Senior Night Salute to Cashen, Fan Giveaway, Youth Day Highlight Weekend Schedule
Complete Yale Game Notes in PDF
The Yale women's basketball team (16-10, 8-4) enters the final weekend of the regular season still in second place, a half-game ahead of Harvard. Any combination of Yale wins and Harvard losses that equals 2 would give Yale the tiebreaker and the Ivy League's automatic bid in the WNIT. That will not be an easy task for Yale, which plays host to unbeaten Ivy League champion Princeton and Penn. Yale will celebrate the career of its only senior, captain Michelle Cashen on Senior Night on Saturday. With one more win, Yale will set a program record for wins in a season.
The Yale women's basketball team will honor Michelle Cashen during Senior Night ceremonies on Saturday before facing Penn in the final game of the regular season. Yale's team captain and lone senior, Cashen became one of Yale's building blocks for the team's rise in the Ivy League ranks, with the Bulldogs going from seventh place in her freshman season in 2008-09 to the potential for back-to-back second place finishes in her final two seasons. She was a major contributor in Yale's run to its first postseason game in 32 years and its first-ever appearance in the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). Cashen, a Belle Harbor, N.Y., native, has appeared in 108 games entering the final two games of the regular season, with 81 starts. She has missed only three games in her entire Yale career. During her four years in a Yale uniform, Cashen has recorded a total of 805 points, 629 rebounds, 206 assists, 129 steals and 66 blocks. Cashen currently ranks ninth among Yale's career leaders with 629 rebounds.
Yale and Harvard enter the final weekend of the regular season in a virtual tie for second place in the Ivy League standings. Yale (8-4 Ivy League) holds a half-game lead over Harvard (7-4) for second place, but Harvard has three games remaining, while Yale has only two. Any combination of Yale wins and Harvard losses that equals 2 will give Yale the edge in the tie-breakers and the Ivy League's automatic bid in the WNIT. If Harvard wins its final three games and Yale loses to Princeton or Penn, Harvard would finish in second place and win the WNIT bid outright. If Yale and Harvard end up tied, with Yale losing to Princeton and beating Penn and Harvard's lone loss among its final three games comes against Columbia, the tie would be broken by drawing of cards, which would be supervised by the Ivy League office. Brown (7-5) still has an outside chance at the WNIT bid, but it would need Yale to lose both games this weekend and Harvard to lose at least two of its last three to force a tie-breaker situation.
iPad 2 Fan Giveaway
One lucky fan will walk away with a brand new iPad2 courtesy of Yale Athletics. All fans who attend the Yale's game against Princeton will have the opportunity to enter our FREE prize drawing for an iPad2. Fans may register on the concourse from 6 p.m. until the beginning of the first half. The winner will be announced sometime during the second half.
On Saturday, the women's basketball team will host their annual Youth Day festivities. All kids 12 and under will receive a free pair of sunglasses courtesy of Yale Athletics. There will also be Youth Day prize drawings conducted during the game. Kids are encouraged to stay for the postgame "Meet and Greet" with the team, taking place on the court immediately following the game.
Princeton (21-4 overall, 11-0 Ivy League) remains undefeated in Ivy League play, clinching its third consecutive Ivy League championship last weekend. The Tigers are 43-1 in their last 44 Ivy League games, the best three-year stretch in Ivy League history. Statistically, it is easy to see why the Tigers have been the team to beat in the Ivy League this season. They are first or second in the league in every statistical category except for free-throw percentage (5th, .701) and 3-pointers made per game (4th, 5.3). The Tigers lead the league in scoring, averaging 71.9 points per game, and have the top defense in the league, allowing only 53.0 points per game. The Tigers also have the league's leading scorer and rebounder in junior forward Niveen Rasheed, who is averaging 16.9 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Princeton is riding a 14-game winning streak into the final weekend of the regular season.
In a series that dates back to Yale's first season as a varsity program in 1973-74, the two teams have met 76 times prior to Friday, with Princeton playing Yale more times than any other opponent. The Tigers lead the series 46-30, and they have won the last six meetings, with their last loss to the Bulldogs coming in a 56-54 decision in Princeton on Feb. 13, 2009. Princeton's last loss in New Haven came on Feb. 15, 2008, a 78-57 Yale victory. The Bulldogs are 3-10 against the Tigers during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as head coach at Yale.
Dominant Princeton Takes Round 1
With a dominant effort on both sides of the floor, Princeton earned its sixth straight win over Yale, denying Yale coach Chris Gobrecht's first attempt at winning her 500th career win. Devona Allgood scored 14 points to lead Princeton to the 72-47 win. Lauren Edwards (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Niveen Rasheed (11 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. No Yale player scored in double figures in the game. Michelle Cashen scored nine points to lead the Bulldogs Megan Vasquez and Janna Graf each added eight points. Princeton outrebounded Yale 61-30 and held the Bulldogs to just 2-for-15 shooting from 3-point range, including 0-for-10 from long distance in the second half.
National Spotlight on Banghart
Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart has been named to the 10-person U.S. Basketball Writers Association Women's National Coach of the Year Watch List. Banghart, who is in her fifth season at Princeton, has guided the Tigers to their third consecutive outright Ivy League Championship and bid into the NCAA Tournament. Princeton is on the cusp of a second perfect conference record in three years and is one vote away from being ranked in a national top-25 poll, a feat no Ivy League program has ever accomplished. Over her five seasons, she owns an all-time record of 92-49 and .652 winning percentage, as well as 51-20 all-time Ivy League coaching record and .718 winning percentage.
Penn appeared to be the team to beat in the Ivy League at the start of the season. The Quakers opened the season with seven wins in their first nine games and registered their best 10-game start (7-3) in the program's 42-year history. The Quakers also won seven games before the month of January for the first time in their history. However, since the New Year, Penn is just 5-11. Senior forward Jess Knapp, who had started all but four games in her Penn career, suffered two torn ligaments in her left knee in the Quakers' game at San Diego State on Dec. 30. Despite the injury, which should have ended her season, Knapp has returned to the lineup rather than opting for career-ending surgery.The Bulldogs will get a stiff test on Saturday. Yale is leading the Ivy League in 3-pointers made per game (6.6), which is 36th in the nation, and is second in the league in 3-point shooting percentage (32.0, 171-for-534), but Penn leads the Ivy League and is 18th in the nation in 3-point shooting defense, allowing opponents to shoot 26.3 percent (93-for-354) so far this season.
In a series that dates back to 1974-75, the two teams have met 69 times prior to Saturday. The series was deadlocked at 33 wins each before Yale swept Penn last season. Yale has swept the season series in each of the last two seasons. The Bulldogs have won six straight meetings and seven out of the last eight. Penn's last victory over Yale came on Feb. 14, 2009, a 62-46 decision in Philadelphia. Yale is also 8-5 during Chris Gobrecht's tenure as Yale's head coach.
Rally Lifts Yale in Round 1
Megan Vasquez scored 17 of her game-high 19 points to lead Yale to a 72-60 win over Penn at the Palestra. Yale trailed 27-25 at halftime but outscored the Quakers 47-33 in the second half. The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 15-3 to blow past Penn and open up a 40-30 lead, with Vasquez scoring seven of her points in that run. Yale maintained that cushion until late when Penn started to mount a comeback. The Quakers pulled within two possessions, trimming Yale's lead to 66-60 with 1:04 left, but Janna Graf sank four free throws in the final 40 seconds to secure the victory. Vasquez had eight rebounds in addition to her 19 points. Sarah Halejian scored 14 points, while Allie Messimer came off the bench to score 12 points. Graf finished with 11 points. Baron finished with just 11 points on 3-for-22 shooting, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range. Yale forced Baron to commit eight turnovers.
Youth in Charge
A freshman or sophomore player in the Penn lineup has led the Quakers in scoring in 31 of the last 32 games. Penn has also had a freshman in the starting lineup in the last 53 straight games. That is largely due to leading scorer Alyssa Baron who has started every game in her two years at Penn. But that also also includes freshmn Kara Bonenberger, Jackie Kates and Katy Allen, who have all proven to be key additions for the Quakers this season. Bonenberger has averaged 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, eighth among Ivy League leaders.
Halejian Nets Record Ivy Award
Freshman guard Sarah Halejian was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week for the sixth time this season, matching a Yale record held by Melissa Colborne (2007) and Katy Grubbs (1996) for the most Rookie of the Week awards by a Yale player in a single season. Halejian averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals in a split at Columbia and Cornell.
Vasquez Joins Yale's Elite
With her first free throw with 13:34 left in Yale's win over Cornell, junior guard Megan Vasquez recorded her 1,000th career point, becoming the 17th player in Yale's history to reach 1,000 career points. She scored a total of 25 points in Friday's game and added a career-high 28 points in Saturday's win over Columbia, She now has scored 1,065 points to move into 14th place on Yale's all-time scoring list. The last Bulldog to reach 1,000 points was Melissa Colborne, who closed out her career with 1,418 points, fifth on Yale's all-time list. Vasquez is on pace to break 400 points in a season for the first time in her career. She has now had eight 20-point outings this season and a total of 13 20-point performances in her career. Vasquez scored 322 points in her freshman season and 366 points last season. If Vasquez maintains her pace, she could pass Colborne move into the top five on Yale's all-time scoring list.
Gobrecht Joins 500 Club
Yale head coach Chris Gobrecht became the fourth coach this season to surpass 500 career victories with Yale's 86-73 win over Cornell on Feb. 10. Gobrecht now holds a 502-425 overall record, all at the Division I level. She currently ranks 22nd among active coaches for Division I coaching wins. At the start of the season, six coaches were on the verge of their 500th career win. Holy Cross coach Bill Gibbons became the first of the six to reach 500 wins on Dec. 3. DePaul head coach Doug Bruno (12/31) and Kennesaw State head coach Colby Tilly (1/7) have also joined the 500-win club this season. Gobrecht has coached for five programs in her career. She went 84-92 at Cal-State Fullerton, 243-89 at Washington, where she is the Huskies' all-time winningest head coach, 5-22 in one season at Florida State, and 93-108 at Southern California, her alma mater. To date, Gobrecht is 77-114 in her seven seasons at Yale, which is the third most coaching victories in Yale's history. She needs two wins to pass Diann Nestel (79-78) and 30 wins to pass Cecelia DeMarco (107-127), Yale's all-time winningest head coach.
In the win over Cornell on Feb. 10, the key factor was Yale's long-distance shooting. The Bulldogs were 16-for-30 from 3-point range, a record-setting night for the Bulldogs. Yale's 16 3-pointers against Cornell tied the all-time Ivy League single-game record, previously set twice by Harvard, against Rhode Island on Jan. 12, 1993, and Vanderbilt on March 15, 1996. The Ivy League record for 3-point attempts is 40, set by Penn on Jan. 21, 2003, in a game against Harvard. However, the 30 3-point attempts by Yale against Cornell tied its own mark for the second-highest total in the Ivy League this season. Yale previously made 30 3-point attempts vs. Holy Cross on Nov. 11. Penn attempted 33 3-pointers vs. Brown on Feb. 4.
"Inside Ivy League Basketball"
Megan Vasquez was the latest Bulldog to appear on the Ivy League's on-demand radio show. In the Week 7 episode, she talked about Yale's pursuit of an Ivy League title, as well as her success in her first three seasons at Yale. "Inside Ivy League Basketball" has already featured Yale coach Chris Gobrecht. The Week 5 episode can still be found on the show's website. To hear both of Yale's interviews, as well as others featuring Yale's men's basketball team, visit blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguebasketball.
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity