Yale Sweeps Ivy League Weekly Honors

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

Cashen, Graf Net Weekly Awards; Vasquez on Honor Roll

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After leading the Yale University women's basketball team to a pair of victories, including its first-ever win over a nationally ranked opponent, three players have been recognized by the Ivy League for their performances.

Junior forward Michelle Cashen (Belle Harbor, N.Y./Midwood H.S.) was named the Ivy League's Player of the Week and freshman forward Janna Graf (Mission Wood, Kan./Shawnee Mission E.) was honored with the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week award. The Ivy League also recognized sophomore guard Megan Vasquez (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) for her performances in the two games, which earned her a place on the weekly Honor Roll.

It is the first time Yale has swept the Ivy League's weekly awards since senior Erica Davis and freshman Melissa Colborne won the awards on Jan. 2, 2007.

"Both players are very deserving of these honors as they were instrumental in our victories over Florida State and Quinnipiac," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Megan was pretty good in both games too, but Michelle's rebounding was a difference-maker for us. It will be exciting to watch the continued growth of this team."

Cashen shot 12-25 (48.0 percent) from the floor and averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game in the two wins. She notched her first double-double of the season after scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in Saturday's victory over Florida State. At the time of the game, the Seminoles were ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Cashen's 13 rebounds are the most the Seminoles have allowed from an opposing player all season. The double-double was the sixth of her career at Yale.

Against Quinnipiac, Cashen was even better. She registered 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals, falling just two rebounds and two assists shy of recording the first triple-double in Yale's 38-year history.

"I am really honored to receive this week's award, but at the same time this belongs to the whole team," Cashen said. "There is no doubt in my mind that the reason why my stats were what they were is because everyone stepped up and played their hardest. You can't have a lot of assists or rebounds without your teammates knocking down their shots or boxing out their own girls.  Janna and Megan being recognized as well just shows how talented we are individually, but also how successful we can be when we play together."

In earning the first conference honor of her career at Yale, Graf averaged 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds in the two games. She scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and pulled down five rebounds in the victory over Florida State. Graf's previous scoring high this season was 10 points set against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 6. She fell one rebound shy of her first double-double in a Yale uniform against Quinnipiac. She scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

"Winning Rookie of the Week is a great honor to receive in the Ivy League, but I was only able to achieve this with the amazing performances of all my teammates," Graf said. "They raised their level of play in the wins over Florida State and Quinnipiac and that put me in the position to put together those stats. Everyone really stepped up and other players like Megan and Michelle equally deserve to be rewarded by the Ivy League for their outstanding performances. We accomplished two incredible wins because of everyone's persistence and our belief in ourselves as a team."

Vasquez averaged 22.5 points in the two victories. She scored a career-high 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting and a 9-of-12 effort from the free-throw line in the win over Florida State. Against Quinnipiac, she scored 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

Yale is off for the Christmas holiday and will return to action on Dec. 28 and 29 when it takes part in the Fordham Holiday Classic, where it will face Fordham and Big East-power Villanova.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity