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Bulldogs Head North Seeking Separation in Standings

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

Yale at Dartmouth Friday 7:00 p.m.

Yale at Harvard Saturday 5:00 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A logjam has formed in the middle of the Ivy League women's basketball standings, where six of the league's eight teams have either five wins or three wins. Yale -- one of three teams with five league wins -- will seek to start separating itself from the pack this weekend. The Bulldogs visit Dartmouth -- one of three teams with three league wins -- on Friday (7:00 p.m., ESPN+), then head to Harvard Saturday (5:00 p.m., ESPN+). The Crimson is currently tied with Yale for third in the Ivy standings.

Bulldogs Coming Off Home Split

Yale (15-8, 5-3 Ivy League) split a pair of Ivy League home games last weekend. The Bulldogs topped Columbia 69-61 on Friday Mar. 15, outscoring the Lions 15-5 down the stretch. Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) led Yale with 25 points. The Bulldogs fell to Cornell 43-41 the next night, shooting just 26.9%. Barahman again led the team in scoring, finishing with 14 points.

Attracting Attention

Yale was recently featured on a WTNH News 8 broadcast. In addition to focusing on the upcoming games, the story also highlighted junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) as she closes in on the 1,000 point mark for her career.

On the Road Again

After playing five of its last seven games at home, Yale is starting a stretch of four straight road games. That is nothing compared to what the Bulldogs took on earlier this year, playing seven straight games away from Lee Amphitheater. That was part of longer a stretch in which they played just one home game (and 10 away from home) between Nov. 7 and Dec. 19. They went 5-5 in those games, traveling more than 8,000 miles.

Bulldogs Among Nation's Best in Rebounding

Yale is fifth in the nation in defensive rebounds per game (30.0). Baylor (33.0) is the leader. The Bulldogs are 19th in rebounds per game (42.87).

Defense in Top 25 Nationally

Yale is holding its opponents to a .358 shooting percentage this season, 24th in the nation. That represents an improvement of 49 percentage points from last season, when Yale's opponents shot .407. Penn, ranked No. 4 (.330), is the only Ivy League team ranked higher than the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are allowing only 60.0 points per game, a 4.9 points per game improvement compared to last season (64.9).

Ivy League Defensive Leaders

Per herhoopstats.com, Yale has the second-highest-ranked defense in the Ivy League (77th nationally). Here is how the league's teams stack up in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions), by national ranking:

  • 26 Penn (80.3 rating)
  • 77 Yale (85.3)
  • 92 Princeton (86.3)
  • 94 Cornell (86.4)
  • 108 Harvard (87.0)
  • 179 Dartmouth (91.1)
  • 247 Columbia (94.6)
  • 310 Brown (98.5)

Roxy Watch

Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is closing in on the 1,000 career point mark. She would be the 22nd Bulldog to accomplish that feat. Here is a look at her progress:

  • Current: 963 career points
  • Needs: 37 points
  • Averaging: 19.7 points per game
  • Projected to get to 1,000, at current average: Saturday, Feb. 23 at Harvard

Barahman is 28th in the nation in points per game (19.7). She is among the Ivy League's top 10 in:

  • Points per game (1st, 19.7)
  • Steals per game (2nd, 2.2)
  • Field goal percentage (6th, .406)
  • Assists per game (6th, 3.7)
  • Rebounds per game (10th, 6.8)

Here are her highs for the season in select categories:

  • Points: 33 at Princeton Feb. 8 (career high)
  • Rebounds: 14 vs. North Carolina A&T Dec. 29 (career high)
  • Assists: 6 (three times) (career high is 9, Feb. 9, 2018 at Columbia)
  • Steals: 5 (twice) (tied career high from Nov. 19, 2017 at Kansas)

Barahman is an ecology and evolutionary biology major in Davenport College at Yale and is a graduate of Oaks Christian.

Four Bulldogs Among Ivy Rebounding Leaders

Yale has four players in the top 16 in the Ivy League in rebounding -- first-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) is third (8.6 rebounds per game), junior forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) is fifth (7.7), junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is 10th (6.8) and sophomore forward Alex Cade (Shaker Heights, Ohio) is 16th (5.9). No other team has more than three.

Family Matters

First-year guard Roxanne Nesbitt (Chicago, Ill.) has experienced both sides of the Yale-Harvard rivalry. Her brother Alex played for Harvard from 2011-2015, helping the Crimson win four Ivy League titles and make four NCAA Tournament appearances -- winning a pair of tournament games.

Nesbitt is in Davenport College at Yale. She and her brother both graduated from University of Chicago Laboratory School.

Yale's Coach from the Crimson

Yale assistant coach Emma Golen will go up against her alma mater Saturday. Golen played forward for Harvard, earning the team's most improved player award in 2011-12 and serving as team captain in 2012-13. The six-footer was second on the team in three-pointers as a junior and senior, shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc both seasons. The Crimson went 77-40 overall and 42-14 in the Ivy League during her career, playing in the WNIT three times and advancing to the second round twice.

A Michigan native, Golen earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Harvard in 2013.

Former Assistant Queen Smith in the News

Former Yale women's basketball assistant coach Queen Smith, whose son is a student at Marvin Elementary School in North Carolina, was recently part of a notable story. Smith and her son met Yale alum Joe Tsai '86 B.A. '90 J.D. this past fall in China, where they saw the Yale men's basketball team beat Cal 76-59. Tsai, who is part owner of the New Jersey Nets, was in Charlotte for the NBA All-Star Game earlier this month. He came to visit Marvin Elementary and spoke to students in the Chinese immersion program there. After one student asked him for tickets to the All-Star Game, Tsai said he would see what he could do. As reported in the Charlotte Observer, he eventually came through with 30 tickets for students from the school to attend the game.

Around the Ivy League

Three weekends remain in Ivy League regular season play. In addition to Yale and Brown visiting Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend, Columbia and Cornell visit Penn and Princeton.

First-place Penn, at 6-1 in Ivy play, has a one-game lead on second-place Princeton (5-2). Yale and Harvard, at 5-3, are tied for third.

The top four teams in the regular season standings qualify for the 2019 Ivy League Tournament, which takes place at Lee Amphitheater Mar. 16 and 17.

Scouting Dartmouth

Dartmouth (10-11, 3-5 Ivy League) has gone 2-2 since losing 64-49 at Yale Feb. 2. The Big Green has two ranked in the top 15 in the Ivy League in scoring -- forward Isalys Quinones is eighth (13.5 points per game) and guard Cy Lippold is 14th (11.5 points per game).

Scouting Harvard

Harvard (12-9, 5-3 Ivy League), which hosts Brown Friday, has gone 3-2 since losing at Yale 65-62 on Feb. 1. The Crimson has enjoyed some outbursts on offense, including a 100-83 win at Brown Feb. 2 and an 80-72 double-overtime win vs. league-leading Penn last Saturday. Overall the Crimson is averaging 70.0 points per game, third in the league. Guard Katie Benzan is seventh in the league in scoring (14.3 points per game).

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity