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Vasquez Named Ivy League Co-Player Of The Week

Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Megan Vasquez. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Shares Award With Brown's Dixon; Graf Earns Spot On Ivy Weekly Honor Roll


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After leading the Yale University women's basketball team to its first season sweep of Harvard in 17 years, sophomore guard Megan Vasquez has earned recognition from the Ivy League for her efforts.

After scoring nine points with four assists and three rebounds in a dominating 70-45 win at Dartmouth on Friday, Vasquez (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) followed that effort with a clutch performance at Harvard on Saturday. She scored a game-high 23 points to lead Yale to a 78-64 win in Cambridge, Mass., leading Yale to its first win at Harvard since Feb. 17, 2001, and its first season sweep of the Crimson since the 1993-94 season.

The wins moved the Bulldogs past the Crimson and back into second place in the Ivy League standings with two games remaining in the regular season. The second-place finisher earns an automatic berth in the WNIT postseason tournament. Yale still has an outside chance to stake a claim on the Ivy League championship. The Bulldogs are a game and a half behind Princeton (21-4, 10-1). The Bulldogs would have to win both games in the final weekend against Columbia and Cornell, while the Tigers would have to lose two of their final three games in order for the two teams to meet in a playoff game to decide the Ivy League champion.

Thanks to her efforts in both games, the Ivy League announced on Monday that it named Vasquez the Ivy League Co-Player of the week. Vasquez shares the award with Brown sophomore guard Sheila Dixon, who averaged 16.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in the Bears' two games over the weekend.

In a loss to Harvard on Friday, Dixon had 11 points and six rebounds, but she followed that effort by powering Brown to a win over Dartmouth with 22 points and 14 rebounds, both career highs.

Against Harvard, Vasquez scored 15 of her 23 points in the second half. Yale led by as many as 17 points (27-10) in the first half, but Harvard rallied, outscoring Yale 33-20 over a 21:19 span to trim the deficit to 47-43 with 8:28 remaining. Vasquez put a stop to any hopes that Harvard had of completing the comeback when she regained control of the game for the Bulldogs when she drained a 3-pointer with 7:57 left and followed it with an old-fashioned three-point play 21 seconds later to put Yale back on top by double digits (53-43). Even as Harvard tried to stage another comeback, Vasquez helped keep the Bulldogs on top with a 7-of-8 performance at the free-throw line, all in the second half.

Yale freshman forward Janna Graf, a nominee for the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week honor, earned a spot on the Ivy League's Weekly Honor Roll for her efforts over the weekend. Graf scored all eight of her points in Yale's 13-3 game-opening run that set the stage for the dominant offensive effort on Friday in the win over Dartmouth. She followed that with 13 points against Harvard. She scored 11 of her points in the second half. Eight of those points came among Yale's first 12 points of the second half, which helped the Bulldogs stave off Harvard's first of three comeback attempts in the game. Graf's effort early in the second half helped Yale maintain control of the game and lifted the Bulldogs to a 44-32 lead with 14:06 to play.

It is the second Player of the Week honor for Vasquez in her career. Earlier this season, she was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week on Jan. 24 with Penn's Alyssa Baron. Vasquez also earned three Rookie of the Week honors last season.

It is also the fourth Player of the Week honor for the Bulldogs this season. Graf was named both the Player and Rookie of the Week on Jan. 17, while junior forward Michelle Cashen earned Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 23, following Yale's historic win over then-No.15/14 Florida State. Graf has also earned four Rookie of the Week honors this season. Combined, Yale has earned at least one Ivy League honor in six of the 15 weeks thus far this season.

Vasquez currently leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 14.1 points per game. She is also third in steals (1.5), fourth in assists (2.3), and fifth in rebounding (3.4 rpg.). Graf is third on the team in scoring (9.7 ppg.) and rebounding (4.3 rpg).

Yale is off until Friday, when it returns home to close out the 2010-11 regular-season schedule. The Bulldogs will play host to Columbia on Friday at 7 p.m. in the John J. Lee Amphitheater. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will honor seniors Yoyo Greenfield and Mady Gobrecht during pregame Senior Night festivities prior to taking on Cornell at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity