YALE-CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE SATURDAY 1:00 P.M.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's basketball team has been racking up plenty of mileage over the last few weeks, traveling to Kansas, TCU, Binghamton and Stony Brook. On Saturday the Bulldogs will make a much shorter trip -- 35 miles north to Central Connecticut State (1:00 p.m., NEC Front Row). The game marks the renewal of an intrastate showdown that was an annual occurrence for 14 years; Yale and CCSU have not met since 2003.
BULLDOGS BEAT STONY BROOK IN DOUBLE-OT
Yale (5-3, 0-0 Ivy League) has now won two straight overtime games on the road, outlasting Stony Brook 77-71 in double overtime Wednesday night at Island Federal Credit Union Arena. The Seawolves entered the day ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense (allowing just 51.9 points per game), but the Bulldogs overcame that with some balanced scoring -- four players hit double digits, led by 26 from senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.). She tied her career high in that category, and added a team-best 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) added 17 points, while senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) had 15 and nine steals. The Bulldogs got 27 points off turnovers.
BULLDOGS ON THE OFFENSIVE
Yale is averaging 70.9 points per game, second-best in the Ivy League and a 16 percent improvement over last season's average (61.1 points per game). The last time the Bulldogs averaged 70.0 or more points per game for a full season was 1986-87 (73.5 points per game).
The 82 points the Bulldogs scored in the wins vs. Colgate and TCU represent the most they have scored in Allison Guth's three seasons as Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball.
TRACKING THE THREE-POINTERS
Yale hit 10 three-pointers in the 82-56 win vs. Colgate Nov. 13, the most the Bulldogs have hit in a game since hitting 11 last Dec. 1. That included seven threes in the first quarter alone, led by three from first-year guard Tori Andrew (Wayzata, Minn.).
Last year the Bulldogs averaged 6.8 made threes per game; they are averaging 5.9 per game this year. In the three games that Andrew has played, the Bulldogs averaged 7.7 threes per game. Yale has hit six or more three-pointers in five of eight games this year.
Senior guard Mary Ann Santucci (Seattle, Wash.) was elected captain for the 2017-18 season by her teammates. Santucci has missed just one game in her career, and has 51 starts -- including 26 starts last season. One of the team's top ballhandlers, she was second on the team in assists last season (2.2 per game) and shot a career-high 35.9 percent from three-point range. She averaged a career-high 4.6 points per game.
Santucci earned her third start of the season last Saturday, posting a season-high 12 points in the win at Binghamton. She was 3-for-6 from three-point range.
Santucci is an ecology and evolutionary biology major in Morse College. She graduated from Seattle Prep.
SIMPSON TOPS TEAM IN SCORING AS REIGNING IVY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) leads the team in scoring and is sixth in the Ivy League, averaging 16.6 points per game -- a 73 percent improvement over last season (9.6 points per game). She leads the team in assists (3.3 per game, ninth in the Ivy League) and steals (4.6 per game, first in the Ivy League and second nationally as of Friday). She scored 21 points in the season-opening 62-51 win vs. LIU Brooklyn, shooting 6-for-12 from the field. She tied her career high with nine steals against Providence Nov. 29, matching that total in the win at Stony Brook Dec. 6.
Simpson is the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. She already holds the Yale career record for steals (264 entering Saturday's game). Entering Friday she was tied for fourth among active NCAA players in career steals. She led the league in steals last season with 79 and contributed offensively as well -- she was third on the team in points per game (9.6).
Simpson is a psychology major in Jonathan Edwards College. She graduated from Portledge School.
BERKOWITZ AMONG IVY LEAGUE LEADERS
At six-foot-two, senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.) is a formidable presence in the post for the Bulldogs. She is second on the team in scoring (15.6 points per game, seventh in the Ivy League) and leads the team in rebounding (8.8 rebounds per game, third in the Ivy League). Her .505 field goal percentage is second in the league. She is on pace for career highs in scoring and rebounding. She tied her career high with 26 points in the win at Stony Brook, and had a career-high 16 rebounds at Kansas.
Berkowitz returns after earning honorable mention All-Ivy League recognition last season. She led the team and finished sixth in the league with 13.4 points per game. She led the league in field goal percentage (.508) and was ninth in rebounding (6.9 per game).
Berkowitz is a history of science, medicine and public health major in Saybrook College. She graduated from The Rivers School.
BARAHMAN MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
Sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) has been making up for lost time this season. Barahman was limited to 17 games (one start) last season, but is one of three Bulldogs averaging 30.0 minutes or more per game this season and has made six starts. She is second on the team in assists (3.0 per game), rebounds (5.3 per game (tie)) and steals (2.6 per game).
Barahman set a career high with six assists in the win at TCU Nov. 21, and set a career high with 11 rebounds in the win vs. Colgate Nov. 13. She scored a career-high 24 points at Binghamton Dec. 2.
Barahman is in Davenport College and is a graduate of Oaks Christian.
GORMAN ON THE BOARDS
Sophomore forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) remains one of Yale's most consistent rebounding presences. She is tied for second on the team in rebounding this year (5.3 per game) after finishing third last year (5.1 per game). She has had at least four rebounds in six of eight games this season, and had a season-high eight rebounds at Binghamton. Her career high in rebounds is 15, set Jan. 27 against Brown.
Gorman is in Trumbull College and is a graduate of Vero Beach High School.
ANDREWS EARNS STARTING SPOT
First-year forward Ellen Margaret Andrews (Dallas, Texas) earned her first career start when the Bulldogs played at TCU, near her hometown of Dallas, on Nov. 21. She wound up with a season-high nine rebounds in that game. She has now started five straight games. She scored a season-high nine points on Saturday at Binghamton, then matched that on Wednesday at Stony Brook.
Andrews is in Berkeley College and is a graduate of Greenhill School.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Yale has developed quite a home court advantage in recent years. Since the start of the 2014-15 season the Bulldogs have gone 27-15 (.643) at John J. Lee Amphitheater. Here is a look at the team's home record in the past five+ seasons:
2012-13: 6-7 (.462)
2013-14: 7-6 (.538)
2014-15: 8-4 (.667)
2015-16: 10-5 (.667)
2016-17: 7-4 (.636)
2017-18: 2-2 (.500)
CLASS OF 2021
Yale welcomes four first years to the roster for the 2017-18 season. All four were captains of their high school teams and bring impressive credentials to New Haven.
The newcomers include a pair of record-setting guards in Ale Aguirre (La Jolla, Calif.) and Tori Andrew (Wayzata, Minn.). Aguirre should be able to stretch opposing defenses: she finished seventh in the nation, second in California and first in San Diego for three-pointers made in a career. She set the national record for three-pointers in a game with 15, earning a mention on ESPN. Andrew is also a threat from deep. A three-time first team all-state selection, she set school career records for scoring, double-doubles and three-pointers made. Her high basketball IQ should enable her to contribute immediately.
The class also includes a pair of forwards. Ellen Margaret Andrews (Dallas, Texas) was the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private Player of the Year as a senior. Her athleticism enabled her to be all-conference in three sports (basketball, track and volleyball), and she was the first player in her school's history to score 1,000 points in a season. Alex Cade (Shaker Heights, Ohio) was a two-time all-state selection and averaged a double-double her senior year (16.7 points, 13.8 rebounds) while adding 4.2 blocks per game.
A SEASON TO BUILD ON
The 2016-17 season was one to build on for the Yale women's basketball team. The Bulldogs were on a roll at the end, winning four of their last five games to finish with the team's best win total (15) since 2011-12. Four of the six players who averaged 20 or more minutes per game for Yale in 2016-17 return for 2017-18.
ALLISON GUTH, YALE'S JOEL E. SMILOW, CLASS OF 1954 HEAD COACH OF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
Known as a skilled recruiter throughout her 10-plus years of coaching, Allison Guth was named Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball in May of 2015, returning to the Bulldogs after serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2010 to 2012. Guth is the 10th head coach in the history of the women's basketball program, which dates to the 1973-74 season.
The team has made steady progress under Guth, whose staff includes assistants Melissa D'Amico, Roman Owen and Jacinda Dunbar -- all also in their third season with Yale. The Bulldogs have improved their win total from season to season in each of the past two years. Last season they finished with their best win total (15) since 2011-12.
Prior to being named Yale's head coach, Guth spent three seasons at Northwestern as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping turn the women's basketball team into a national power. In her final season, the Wildcats went 23-9 (12-6 Big Ten) and qualified for an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 1997.
During her first stint in New Haven, Guth was instrumental in Yale's resurgence as a contender for the Ivy League championship and helped guide the Bulldogs to their best two-year record in 18 years and the most Ivy League wins in a two-year span (18; 10-4 in 2010-11, 8-6 in 2011-12) in the program's history. Guth previously served as an assistant coach at DePaul, Missouri and Loyola-Chicago.
Guth, who led Buffalo Grove (Illinois) High School to the 2000 Class AA State title, and her high school teammates were inducted into the Illinois Coaches Basketball Association Hall of Fame in April of 2013.
A three-time letter winner at Illinois, Guth helped the Illini reach the 2003 NCAA Tournament after earning a spot as a walk-on and then earning a scholarship. An Academic All-Big Ten selection, Guth also played a season with the Illinois women's golf team before graduating in 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business before getting her Master's degree in educational leadership from DePaul in 2010.
SCOUTING CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
Central Connecticut (0-8, 0-0 NEC) dropped its eighth straight game Wednesday, 68-52 at Hartford. The Blue Devils have lost to one Ivy League team already, falling to Brown 78-55 at Detrick Gymnasium in November.
Forward Andi Lydon leads CCSU in scoring (12.9 points per game), with guard Kiana Patterson close behind (11.6). Patterson is the team's top three-point shooter, connecting on 18 of 46 attempts so far (39.1 percent). She set the school record for three-pointers in a season last year with 71. Lydon leads in rebounds (6.1 per game).
Yale and CCSU last met in 2003, a 78-65 Bulldogs win. Yale leads the all-time series 9-5, with the teams having met every season from 1989-90 through 2002-03.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity