Yale career with 22 points. Aarica West dished out 10 assists, becoming the first Bulldog to record at least 10 since Stephanie Marciano had 10 against Stony Brook on Dec. 7, 2007.
Ending The Streak
The historic win over Florida State halted Yale's seven-game losing streak. It was the longest losing streak during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as Yale's head coach since her first season when the Bulldogs began the 2005-06 season with 10 straight losses. The longest losing streak in Yale's history is 11 straight losses, which was recorded twice in the team's 38 seasons.
WBCA Pink Zone
The Bulldogs' Feb. 12 game against Dartmouth will be the main event of Yale's all-day WBCA Pink Zone event. The annual fund-raiser, formerly known as "Think Pink," is dedicated to raising awareness and donations for breast cancer research, with this year's proceeds being donated to the Smilow Cancer Hospital. The festivities, which will take place throughout Payne Whitney Gymnasium, will once again include a "Battle of the Badges" competition featuring the Yale and New Haven police and fire departments. The Yale gymnastics team will host the Bulldog Invitational, while the women's and men's swim teams will compete against Brown.
Yale Sweeps Ivy Awards
After leading Yale to a pair of victories, including its first-ever win over a nationally ranked opponent, Michelle Cashen, Janna Graf and Megan Vasquez were all honored on Dec. 23 by the Ivy League for their efforts. Cashen was named the Ivy Player of the Week and Graf was named the Ivy Rookie of the Week, while Vasquez earned a place on the weekly Honor Roll. It is the first time Yale has swept the Ivy League's weekly awards since senior Erica Davis and freshman Melissa Colborne won the awards on Jan. 2, 2007. Cashen averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game in the two wins. She scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win over then-No. 15/14 Florida State. Against Quinnipiac, Cashen tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Graf averaged 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the two games. She scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed five rebounds in the victory over Florida State and tallied 11 points and nine rebounds against Quinnipiac. Vasquez averaged 22.5 points in the two wins.
Because of injuries and illness, Yale has yet to play a game this season with its lineup intact. Freshman forward Janna Graf missed the first three games of the season with mononucleosis. Starting guards Yoyo Greenfield and Megan Vasquez, as well as reserve forward Ericka von Kaeppler, all missed time due to concussion symptoms. Freshman forward Alexandra Osborn-Jones also missed time, sitting out the first six games of the season. Greenfield, the team's senior captain, has missed the last 10 games with her concussion, while Vasquez and von Kaeppler both returned to action against Sacred Heart.
Dish And Assist
Normally, the assists category is dominated by the guards, but in the Ivy League, two Yale post players have found their way onto the leaderboard. Junior forward Michelle Cashen and senior forward Mady Gobrecht are among the top 10 in the Ivy League in assists. Cashen is fourth in the conference with 3.1 apg., while Gobrecht is fifth with 3.1 apg. In fact, Yale players take up four of the first nine places on the top 10 list. Sophomore guard Aarica West is second in the league with 3.9 assists per game and sophomore guard Megan Vasquez is ninth with 2.7 apg.
The Fab Four
Yale has bolstered its lineup for 2010-11 with four freshmen that are expected to make an immediate impact. Guard Amanda Tyson, forwards Janna Graf and Alexandra Osborn-Jones, and center Zenab Keita comprise one of the strongest freshman classes during Head Coach Chris Gobrecht's tenure.
Every Day is Mother's Day
Senior forward Mady Gobrecht is the daughter of head coach Chris Gobrecht. They are the only current active mother-daughter, coach-player tandems in Division I women's basketball. This is the sixth time in Yale's 157-year athletic history that a head coach is mentoring his or her child in a varsity sport, and the first where the combo is mother-daughter (men's fencing: Robert & Maurice Grasson, 1936-38; baseball: Smoky Joe & Joseph Wood, 1939-41; men's basketball: Howard & David Hobson, 1952-55; men's squash: John & Jack Skillman, 1954-55; football: Jordan & Harry Olivar, 1957-59).
Seven teams on the Bulldogs' 2010-11 slate participated in the postseason last spring. Florida State and Princeton earned a berth in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Five others participated in the WNIT, including WNIT champion California.
Battle Of Unbeatens Highlights Weekend Action
Only one team will remain unbeaten after Friday's round of Ivy League play as Princeton (14-3, 3-0) and Harvard (11-6, 3-0) face off in Cambridge, Mass., highlighting another weekend of Ivy League action. Yale (7-11, 3-1) will look to keep pace with the Tigers and Crimson at the top of the Ivy League standings when it travels to Cornell (5-13, 2-2) and Columbia (3-15, 2-2) on Friday and Saturday. Penn (7-10, 1-2), along with the Tigers, will hit the road to Dartmouth (4-15, 0-3) and Harvard, while the Big Green and Brown (4-14, 0-4) will be in the hunt for their first Ivy League victory of the season.
2010-11 Ivy League Preseason Poll
Voted on by a panel of Ivy media and women's basketball sports information directors, Princeton received 16 of 17 first-place votes and 135 points and are expected to repeat as the Ivy League champion.
Predicted Order of Finish (First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
In games played through Jan. 30, 22 Ivy League players have recorded at least one double-double this season. Yale's Megan Vasquez, Michelle Cashen and Mady Gobrecht are all members of the club. Seven Ivy players have tallied at least two double-doubles, including Gobrecht (3). Columbia's Kathleen Barry leads all Ivy League players with six double-doubles. Dartmouth's Brittany Smith had four and Princeton's Niveen Rasheed had three before both suffered season-ending injuries.