March 9, 2013

Vasquez Surpasses 1,400 Points in Yale’s Win at Penn

Senior Guard Closes Out Yale Career with 1,413 Points, Sixth on All-Time Scoring List

 

PHILADELPHIA — In one final historic performance, Megan Vasquez closed out one of the most remarkable careers in the 40-year history of women's basketball at Yale University.

Vasquez scored 24 points, thanks to five 3-pointers, to go with seven rebounds and four assists to lead Yale to a 70-65 win at Penn at the Palestra in the final game of the season.

"Megan put us on her back and carried us to this win tonight. She was unbelievable tonight. She really played well and willed us to the win," Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "They didn't want to remember their season by what happened last night at Princeton. Every one of these kids played hard tonight. They worked hard to win the battle of the boards."

With the win, Yale closes out the season with a 13-15 overall record, and a fourth-place 8-6 in Ivy League play. Penn dropped to 16-11 overall, 9-4 in Ivy League play with the loss, which also eliminated the Quakers from contention for second place and the Ivy League's automatic bid in the WNIT.

Yale closed the season with seven wins in its final 10 games.

"If you had told me before the season that we would have swept Penn and Cornell this season, I wouldn't have believed it. We won eight games in the Ivy League, which is really hard to do. I am really proud of this team."

With her 24-point performance, Vasquez became the sixth player in Yale's history to surpass 1,400 career points. She closes out her Yale career with 1,413 points, which is sixth on Yale's all-time scoring list, just shy of Melissa Colborne '10 (1,418). It was the second 20-point game of the season for Vasquez and the 16th 20-point game of her illustrious career.

"I just feel so blessed," Vasquez said. "I have had a lot of support throughout these four years and I could not have done this without my teammates and without my family. I am so happy that I have been a part of Yale women's basketball."

Messimer and Vasquez, Yale's two seniors, close out their careers at Yale with 56 total victories, surpassing the Classes of 1989 and 1996 for the second-most total wins by a single class. The Class of 1980 holds the Yale record for most wins with 57. With the win over Penn, Messimer and Vasquez now own the Yale record for Ivy League wins by a single class with 34, one more Ivy win than the Class of 1989.

Junior guard Janna Graf scored 19 points and added eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Sarah Halejian had 12 points and eight rebounds. It was the 26th double-digit scoring performance in Yale's 28 games for Halejian. Freshman forward Meredith Boardman added seven points and nine rebounds.

All five Yale starters had at least seven rebounds. Senior captain Allie Messimer scored three points to go with eight rebounds and four assists in the final game in her Yale career.

Alyssa Baron scored 22 points to pace Penn, while Kara Bonenberger recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Yale sizzled out of the gates, opening the game with a 10-0 run thanks to a quick five points by Graf. Penn chiseled away at Yale's lead until it closed to 23-20 with 6:36 left in the half on a jumper by Baron, but Yale responded with a 15-6 run to close out the half, giving the Bulldogs a 38-26 halftime lead. Vasquez drained three of her 3-pointers in the run, scoring nine of Yale's final 10 points of the half to push the Bulldogs' lead to 12 points at the buzzer.

Yale pushed its lead to 19 points (55-36) on Halejian's 3-pointer with 12:08 left, which gave Yale its largest lead of the game. But Penn did not go down without a fight. The Quakers started a rally with an 11-3 run that cut Yale's lead to 58-47 with 7:08 left.

The Quakers weren't finished. With Yale leading 62-51 with 3:28 left, Penn put together an 11-2 run to make it a two-point game (64-62) with 41 seconds left, but Yale went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the closing seconds to secure the victory.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity