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Bulldogs Face Princeton in Ivy Tourney Semis Saturday in Philly

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

YALE-PRINCETON SATURDAY 6:00 P.M.

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's basketball team makes its first appearance in the Ivy League Tournament this weekend, playing Princeton at The Palestra in the semifinals Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN3, tape delay on ESPNU, WYBC). The Bulldogs enter the tournament as the underdogs -- they are the No. 4 seed, while Princeton is the No. 1 seed. The winner of Saturday's semifinal plays in the championship Sunday at 4:00 p.m. with a berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line.

 

IVY MADNESS

The Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments return to Philadelphia, where they will take place Saturday and Sunday. The top four teams earn berths in the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. For tickets and more information please visit IvyMadness.com.

In the first women's semifinal game on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., the No. 1 seed Princeton plays the No. 4 seed Yale. The second semifinal, featuring the No. 2 seed Penn and the No. 3 seed Harvard, follows that game. Both semifinal games will be shown live on ESPN3 at http://www.espn3.com and tape-delayed on ESPNU.

Sunday's Ivy League Tournament championship game is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

 

CHAMPIONSHIPS AND POST-SEASON TOURNAMENTS

The first-place team in the regular season standings is declared the Ivy League Champion, while the winner of the Ivy League Tournament earns the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Princeton has won the Ivy League Championship, going 12-2 in league games, and enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Last year, Penn won the Ivy League Championship and won the Ivy League Tournament, advancing to the NCAA Tournament. In addition to Penn playing in the NCAAs, the league also had two teams (Harvard and Princeton) selected for the WNIT and one (Brown) selected for the WBI.

Selections for postseason tournaments are all announced on Monday, with the NCAA bracket announced at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. The WBI starts Mar. 14, the WNIT starts Mar. 14 and the NCAAs start Mar. 16.

 

"LIVE FROM THE PALESTRA" AND MORE AVAILABLE ON IVY LEAGUE NETWORK

At the Ivy League Tournament, the league will have a live video stream of Friday's activities at the Palestra -- "Live from the Palestra", including shoot arounds and interviews -- available for free on the Ivy League Network (ILN), available at http://www.ivyleaguenetwork.com and on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices. Coverage starts at 9:00 a.m., and Yale women's basketball will be featured prominently starting at 1:45 p.m. Friday as the Bulldogs prepare for their 2:00 p.m. open shoot around at The Palestra.

Friday
Live coverage from each team's open shoot around including interviews and team-by-team breakdowns:  

Saturday
Pregame and postgame coverage of each semifinal including highlights and interviews throughout the day outside of ESPN's windows:

Sunday
Pregame and postgame coverage of each championship game including highlights, interviews and trophy presentations outside of ESPN's windows:

 

 

BRUMMEL RECOGNIZED AS LEGEND OF IVY BASKETBALL

Lisa Brummel '81, who will be formally honored as part of the 2018 Class of Legends of Ivy League Basketball at the Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments at The Palestra, was recently featured on IvyLeague.com. Brummel is currently business partners with another Yale Athletics alum -- rower Ginny Gilder '79. They are part of the group that owns the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

A four-sport athlete at Yale, Brummel was a four-time MVP for the women's basketball team and earned a pair of first team All-Ivy League honors.

Brummel will be recognized during the third quarter of the Yale-Princeton semifinal game on Saturday.

 

BULLDOGS FALL AT PENN, PRINCETON IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE

Yale concluded the regular season last weekend with losses at Penn and Princeton. In the game at The Palestra Friday, the Bulldogs rallied from an early 17 point deficit and were within five points with just over five minutes left before the Quakers pulled away. Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) led Yale in scoring with 14 points.

In the game at Princeton Saturday, Yale led for the majority of the first half, but the Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 17-10 in the third and 17-13 in the fourth to earn the win, clinching sole possession of the Ivy League title in the process. Senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.) scored her 1,000th career point and senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) had a team-high 13 points. Sophomore forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) added a team-best 11 rebounds.

 

ONE OF YALE'S BEST

With 15 wins, Yale has matched last season's total -- which had been the team's best win total since winning 16 games in 2011-12. This is the first time in school history Yale has won 15 or more games in back-to-back seasons.

The Bulldogs are within two of the school record for wins in a season. Here are Yale's top eight seasons in terms of overall wins:

17 wins: 1979-80
16 wins: 1993-94, 2011-12
15 wins: 1976-77, 1988-89, 1992-93, 2016-17, 2017-18

Yale's eight Ivy League wins this season are the most since 2012-13, when the Bulldogs went 8-6 in the league. The team record for league wins is 10. Here are Yale's seasons with eight or more Ivy wins:

10 Ivy wins: 1988-89, 2010-11
9 Ivy wins: 1986-87
8 Ivy wins: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18

 

SENIOR CLASS

Yale paid tribute to its three seniors -- forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.), guard Mary Ann Santucci (Seattle, Wash.) and guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) as part of Senior Night Feb. 24 vs. Columbia, the night the Bulldogs clinched their first berth in the Ivy League Tournament. In addition to that tournament berth, the trio has led the program to several notable accomplishments. The team has won 15 games each of the past two seasons, the most for the Bulldogs since 2011-12. This year the Bulldogs beat a top-25 team in TCU and beat Princeton for the first time since 2009. The Bulldogs have also beaten rival Harvard twice in the last three games.

Berkowitz and Simpson have both scored 1,000 career points, making them part of a select group of Yale classmates who are both in that club. The classmate pairs are:

  • Class of 2018: Tamara Simpson (1,228 points) and Jen Berkowitz (1,004 points)
  • Class of 1999: Katy Grubbs (1,336 points) and Autumn Braddock (1,108 points)
  • Class of 1995: Mary Kalich (1,663 points) and Bari Porter (1,081 points)
  • Class of 1986: Sue Johnson (1,560 points) and Kelly LeComte (1,181 points)
  • Class of 1981: Lisa Brummel (1,361 points) and Sue Melone (1,038 points)

The seniors have also shined off the court, as all three are planning to go into the medical field.

 

BULLDOGS ON THE OFFENSIVE

Yale is averaging 67.6 points per game, an 11 percent improvement over last season's average (61.1 points per game).

The 82 points the Bulldogs scored in the wins vs. Colgate and TCU represent the most they have scored in Allison Guth's three seasons as Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball.

 

YALE GETS DEFENSIVE

Yale's loss at Harvard Jan. 26 may have been a turning point. The Bulldogs allowed 97 points in that game, the most they had allowed in a game since giving up 102 at Stanford Dec. 28, 2016. In the 11 games since that game, the Bulldogs have allowed just 58.4 points per game and are holding their opponents to a .367 shooting percentage. In the first 16 games, including that game at Harvard, Yale's opponents averaged 69.4 points per game and shot .440.

 

TURNOVER ADVANTAGE

Yale leads the Ivy League in turnover margin at 4.44, with Penn (3.93) the only other league team above 0.96. The Bulldogs are forcing 19.6 turnovers per game, the most in the league and 33rd nationally, and Yale is averaging a league-best 10.41 steals per game (30th nationally).

 

TRACKING THE THREE-POINTERS

Yale hit 11 three-pointers in the 73-59 win vs. Princeton Feb. 2, the most the Bulldogs have hit in a game since hitting 11 on Dec. 1, 2016. First-year guard Tori Andrew (Wayzata, Minn.) hit four threes.

Seven Bulldogs have attempted at least 25 three-pointers this year, and three of them are shooting 30 percent or better -- Andrew is at 33.3 percent, junior guard Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas) is at 32.0 and sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is at 31.7. Of the 26 shots Nelson has taken this year, 25 have been three-pointers (96 percent). Andrew has taken 90 of her 113 shots (80 percent) from three-point territory.

 

CAPTAIN SANTUCCI

Senior guard Mary Ann Santucci (Seattle, Wash.) was elected captain for the 2017-18 season by her teammates. Santucci has missed just one game in her career, and has 52 starts -- including 26 starts last season. One of the team's top ballhandlers and perimeter defenders, she was second on the team in assists last season (2.2 per game) and shot a career-high 35.9 percent from three-point range. She averaged a career-high 4.6 points per game. She is averaging 3.5 points per game this year and is one of six players averaging 22 or more minutes per game.

Santucci posted a season-high 12 points in the win at Binghamton Dec. 2. She was 3-for-6 from three-point range.

Santucci is a pre-med ecology and evolutionary biology major in Morse College. She graduated from Seattle Prep. She has volunteered for Catholic Community Services helping elderly/disabled people who cannot leave their homes.

 

BERKOWITZ SCORES 1,000th POINT; EARNS FIRST TEAM ALL-IVY HONORS

Senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.) was named first team All-Ivy League on Wednesday, becoming the first Yale player to earn first team honors since Sarah Halejian '15 in 2014. The honor capped a memorable regular season for her. Last Saturday at Princeton, she added her name to the Yale record book when her layup at 5:15 of the first quarter gave her 1,000 points for her career. She is the 21st Yale player to accomplish that feat.

Berkowitz is enjoying the best season of her career. She is second on the team in scoring (14.4 points per game, sixth in the Ivy League) and leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game, eighth in the Ivy League). She also has the league's best field goal percentage (.556). She is on pace for career highs in all three categories.

Berkowitz was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week Feb. 12 after leading Yale to a road sweep at Columbia and Cornell, the Bulldogs' first Ivy road sweep in five years. She led the team in scoring each night, with 21 points at Columbia and 18 at Cornell.

Berkowitz has scored in double digits in eight of the last 10 games. She tied her career high with 26 points in the win at Stony Brook Dec. 6, one of five times this season she has scored 20 or more points in a game. She had a career-high 16 rebounds at Kansas, and has reached double-digits in rebounds six times this year. She has six double-doubles.

Berkowitz earned honorable mention All-Ivy League recognition last season. She led the team and finished sixth in the league with 13.4 points per game. She led the league in field goal percentage (.508) and was ninth in rebounding (6.9 per game).

Berkowitz is a pre-med history of science, medicine and public health major in Saybrook College. She graduated from The Rivers School. She was recently profiled in the MetroWest Daily News.

 

SIMPSON REPEATS AS IVY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year this past Wednesday, her second straight time earning that honor. She also was named second team All-Ivy League, the first All-Ivy honor of her career.

This has been a historic year for Simpson at both ends of the court. She became the 20th player in Yale history to reach the 1,000 career point mark with a layup in the first quarter against Indiana at Lee Amphitheater on Dec. 21. She went on to score a career-high 31 points that day.

Simpson leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game (fourth in the Ivy League) -- a 51 percent improvement over last season (9.6 points per game). She also leads the Ivy League in steals (4.4 per game, twice as many as any other player) and is 13th in assists (2.5 per game). Her 115 steals this season broke her own school record (90, set her sophomore year).

As of Mar. 6 Simpson was third nationally in steals per game. She is within striking distance of the Ivy League record (125, Betsy Gilmore, Dartmouth, 1993-94).

Simpson scored 21 points in the season-opening 62-51 win vs. LIU Brooklyn, shooting 6-for-12 from the field, then matched that total Dec. 12 in the 70-49 win at Saint Peter's. She tied her career high with nine steals against Providence Nov. 29, matching that total in the win at Stony Brook Dec. 6. She has had at least four steals in eight straight games Feb. 2 through Feb. 24.

Simpson now has 1,228 career points. Prior to her the last Bulldog to reach the 1,000-point milestone was Janna Graf '14, who finished her career in 2014 with 1,151 points. Graf scored her 1,000th point on Dec. 29, 2013. Yale's all-time leading scorer is Mary Kalich '95 (1,663 points).

Simpson already holds the Yale career record for steals. Her 347 career steals place her second on the Ivy League's all-time list, with Gilmore the leader at 370. As of Mar. 6 she was second among active NCAA players in career steals, trailing only Lamar's Chastadie Barrs (451). Her career average (3.13) places her fourth.

Simpson led the league in steals last season with 79 and contributed offensively as well -- she was third on the team in points per game.

Simpson is a pre-med psychology major in Jonathan Edwards College. She graduated from Portledge School.

 

BARAHMAN NAMED HONORABLE MENTION ALL-IVY

Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) earned honorable mention All-Ivy League honors Wednesday. She has been making up for lost time this season after being limited to 17 games (one start) last season. Barahman is one of three Bulldogs averaging 32.0 minutes or more per game this season and has made 25 starts. She leads the team in assists (3.8 per game, fourth in the Ivy League), is second in steals (2.0 per game, fifth in the Ivy League) and is third in rebounds (4.3 per game).

Barahman reached a career high in assists with nine in the 73-50 win at Columbia Feb. 9. She set a career high with 11 rebounds in the win vs. Colgate Nov. 13. She scored a career-high 24 points at Binghamton Dec. 2. That was one of three times this season she has reached the 20-point mark, including twice in the last three games.

Barahman is in Davenport College and is a graduate of Oaks Christian.

 

GORMAN ON THE BOARDS

Sophomore forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) has been one of Yale's most consistent rebounding presences. She is second on the team in rebounding this year (6.6 per game) after finishing third last year (5.1 per game). She has 121 rebounds in the last 15 games (8.1 per game), including a career-high 16 in the 57-39 win at Dartmouth Jan. 27. Her 8.1 rebound average in Ivy games is sixth in the league.

Gorman is in Trumbull College and is a graduate of Vero Beach High School. She is an economics major.

 

ANDREWS SOLIDIFIES STARTING SPOT

First-year forward Ellen Margaret Andrews (Dallas, Texas) earned her first career start when the Bulldogs played at TCU, near her hometown of Dallas, on Nov. 21. She wound up with a season-high nine rebounds in that game. She has now started 23 of the last 24 games.

Andrews scored a season-high 16 points against Hartford Dec. 29, shooting 6-for-9 (.667). She has scored double-digit points in nine games. She is 40-for-49 (.816) from the free throw line, best among Bulldogs with 15 or more attempts.  

Andrews is in Berkeley College and is a graduate of Greenhill School. She writes for the Yale Daily News, covering sports such as track & field and volleyball. Her sister Camille plays soccer at Bucknell, where she is a junior. Her father, Jaye, is a 1985 Bucknell grad who is in the Bucknell Hall of Fame after scoring 1,535 points for the Bison basketball team. Her grandfather, David Sears '53, played basketball at Yale and her uncle also went to Yale.

 

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE

Yale has developed quite a home court advantage in recent years. Since the start of the 2014-15 season the Bulldogs have gone 32-18 (.640) at John J. Lee Amphitheater. Here is a look at the team's home record in the past five+ seasons:

2012-13: 6-7 (.462)
2013-14: 7-6 (.538)
2014-15: 8-4 (.667)
2015-16: 10-5 (.667)
2016-17: 7-4 (.636)
2017-18: 7-5 (.583)

 

CLASS OF 2021

Yale welcomes four first years to the roster for the 2017-18 season. All four were captains of their high school teams and bring impressive credentials to New Haven.

The newcomers include a pair of record-setting guards in Ale Aguirre (La Jolla, Calif.) and Tori Andrew (Wayzata, Minn.). Aguirre should be able to stretch opposing defenses: she finished seventh in the nation, second in California and first in San Diego for three-pointers made in a career. She set the national record for three-pointers in a game with 15, earning a mention on ESPN. Andrew is also a threat from deep. A three-time first team all-state selection, she set school career records for scoring, double-doubles and three-pointers made. Her high basketball IQ should enable her to contribute immediately.

The class also includes a pair of forwards. Ellen Margaret Andrews (Dallas, Texas) was the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private Player of the Year as a senior. Her athleticism enabled her to be all-conference in three sports (basketball, track and volleyball), and she was the first player in her school's history to score 1,000 points in a season. Alex Cade (Shaker Heights, Ohio) was a two-time all-state selection and averaged a double-double her senior year (16.7 points, 13.8 rebounds) while adding 4.2 blocks per game.

 

A SEASON TO BUILD ON

The 2016-17 season was one to build on for the Yale women's basketball team. The Bulldogs were on a roll at the end, winning four of their last five games to finish with the team's best win total (15) since 2011-12. Four of the six players who averaged 20 or more minutes per game for Yale in 2016-17 return for 2017-18.

 

ALLISON GUTH, YALE'S JOEL E. SMILOW, CLASS OF 1954 HEAD COACH OF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Known as a skilled recruiter throughout her 10-plus years of coaching, Allison Guth was named Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball in May of 2015, returning to the Bulldogs after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2010 to 2012. Guth is the 10th head coach in the history of the women's basketball program, which dates to the 1973-74 season.

The team has made steady progress under Guth, whose staff includes assistants Melissa D'Amico, Roman Owen and Jacinda Dunbar -- all also in their third season with Yale. The Bulldogs have improved their win total from season to season in each of the past two years. In 2016-17 they finished with their best win total (15) since 2011-12, and they have matched that win total in the 2017-18 regular season.

Prior to being named Yale's head coach, Guth spent three seasons at Northwestern as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping turn the women's basketball team into a national power. In her final season, the Wildcats went 23-9 (12-6 Big Ten) and qualified for an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 1997.

During her first stint in New Haven, Guth was instrumental in Yale's resurgence as a contender for the Ivy League championship and helped guide the Bulldogs to their best two-year record in 18 years and the most Ivy League wins in a two-year span (18; 10-4 in 2010-11, 8-6 in 2011-12) in the program's history. Guth previously served as an assistant coach at DePaul, Missouri and Loyola-Chicago.

Guth, who led Buffalo Grove (Illinois) High School to the 2000 Class AA State title, and her high school teammates were inducted into the Illinois Coaches Basketball Association Hall of Fame in April of 2013.

A three-time letter winner at Illinois, Guth helped the Illini reach the 2003 NCAA Tournament after earning a spot as a walk-on and then earning a scholarship. An Academic All-Big Ten selection, Guth also played a season with the Illinois women's golf team before graduating in 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business before getting her Master's degree in educational leadership from DePaul in 2010.

 

SCOUTING PRINCETON

Princeton (22-5, 12-2 Ivy League) beat Yale 64-53 last Saturday to clinch sole possession of first place in the Ivy League, earning the outright Ivy championship and the No. 1 seed in the Ivy League Tournament. It was the Tigers' 13th Ivy title and sixth in the last nine years. They have made six NCAA Tournament appearances, all between 2010 and 2016.

On Feb. 2 at Lee Amphitheater Yale beat the Tigers for the first time in nine years, snapping Princeton's 17-game winning streak in the series. Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) led the Bulldogs with 17 points and six assists in the 73-59 win. Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) added 15 points and eight steals.

The Tigers are second in the Ivy League in scoring defense (55.0 points per game). Guard/forward Bella Alarie leads the team in scoring (13.4 points per game) and is second in the league in field goal percentage (.493). Forward Leslie Robinson is third in the league in assists (4.4).

Princeton has an Ivy League-best .433 shooting percentage. The Tigers have outshot their opponents by 74 percentage points (.427 to .353) at Jadwin Gym and 57 percentage points (.438 to .381) in games at other venues.

 

SCOUTING YALE'S POTENTIAL OPPONENTS IN CHAMPIONSHIP

If the Bulldogs win Saturday, on Sunday in the Ivy League Tournament Championship Game they will play the winner of Saturday night's Harvard-Penn game.

Harvard (18-9, 10-4 Ivy League) is second in the Ivy League in scoring offense at 69.7 points per game. That included a 97 point outburst against Yale on Jan. 26, a 97-73 Crimson win at Lavietes Pavilion. The Bulldogs bounced back to beat their archrival 69-63 at Lee Amphitheater on Feb. 17, led by 20 points from sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) and 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.).

Harvard guard Katie Benzan leads the Ivy League in three-point field goal percentage (.462) and leads the team in scoring (13.4 points per game). She is one of five Crimson players who average nine or more points per game. No other team in the league has more than three.

Penn (20-7, 11-3 Ivy League) leads the league in scoring defense, allowing 54.5 points per game, and is holding its opponents to a .354 shooting percentage. That is 15 percentage points better than any other defense in the league. Quakers center Michelle Nwokedi is third in the league in rebounding (8.7 per game) and leads the team in scoring (12.1 points per game).

Penn beat Yale 69-54 when these two teams met Feb. 3 at Lee Amphitheater. Guard Lauren Whitlatch led the Quakers with 18 points, hitting on five of 14 three-point attempts. Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) led Yale with 11 points and four steals.

Penn, which won last year's Ivy League Tournament, has made five NCAA Tournament appearances and won five Ivy League titles -- including three in the last four years.

 

 

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

 

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