NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's busiest week of the season concludes Saturday with a home game against Albany. The Bulldogs have won five games in a row, including the last four on the road. Yale defeated Wagner 66-52 on Wednesday and followed that with a 75-44 win over LIU Brooklyn on Thursday.
Junior Jen Berkowitz is responsible for much of Yale's recent success. The junior forward was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday, and she leads the team with 14 points per game this season. She also ranks second on the team with 7 rebounds per game.
Another reason the team's success has been its improved defensive play. After allowing a season-low 44 points against LIU Brooklyn on Thursday, Joel E. Smilow '54 head coach Allison Guth said her players "took a step forward" with the way they guarded together and did their jobs defensively. Yale ranks first in the Ivy League in points allowed per game (53.6), opponent field goal percentage (33.6%), defensive rebounds per game (31.1) and defensive rebound percentage (76.9%).
Report on the Albany Great Danes
Albany defeated Yale in the most recent meetings between the two teams, by a score of 74-70 last season on December 30, 2015 at Albany.
Albany sits at 3-4 this season after a 54-36 loss in its most recent game against St. John's. The Great Danes have scheduled a number of difficult games early in their schedule, so their record does not adequately reflect the quality of their team. Albany defeated Army 65-59 on Nov. 16, two days before Army defeated Yale 59-55. Army is the only common opponent the two teams have faced this season.
First-year head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee aims to lead the Great Danes back to the NCAA Tournament after Albany defeated No. 5 seed Florida for its first-ever D-I NCAA Tournament victory last season. Albany finished last season with a 28-5 record (15-1 America East). The Great Danes have won nine combined America East Conference tournament and regular season titles in the last five seasons.
Albany's offense centers on senior guard Imani Tate, who has led the team in scoring in six of seven games. She ranks in the top 25 in the nation with 20.4 points per game, more than doubling the scoring output of any other player on the team.
After a slow start by the team's recent standards, Albany will be hungry to return to its form last season. Yale will be eager to keep its winning streak alive, so Saturday's encounter promises to be a highly competitive matchup.
Next up, Yale hosts Boston College, Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity