NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's basketball team gathered to celebrate the 2018-19 season and announce the team award winners Thursday night, reflecting on a campaign that culminated with 16 wins -- tied for third-most in school history.
Sophomore forward Alex Cade (Shaker Heights, Ohio) won the Most Improved Player Award, junior forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) won the Karen Yarasavage Bulldog Award and senior guard Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas) won the Outstanding Leadership Award.
Cade earned the Most Improved Player Award after appearing in all 29 games and earning 20 starts. Noted for her consistent energy and enthusiasm, she improved in multiple statistical categories from year-to-year. That included points per game (from 2.4 to 6.7) and rebounds per game (from 2.1 to 5.5). She averaged 21.0 minutes per game, over 14 minutes more than the previous season (6.6).
Cade also enjoyed a return to her hometown as part of Yale's trip to Ohio in November, which included a practice at her high school (Laurel School) before the team's win vs. Youngstown State. She is a mechanical engineering major in Saybrook College at Yale.
Gorman earned the Karen Yarasavage Bulldog Award by contributing in a variety of ways, including a rebounding average (7.4 per game) that ranked fifth in the Ivy League. She established career highs in that category along with scoring (6.5 points per game), assists (1.7 per game) and blocks (0.4 per game).
Gorman delivered one of the more memorable shots of the season, hitting a jumper with 42 seconds left to cap a 17 point comeback and give Yale a 58-56 win at Youngstown State Nov. 24. She also shined when back in her home state of Florida for the Florida Atlantic Holiday Classic in December, earning Tournament MVP honors. She had a career-high 17 rebounds in the 58-52 win vs. Saint Louis in the opener, then added seven more rebounds and 12 points in the 59-49 championship game win vs. North Carolina A&T.
Gorman is an economics major in Trumbull College. She is a graduate of Vero Beach High School.
Nelson has been one of Yale's leaders throughout her career, respected by teammates and coaches alike for her work ethic, passion for the game and level-headed demeanor. Both on the court and off she has served as a great source of support for all her teammates, and they voted her team captain for this past season. The Outstanding Leadership Award serves as another fitting recognition of her contributions.
Nelson has made some of her most memorable shots in the team's biggest games. That included a pair in the team's 82-72 win at TCU in 2017, a game that was played in her home state of Texas. She also hit a critical three in Yale's 96-86 overtime win at Princeton this past season.
Nelson is an economics major in Ezra Stiles College. She is a graduate of Birdville High School.
In addition to the team award winners, Yale also had multiple individuals earn Ivy League awards this season. Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) was a first team All-Ivy League selection, leading the league in scoring (18.6 points per game), finishing second in steals (2.0 steals per game) and sixth in assists (3.9 assists per game). She was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Week honoree, and first-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) was a seven-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week honoree.
The banquet also marked one more chance to honor the team's seniors, Nelson and forward Alexandra Maund (Dorchester, Mass.). Those two have seen the program grow greatly in four years, including 35 wins the past two seasons -- the most in any two-year span in school history.
The seniors and award winners all played key roles in a memorable 2018-19 season. Yale notched wins against rivals Harvard and Princeton in unforgettable fashion, topping the Crimson at Lee Amphitheater on a buzzer-beater by Barahman and setting the school record for points (96) in beating the Tigers in overtime at Jadwin Gym. The Bulldogs also won Florida Atlantic's Holiday Classic in December and took part in the Preseason WNIT.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity
Yale Women's Basketball
2018-19 Team Awards
Most Improved Player Award
Awarded to that member of the women's basketball team who, in the opinion of the coach, has shown the most improvement during the season.
Alex Cade (Shaker Heights, Ohio)
Outstanding Leadership Award
Awarded to that member of the women's basketball team, who, in the opinion of her teammates through her spirit, hustle, attitude, desire and determination, has served as an inspiration to the team.
Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas)
Karen Yarasavage Bulldog Award
The Karen Yarasavage Award has been established to honor Karen's enduring devotion to the Yale women's basketball program. It is awarded to the team member who distinguishes herself by her grit, tenacity and perseverance.
Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.)