NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a commanding win over Brown last Friday, Yale (10-7, 1-3 Ivy) stays at home this weekend for consecutive Ivy League games. The Bulldogs host the Columbia Lions (11-6, 1-3 Ivy) on Friday at 6 p.m. and the Cornell Big Red (11-6, 2-2 Ivy) on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Last Time Out
Yale avenged a loss in its previous game with an emphatic 73-51 win over Brown in its Ivy League home opener. The Bulldogs led from start to finish, and freshman Megan Gorman grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 10 points in the victory. Yale played stifling defense against one of the Ivy League's top offenses, holding Brown to 25.4% shooting from the field.
Yale Season Leaders
Senior Lena Munzer leads the Bulldogs with 13.4 points per game and 2.9 assists per game, and she ranks second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per game. Junior Jen Berkowitz is second behind Munzer with 13.1 points per game, and she leads the team with 6.8 rebounds per game. Berkowitz also leads the Ivy League with a .544 field goal percentage. Junior Tamara Simpson ranks third on the team with 11 points per game and leads the Ivy League with 2.9 steals per game. She is closing in on the Yale career steals record, needing 9 to equal the mark of 211 set by Kathleen Offer from 1992-96.
Report on the Columbia Lions
After finishing in last place in the Ivy League last season, Columbia has already equaled its Ivy League win total from last season and is within one win of matching its 12 total wins from last season.
Reigning Ivy League Co-Player of the Week Camille Zimmerman has enjoyed a breakout junior season and emerged as one of the top players in the Ivy League. After averaging 14 points and 6.8 rebounds over her first two seasons, Zimmerman now leads the Ivy League with 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. She is the only Ivy League player averaging double digits in rebounds, and no other player is averaging more than 15.4 points per game (see below).
Columbia achieves much of its success on the inside. The Lions lead the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+12) while no other team is better than +7.9. The Lions also lead the Ivy League in free throws made and free throw percentage, with 3 players in the top 8 in the Ivy League in free throw percentage. Columbia has been much less successful on the outside, shooting an Ivy League-worst .301 from 3-point range. Columbia also ranks last in the Ivy League in turnovers committed and steals, so Yale should be able to gain an advantage in the turnover battle.
After two losses to Cornell, Columbia's last two Ivy League games have been extraordinarily close. Columbia won at Dartmouth 91-88 in quadruple overtime - the longest women's basketball game in Ivy League history - and lost at 1st-place Harvard 70-68. Yale and Columbia both beat their only two common opponents so far this season, Binghamton and LIU Brooklyn.
Report on the Cornell Big Red
After Friday's game, Yale will need to contend with another elite scorer on Saturday. Cornell senior Nia Marshall ranks 2nd in the Ivy League behind Zimmerman with 15.4 points per game. Marshall leads an efficient scoring attack, which ranks first in the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.422) and 3-point field goal percentage (.399). However, Cornell ranks last in the Ivy League in opponent field goal percentage at .410. The Big Red make up for that shortcoming on defense by leading the Ivy League in steals (8.5 per game).
Cornell finished one spot ahead of Yale in the Ivy League standings last season, so this matchup will be an important test to see if Yale is ready to move up the ranks. So far in Ivy League play, Cornell has earned both of its wins against Columbia, with its losses coming at Harvard and Dartmouth. Both Cornell and Yale defeated New Hampshire and Binghamton in their only meetings against common opponents so far.
After three straight home games, the Bulldogs return to the road next week. Yale faces Dartmouth at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10 and takes on Harvard at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity