NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend, the Yale Bulldogs (12-11, 3-7 Ivy) will look to repeat their outstanding performance from their most recent game, a win over first-place Penn. Yale hosts Harvard (19-4, 7-3 Ivy) on Friday at 6 p.m. and hosts Dartmouth (6-17, 1-9 Ivy) Saturday at 7:30 p.m on Senior Night. Yale currently sits two games out of fourth place and needs a strong showing down the stretch to qualify for the inaugural Ivy League tournament next month.
Yale's Recent Form
Earlier this month, Yale played Dartmouth and Harvard on the road. The Bulldogs beat the Big Green 57-50, but they lost the following day to the Crimson, 76-56. Yale suffered another disappointing loss in its next game, 69-47 last week against Princeton. But the Bulldogs bounced back extraordinarily well. On Saturday, they handed the defending Ivy League champion Penn Quakers their first Ivy League loss of the season, 61-48. Against a normally stingy defense, juniors Jen Berkowitz and Mary Ann Santucci both recorded career-high scoring totals (26 and 15 points, respectively).
Saturday's game against Dartmouth marks the final regular-season home game for the senior class, so their careers will be celebrated on Senior Night. Lena Munzer, Meghan McIntyre, and Elizabeth Haley make up Yale's Class of 2017. Munzer leads the team in assists (2.7) and ranks second in points (13.0) and rebounds (6.5) per game this season. McIntyre has hit more 3-pointers (110) than any other Yale player since she joined the team. Haley is the team captain, and she helped spark the team in her first career start against Penn last Saturday, when she played a career-high 36 minutes in the win.
Shooting Key to Success
No statistic has been a better predictor of wins and losses for Yale this season than field goal percentage. Yale is 12-1 when shooting a higher percentage than its opponent and 0-10 when shooting a lower percentage. Yale has managed four wins when being outrebounded and has lost twice when outrebounding its opponent, but shooting has been a much more reliable indicator of the final outcome.
Report on the Harvard Crimson
Harvard (19-4, 7-3 Ivy) had a fantastic start to the season, led by star shooter Katie Benzan. The freshman leads the Ivy League with a .948 free throw percentage and 64 three-pointers made (2.8 per game). She also leads the team with 13.3 points per game. Fellow freshman Jeannie Boehm ranks second in the Ivy League with 2.6 blocks per game and second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. Harvard's young talent led the Crimson to a 16-game winning streak following a season-opening loss at Minnesota. Since then, Harvard has looked more vulnerable, going just 3-3.
Report on the Dartmouth Big Green
After finishing fourth a year ago with a 7-7 Ivy League record, Dartmouth (6-17, 1-9 Ivy) has struggled this season. The Big Green ranks last in the Ivy League in scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, and rebounding margin. Dartmouth enters the weekend on a 6-game losing streak.
Kate Letkewicz ranks second in the Ivy League in 3-point percentage at .425 (45-for-106). Letkewicz (10.9), Fanni Szabo (10.7) and Isalys Quinones (9.9) all rank in the top 20 in the Ivy League in points per game.
Yale will be taking part in the Play4Kay initiative on Friday against Harvard. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund's initiative honors Hall of Fame women's basketball coach Kay Yow and aims to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, with a focus on cancers that affect women. Fans are encouraged to wear pink on Saturday in support of the initiative.
Yale closes out its regular season with road games against Cornell and Columbia. Yale plays Cornell Friday, March 3 at 6 p.m. and Columbia Saturday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity