NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Three players who have helped lead the Yale women's basketball team to its first Ivy League Tournament appearance were honored by the league Wednesday with annual awards. Senior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) repeated as Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and was named second team All-Ivy League. Additionally, senior forward Jen Berkowitz (Wayland, Mass.) was named first team All-Ivy League and sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) was named honorable mention All-Ivy League. This is the most All-Ivy honorees for Yale since 2013.
Last year Simpson became the first Yale player to earn the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Award. This year, she built on that legacy. She leads the league in steals (4.4 per game, twice as many as any other player), and has broken her own school record for steals in a season (currently 115 -- the previous mark was 90, set her sophomore year). She is third nationally in steals per game. Entering this weekend's Ivy League Tournament, where Yale plays Princeton on Saturday, she is within striking distance of the league's single-season steals record (125, Betsy Gilmore, Dartmouth, 1993-94).
Simpson broke the Yale career record for steals last year. Her 347 career steals place her second on the Ivy League's all-time list, with Gilmore the leader at 370. She is second among active NCAA players in career steals, trailing only Lamar's Chastadie Barrs (451). Her career average (3.13) places her fourth.
Simpson averaged 4.1 steals per game in Ivy League games, 2.0 more than any other player. She had five or more steals in five Ivy games, including two games with eight.
Simpson has also excelled offensively. On Dec. 21 she 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. She went on to score a career-high 31 points that day. She currently leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game (fourth in the Ivy League) -- a 51 percent improvement over last season (9.6 points per game). She is 13th in assists (2.5 per game).
Simpson now has 1,228 career points, placing her ninth on Yale's career list. A graduate of Portledge School, she is a pre-med psychology major in Jonathan Edwards College.
Last Saturday at Princeton, Berkowitz added her name to the Yale record book when her layup at 5:15 of the first quarter gave her 1,000 points for her career. She is second on the team in scoring (14.4 points per game, sixth in the Ivy League) and leads the team in rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game, eighth in the Ivy League). She also has the league's best field goal percentage (.556). She is on pace for career highs in all three categories.
Berkowitz was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week Feb. 12 after leading Yale to a road sweep at Columbia and Cornell, the Bulldogs' first Ivy road sweep in five years. She led the team in scoring each night, with 21 points at Columbia and 18 at Cornell. She has six double-doubles, including two in Ivy League games.
Berkowitz, who earned honorable mention All-Ivy League recognition last season, is the first Yale player to earn first team All-Ivy honors since Sarah Halejian '15 in 2014. A graduate of The Rivers School, she is a pre-med history of science, medicine and public health major in Saybrook College.
This is the first league honor for Barahman, who is second on the team in scoring in Ivy League games (13.8 points per game) and third in overall games (13.6 points per game). She leads the team in assists (3.8 per game, fourth in the Ivy League), is second in steals (2.0 per game, fifth in the Ivy League) and is third in rebounds (4.3 per game). She reached a career high in assists with nine in the 73-50 win at Columbia Feb. 9.
Barahman is in Davenport College and is a graduate of Oaks Christian.
The All-Ivy League team is determined by a vote of the league's eight head coaches and is based on performance in league games. Yale has now had five All-Ivy League selections in Allison Guth's three seasons as the team's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball.
Yale is the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament, which takes place at the Palestra in Philadelphia and determines which team receives the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs play Princeton at 6:00 p.m. Saturday night.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bella Alarie, Princeton (So., G/F – Bethesda, Md.)
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
*Eleah Parker, Penn (Fr., C – Charlotte, N.C.)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tamara Simpson, Yale (Sr., G – North Babylon, N.Y.)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Courtney Banghart, Princeton
Bella Alarie, Princeton (So. – Bethesda, Md.)
*Katie Benzan, Harvard (So. – Wellesley, Mass.)
Jen Berkowitz, Yale (Sr. – Wayland, Mass.)
Michelle Nwokedi, Penn (Sr. – Missouri City, Texas)
Leslie Robinson, Princeton (Sr. – Corvallis, Ore.)
Camille Zimmerman, Columbia (Sr. – Tempe, Ariz.)
Jeannie Boehm, Harvard (So. – Winnetka, Ill.)
Kate Letkewicz, Dartmouth (Sr. – Waterloo, Iowa)
Shayna Mehta, Brown (Jr. – San Francisco)
Eleah Parker, Penn (Fr. – Charlotte, N.C.)
Taylor Rooks, Harvard (Sr. – Warren, N.J.)
Anna Ross, Penn (Sr. – Syracuse, N.Y.)
Tamara Simpson, Yale (Sr. – North Babylon, N.Y.)
Justine Gaziano, Brown (So. – Natick, Mass.)
Roxy Barahman, Yale (So. – Calabasas, Calif.)
^-first team expanded due to ties in the voting
#-second team expanded due to ties in the voting