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Trip to Harvard, Dartmouth Up Next

Jen Berkowitz and Roxy Barahman. (photo by Steve Musco, muscosportsphotos.com)
Jen Berkowitz and Roxy Barahman. (photo by Steve Musco, muscosportsphotos.com)

YALE-HARVARD FRIDAY 6:00 P.M.

YALE-DARTMOUTH SATURDAY 5:00 P.M.

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's basketball team heads to New England this weekend for a pair of Ivy League games. The Bulldogs visit Harvard Friday night (6:00 p.m., Ivy League Network) before heading to Dartmouth for a Saturday night game (5:00 p.m., Ivy League Network, KOOL 106.7 FM). With Brown (Yale's travel partner), Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale all sporting 1-1 Ivy League records, this weekend could provide some separation in the standings as the duos play each other.

 

BROADCASTS AVAILABLE ON IVY LEAGUE NETWORK

All of Yale's remaining regular season games are scheduled to be available on the Ivy League Network (ILN), available at http://www.ivyleaguenetwork.com and on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices.

 

INSIDE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PRACTICE

"Inside Yale Athletics Sponsored by Under Armour" recently got a behind-the-scenes look at Yale women's basketball. Here is the video:

 

BULLDOGS SPLIT WITH BROWN

An 81-71 overtime loss at Brown last Friday left Yale (8-7, 1-1 Ivy League) with a split of the season series with the Bears. After snapping Brown's 10-game winning streak with a 77-63 win at Lee Amphitheater on Jan. 12, the Bulldogs fell behind by as many as 15 points with 4:41 left in the rematch. They staged a tremendous rally to tie the game 66-66 in regulation, but were outscored 15-5 in overtime. Senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.) led the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) had 11 points, six steals and five assists. First-year forward Ellen Margaret Andrews (Dallas, Texas) added eight rebounds and a team-high six assists.

 

IVY MADNESS

The Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments return to Philadelphia, where they will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2018. The top four teams will earn berths to the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. For tickets and more information please visit IvyMadness.com.

 

BULLDOGS ON THE OFFENSIVE

Yale is averaging 70.6 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. The last time they scored 82 or more points prior to those games was a 90-65 win at Wagner Dec. 17, 2014.

 

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 on Dec. 1, 2016. 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 6.5 per game this year. In the five games that Andrew has played, the Bulldogs have totaled 38 threes (7.6 per game). Yale has hit six or more three-pointers in nine straight games.

Seven Bulldogs have attempted at least 24 three-pointers this year, and two of them are shooting 30 percent or better -- junior guard Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas) is at 33 .3 percent, and sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is at 31.0. Of the 25 shots Nelson has taken this year, 24 have been three-pointers (96 percent).

 

CAPTAIN SANTUCCI

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. Her last game was her 100th at Yale. 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. She is averaging 3.9 points per game this year.

Santucci earned her third start of the season Dec. 2, 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. She has volunteered for Catholic Community Services helping elderly/disabled people who cannot leave their homes.

 

RECORD-BREAKING YEAR FOR SIMPSON

Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) became the 20th player in Yale history to reach the 1,000 career point mark with a layup in the first quarter against Indiana at Lee Amphitheater on Dec. 21. She went on to score a career-high 31 points that day.

Those were the latest milestones in Simpson's career, as she enjoys her best season to date. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.3 points per game (fifth in the Ivy League) -- a 70 percent improvement over last season (9.6 points per game). She also leads the Ivy League in steals (5.1 per game, 2.3 more than any other player) and is 11th in assists (3.0 per game). As of Jan. 23 she was third nationally in steals per game. She is on pace to finish the season with 133 steals, which would break the Ivy League record (125, Betsy Gilmore, Dartmouth, 1993-94).

Simpson scored 21 points in the season-opening 62-51 win vs. LIU Brooklyn, shooting 6-for-12 from the field, then matched that total Dec. 12 in the 70-49 win at Saint Peter's. She tied her career high with nine steals against Providence Nov. 29, matching that total in the win at Stony Brook Dec. 6.

Simpson now has 1,079 career points. Prior to her the last Bulldog to reach the 1,000-point milestone was Janna Graf '14, who finished her career in 2014 with 1,151 points. Graf scored her 1,000th point on Dec. 29, 2013. Yale's all-time leading scorer is Mary Kalich '95 (1,663 points).

Simpson is the reigning Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. She already holds the Yale career record for steals. Her 304 career steals place her fifth on the Ivy League's all-time list, with Gilmore the leader at 370. She needs five more to move into the top three. As of Jan. 23 she was second among active NCAA players in career steals, trailing only Lamar's Chastadie Barrs (379). Her career average (3.07) places her fifth among active NCAA players.

Simpson led the league in steals last season with 79 and contributed offensively as well -- she was third on the team in points per game.

A psychology major in Jonathan Edwards College, Simpson 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 (15.7 points per game, sixth in the Ivy League) and has totaled 62 points in the last three games. She leads the team in rebounding (8.6 rebounds per game, fourth in the Ivy League) and has the league's best field goal percentage (.576). She is on pace for career highs in all three categories.

Berkowitz tied her career high with 26 points in the win at Stony Brook, one of five times this season she has scored 20 or more points in a game. She had a career-high 16 rebounds at Kansas, and has reached double-digits in rebounds five times this year. She has five double-doubles.

Berkowitz has 850 career points, putting her 150 away from joining the 1,000-point club. She would need to average 12.5 points per game for the remaining 12 games to reach that milestone.

Berkowitz earned 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. She was recently profiled in the MetroWest Daily News.

 

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 13 starts. She leads the team in assists (3.3 per game, ninth in the Ivy League), is second in steals (2.2 per game, fifth in the Ivy League) and is third in rebounds (4.7 per game).

Barahman tied her career high with six assists in the win vs. Brown Jan. 12 (she also had six in the win at TCU Nov. 21). She 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 second on the team in rebounding this year (5.5 per game) after finishing third last year (5.1 per game). She has 25 rebounds in the last three games, and had a season-high 11 rebounds in the win vs. Brown Jan. 12. Her career high in rebounds is 15, set Jan. 27, 2017, against Brown.

Gorman is in Trumbull College and is a graduate of Vero Beach High School.

 

ANDREWS SOLIDIFIES 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 12 straight games.

Andrews scored a season-high 16 points against Hartford Dec. 29, shooting 6-for-9 (.667). She has scored double-digit points in five of the last seven games, and has shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of the last 10 games. Her .758 free-throw percentage is best on the team.

Andrews is in Berkeley College and is a graduate of Greenhill School. She writes for the Yale Daily News, covering sports such as track & field and volleyball. Her sister Camille plays soccer at Bucknell, where she is a junior. Her father, Jaye, is a 1985 Bucknell grad who is in the Bucknell Hall of Fame after scoring 1,535 points for the Bison basketball team.

 

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 28-16 (.636) 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: 3-3 (.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 HARVARD

Harvard (9-6, 1-1 Ivy League) has won four of its last five, and the Crimson is a perfect 6-0 at Lavietes Pavilion. Harvard has won 20 of its last 22 home games.

The Crimson is one of the top rebounding teams in the Ivy League, posting a margin of 4.4 -- second only to Princeton's 6.6. Guard Taylor Rooks (sixth, 8.2) and forward Jeannie Boehm (ninth, 7.3) give Harvard two of the top 10 rebounders in the Ancient Eight. Boehm is also second in the league in field goal percentage (.520) and third in blocked shots (2.5).

Guard Katie Benzan is Harvard's leading scorer (12.6 points per game). She is coming off a 20-point effort in the team's 76-65 win vs. Dartmouth last Saturday. That was the third time this season she has reached the 20-point mark. She was a first team All-Ivy League selection last season, becoming the first Harvard freshman in 15 years to earn first-team recognition. She and Yale junior forward Alexandra Maund (Dorchester, Mass.) are both Noble and Greenough grads.

Kathy Delaney-Smith is in her 36th season as Harvard's head coach. With 576 overall wins and 336 league wins, she is the winningest coach -- male or female -- in Ivy League history. She has led the team to 11 Ivy titles (the most recent in 2008) and six NCAA tournament appearances (the most recent in 2007).

 

SCOUTING DARTMOUTH

Dartmouth (9-6, 1-1 Ivy League), which hosts Brown on Friday, opened Ivy League play by splitting two games with Harvard. The Big Green's 76-65 loss to the Crimson last Saturday was the team's fourth loss in the last six games, and the third time in the last four games Dartmouth has allowed at least 76 points.

Guard Cy Lippold leads the Big Green in scoring (14.3 points per game) and assists (5.1 per game). She is also fourth in the league in steals (2.5). Guard Kate Letkewicz is the team's top option from long distance, shooting .342 (38-for-111) from three-point range. She is also the Ivy League leader in minutes per game (37.3). As a team Dartmouth leads the Ivy League in shooting percentage (.429), three-point shooting percentage (.340) and free throw shooting percentage (.772).

Dartmouth is 6-1 at Leede Arena this season. Belle Koclanes is in her fifth season as head coach; she is two years removed from leading the Big Green to its best finish in Ivy League play since 2009 (fourth).

Yale swept Dartmouth last season, winning 57-50 in Hanover and 58-44 at Lee Amphitheater.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

 

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