Yale Falls to First-Place Princeton

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

Halejian Scores 11, Hits Double Figures for 19th time in 20 Games


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale University women's basketball team struggled to put points on the board early, which never bodes well against a team that has been as dominant as Princeton has been over the last four years.

Princeton grabbed a big early lead and never looked back in a 99-53 win over Yale inside John J. Lee Amphitheater Sunday night.

The 99 points was a program record for Princeton, which improved to 14-5 overall and 5-0 in Ivy League play. Yale fell to 7-13 overall, 2-4 in Ivy League play with the loss.

With the win, Princeton extended its League winning streak to an Ivy League-record 29 games, which is the second-longest current conference winning streak in the nation, just behind top-ranked Baylor's 34 straight Big 12 wins.

Junior guard Janna Graf scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Yale. Sophomore guard Sarah Halejian scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds. It is the 19th time out of 20 games that she has scored in double figures this season. Senior guard Megan Vasquez added 11 points.

Senior player of the year candidate Niveen Rasheed scored a career-high 29 points to go with 12 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the year to lead Princeton. Kristen Helmstetter also had a double-double after picking up 18 points and 10 rebounds. Blake Dietrick added 11 points.

Princeton opened the game with a 20-0 run, holding Yale scoreless until senior guard Megan Vasquez dropped a jump shot into the basket 6:09 into the game. The Tigers scored their 40th point of the game before Yale reached double figures when Mariah Smith's jumper put Princeton ahead 40-9 with 4:24 left.

The Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 17-16 over the final 3:51, but by that point, Princeton had the game well under control and took a 56-26 lead into the halftime break.

Princeton was nearly as imposing in the second half, opening with a 13-2 run to pull ahead 69-30 with 15:29 left. The margin hovered around 39 points until the final 3:12 when Princeton used a game-ending 8-0 run to stretch the lead to 46 points, its largest lead of the game and the final margin of victory.

Princeton outrebounded Yale 52-31. The Tigers shot 58.6 percent (41-for-70), including 66.7 percent (24-for-36) in the first half. Princeton dominated the paint, outscoring Yale 46-10.

Yale struggled offensively, shooting just 23.3 percent for the game (14-for-60) including 8-for-36 in the first half and 6-for-24 in the second half. The Bulldogs also were just 4-for-17 (23.5) from 3-point range.

Yale now hits the road for the next four games and six of the last eight games of the regular season. The Bulldogs will visit Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity