Vasquez and Graf Earn All-Ivy League Honorable Mention Honors
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Three players on the Yale University women's basketball team were honored by the Ivy League today after the trio helped to lead the Bulldogs to a 13-win season and a second consecutive 8-6 finish in Ivy League play.
Sophomore guard Sarah Halejian (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) was named to the All-Ivy League First Team. Senior guard Megan Vasquez (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) and junior guard Janna Graf (Mission Woods, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) both earned All-Ivy League Honorable Mention recognition.
"Sarah really had a breakout season and many impressive performances, so I'm happy to see the Ivy League coaches recognize her play," said Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954, Head Coach of Women's Basketball. "Megan and Janna were huge to our success this year as well and both did so many things to help us win. It is a credit to Sarah, Megan, Janna, and really, the whole team, that improving and winning were all that mattered. Yale is proud to have three team members honored this year."
Halejian earns her second consecutive Ivy League postseason award. She was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.
Halejian led the Bulldogs in scoring this season, averaging 13.8 points per game, which was the fifth-highest average in the Ivy League. She scored in double figures in 26 of Yale's 28 games this season, leading the Bulldogs in scoring in 11 of those games. She was second on the team in field goal percentage (.413), assists (81, 2.9 apg.), steals (37, 1.3 spg.), blocks (11, 0.4 bpg.) and fifth on the team in rebounds (3.4 rpg.). Her 2.9 assists per game average was fifth among Ivy League leaders. In Ivy League games, she averaged 14.1 points per game, which was fifth among Ivy League leaders.
In what was clearly the best performance of her short career, Halejian scored a career-high 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting in the 69-66 loss at Harvard on Feb. 23, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range. The 29 points, 12 made field goals and 80.0 field-goal percentage are all the second-highest marks in Yale's record books.
"I owe much of this to my family for their unwavering support and to my teammates and coaches for constantly making me better and making each day in the gym really enjoyable," Halejian said. "I look forward to building on this honor with high expectations of having more success as a team next season."
With her Honorable Mention distinction, Vasquez becomes the second consecutive Yale player and one of only five Bulldogs to earn All-Ivy Honors in each of her four years at Yale. Michelle Cashen '12 also earned that distinction last season. Vasquez joins Cashen (2009-12), Katy Grubbs (1995-98), Mary Kalich (1991-95) and Regina Sullivan (1979-83) to record an All-Ivy honor in each of her four years with the Bulldogs. Vasquez was named to the All-Rookie Team as a freshman. She also earned All-Ivy League First Team honors following her sophomore and junior seasons.
Yale's leading scorer in her first three seasons, Vasquez finished third on the team in scoring with 10.6 points per game, averaging 12.3 points per game in Ivy League play, including 14.1 points per game in the final 10 games of her Yale career. Vasquez led the Bulldogs in assists (85, 3.0 apg.) and free-throw percentage (.830, 78-for-94), which were both fourth among Ivy League leaders. She was also fourth on the team in rebounding (113, 4.0 rpg.) and steals (23, 0.8 spg.).
Vasquez saved her best game for her final game in a Yale uniform, scoring 24 points in the 70-65 win at Penn on March 9 to close out her Yale career with 1,413 points, which ranks sixth on Yale's all-time scoring list. In her Yale career, Vasquez scored in double figures 77 times and 20 or more points 16 times.
"Earning All-Ivy Honors all four years of playing basketball for Yale gives me a sense of accomplishment," Vasquez said. "It is gratifying to see how I and my amazing teammates throughout the four years have impacted the program in such a positive way. Yale's women's basketball program has come a long way and will continue to grow and succeed under Coach Gobrecht. I wish my teammates and coaches the best and hope to see Yale win the Ivy League championship very soon."
With her Honorable Mention recognition, Graf earns her second All-Ivy League honor. She was a unanimous selection to the Ivy League All-Rookie Team two years ago. She finished second on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game, and she led the Bulldogs in rebounding (151, 5.4 rpg.). Graf was third on the team in field goal percentage (.392) and second in 3-point shooting percentage (.402).
Among Ivy League leaders, Graf finish in the Top 10 in rebounding (10th), free-throw percentage (.800, 6th), steals (45, 1.6 spg., 8th), 3-point shooting percentage (3rd), 3-pointers made per game (1.9, 2nd), offensive rebounds (2.0 orpg., 8th), and minutes played (31.0 mpg., 6th).
"It's an honor for me to represent my team among these great Ivy League players," Graf said.
The Bulldogs finished the 2012-13 season with a 13-15 overall record, and an 8-6 record in Ivy League play, with victories in seven of their last 10 games. In the last four years, Yale has won a total of 56 games, the second-highest total of victories in a four-year span in the program's history. The Bulldogs have also won 34 Ivy League games in that four-year span, which is the highest total of Ivy League wins in a four-year span in Yale's history.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
*Niveen Rasheed, Princeton (Sr., G – Danville, Calif.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR *Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (So., F – London)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Lauren Polansky, Princeton (Sr., G – Mill Valley, Calif.)
FIRST-TEAM ALL-IVY *Alyssa Baron, Penn (Jr., G – Miami) Christine Clark, Harvard (Jr., G – Tucson, Ariz.) Sarah Halejian, Yale (So., G – Wyckoff, N.J.) Victoria Lippert, Harvard (Sr., F – San Diego) *Niveen Rasheed, Princeton (Sr., G – Danville, Calif.)
SECOND-TEAM ALL-IVY Meg Bowen, Princeton (Sr., C – Bath, Pa.) Lauren Clarke, Brown (Jr., G – Colts Neck, N.J.) Allyson DiMagno, Cornell (Jr., F – Fairport, N.Y.) Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (So., F – London) Kristen Helmstetter, Princeton (Jr., F – Bridgewater, N.J.)
HONORABLE MENTION Sheila Dixon, Brown (Sr., G – Schenectady, N.Y.) Janna Graf, Yale (Jr., F – Mission Woods, Kan.) Keiera Ray, Penn (Fr., G – Aurora, Ill.) Megan Vasquez, Yale (Sr., G – Merrick, N.Y.) Nicola Zimmer, Dartmouth (Jr., G – Chevy Chase, Md.)
Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity