Janna Graf named Ivy League Player of the Week

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

Junior Guard Earns Recognition from Ivy League and CollegeSportsMadness.com


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Janna Graf (Mission Woods, Kan./Shawnee Mission East), a junior guard on the Yale University women's basketball team was named the Ivy League's Player of the Week, the League announced Monday afternoon.

Graf earned the Player of the Week honor after averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 steals in leading the Bulldogs to a pair of victories against Fordham and St. Francis Brooklyn last week. In the two wins, Graf shot 10-for-19 from the field (52.6 percent), 7-for-12 from 3-point range (58.3 percent) and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line (85.7 percent).

The Ivy League also placed Yale sophomore guard Sarah Halejian on its Weekly Honor Roll after she averaged 14.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in the two victories.

CollegeSportsMadness.com, an Internet college sports publication, also named Graf its Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday. Graf is the second Yale player to be honored by the Ivy League this season and the first Bulldog to earn recognition from CollegeSportsMadness.com. Freshman guard Nyasha Sarju was named the Ivy League's Rookie of the Week on Nov. 26.

It is the third time in Graf's Yale career that she has been named the Player of the Week by the Ivy League, including the weeks of Jan. 30, 2012, and Jan. 17, 2011, and it is the seventh time in her career that she has been honored with a weekly award by the League. She also earned Rookie of the Week honors four times during her freshman season.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, Graf scored 18 points and also recorded six rebounds and five of Yale's six steals to lift the Bulldogs to a 67-53 win over Fordham. It was Yale's first victory over Fordham since a 92-74 win on Dec. 9, 1986.

In the victory, Graf scored all nine of her first-half points in the final 4:26 of the period. Graf also went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in that stretch and scored six of Yale's eight points in a 1:40 span. Graf's first-half dominance did not end there. She also had four of her six rebounds in the half and three of her five steals.

By the time the final buzzer sounded, Graf had scored her 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Graf is the first Yale player to record five steals in a game since Vasquez had five against St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 18, 2011.

At St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, Dec. 8, Graf closed out her week with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in helping to lead Yale to a 66-62 overtime victory, completing a 2-0 week for the Bulldogs.

In the two wins last week, Graf set a number of personal bests. She set a new career-high with five steals against Fordham. Her previous career-high was four steals set at Quinnipiac on Dec. 20, 2011. She also matched a career-high with five made free throws in a perfect 5-for-5 showing at the foul line against Fordham, which helped her set a new season-high with 18 points against Fordham. At St. Francis Brooklyn, Graf set a new season-high with four made 3-pointers.

Graf has picked up her defensive play of late. She has 11 steals and 15 defensive rebounds in her last three games, an average of 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game in that span.

This season, Graf is averaging 11.2 points per game, which is second on the team, and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. She is also leading the Bulldogs with 22 total steals and 37 defensive rebounds.

Yale is in the midst of its break for final exams and returns to the court with a home game against Marist at 6 p.m. on Dec. 20 inside John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity