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Florida Atlantic’s Holiday Classic Up Next

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

Yale vs. Saint Louis Friday 2:30 p.m.

Yale vs. FAU or North Carolina A&T Saturday (Time TBD -- 12:00 p.m. Consolation, 2:30 p.m. Championship)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After the holiday break, the Yale women's basketball team resumes play with a pair of games down south as part of Florida Atlantic University's Holiday Classic. The Bulldogs play Saint Louis on Friday (2:30 p.m., CUSA.tv) and then on Saturday play in either the consolation game (12:00 p.m., CUSA.tv) or the championship game (2:30 p.m., CUSA.tv). The tournament's other two teams are FAU and North Carolina A&T.

Yale Tops Central Connecticut in Front of Big Crowd

In its last game before the holiday break Yale (8-5, 0-0 Ivy League) put on a show in front of a big crowd (1,890) for New Haven Public Schools Field Trip Day at Lee Amphitheater Dec. 20. The Bulldogs limited Central Connecticut to 27% shooting while tying their season high with 18 assists in a 58-46 win. Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) led the way with 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals, while first-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) added 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Great Eight

Yale is 6-2 in its last eight games. During that span the Bulldogs have held their opponents to 32.8% shooting from the field and outrebounded them 42.8 to 34.0. They have been particularly effective in the first quarter, outscoring their opponents 119-82.

Gorman Headed Home

The trip to the Florida Atlantic Holiday Classic is a "home visit" for junior forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.). Boca Raton, Fla., is roughly 100 miles from her hometown of Vero Beach. She played for Vero Beach High, where she helped the team to the 2016 8A State Championship. Gorman set the school record for career points (1,342) and rebounds (1,184) and was featured in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd". The upcoming trip home for her was featured recently in Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Gorman is an economics major in Trumbull College at Yale. She is third in the Ivy League in rebounding (8.2 per game). So far she has improved her rebounding each year of her career -- 5.1 per game her first year, 6.1 as a sophomore and 8.2 this season.

After the Holiday Classic the Bulldogs will head to Vero Beach. They will remain in that area, practicing at Gorman's high school, until returning to New Haven Jan. 2. Before they leave, the Bulldogs will give a basketball clinic at the local Boys & Girls Club.

Bulldogs Among the Best on the Boards

Yale is among the nation's leaders in defensive rebound rate (75.8%) as compiled at herhoopstats.com. The Bulldogs are sixth, less than two percentage points behind the top team (Baylor, 77.5%). Penn (71.1%, 72nd) is the only other Ivy League team in the top 80. Junior forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) (22.1%) and first-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) (20.2%) are Yale's individual leaders in that category.

Stingy D Limits Opponents' Shooting Percentage

Yale is holding its opponents to a .353 shooting percentage this season, second only to Penn (.308) among Ivy League teams. That represents an improvement of 54 percentage points from last season, when Yale's opponents shot .407.

Barahman in Six Ivy Top 10s

Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is among the Ivy League's top 10 in:

  • Points per game (1st, 21.0)
  • Steals per game (2nd, 2.4)
  • Assists per game (5th, 3.8)
  • Field goal percentage (8th, .407)
  • Rebounds per game (10th, 6.6)
  • Three-point field goals per game (10th, 1.7)

She has scored 20 or more points in a game eight times this season, including a career high 29 in the Preseason WNIT game at Northern Illinois Nov. 8. Her shooting percentage, .407, is 36 percentage points better than her shooting percentage last season. She has had four or more assists in six of the last eight games.

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

Emsbo Excels

First-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) is second in the Ivy League in rebounds per game (8.8) and blocks per game (1.9). She is second on the team in scoring (11.6 points per game). Defensively, she has helped Yale hold seven of its last eight opponents to 56 or fewer points.

Emsbo is a three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week honoree, having earned the honor for the weeks of Nov. 5, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10.

Emsbo was a five-star ESPN recruit out of Lakewood High, and ESPN ranked her as the No. 34 best recruit in the country (sixth-best at her position). She was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Colorado. She is in Branford College at Yale.

Habit Forming

On Dec. 6 at St. John's, sophomore guard Ale Aguirre (La Jolla, Calif.) hit her first career three-pointer. That was her 14th career game. She has since hit at least one three-pointer in each of the last four games and has a total of six threes in that span.

RPI and the Ivy League

The latest NCAA RPI ratings provide a glimpse at how the Ivy League teams stack up as non-conference play winds down. Yale opens Ivy play on Jan. 18 at Brown.

  • 74 Penn
  • 87 Princeton
  • 119 Yale
  • 143 Harvard
  • 204 Cornell
  • 241 Dartmouth
  • 253 Brown
  • 285 Columbia

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 the FAU Holiday Classic Field

  • Florida Atlantic (3-8, 0-0 Conference USA), which plays North Carolina A&T in the first game of the Holiday Classic Friday, has dropped five of its last six games. Guard Myka Johnson Matthews, a transfer from Stetson, leads the team in scoring (10.0 points per game).
  • North Carolina A&T (2-9, 0-0 MEAC), which plays Florida Atlantic in the first game of the Holiday Classic Friday, has dropped four games in a row. The Aggies are the defending MEAC regular-season and tournament champions. Guard C'coriea Foy, a transfer from Alabama, leads the team in scoring (13.9 points per game) and steals (18).
  • Saint Louis (4-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10) has had three losses by five or fewer points this season, making the Billikens' won-lost record somewhat deceiving. They have had one common opponent with Yale, falling to Cincinnati 51-50 (the Bulldogs lost to the Bearcats 66-52). Two players average 13+ points for Saint Louis: guards Ciaja Harbison (13.9 points per game) and Jordyn Frantz (13.2 points per game).

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