Yale-Colgate Tuesday 6:00 P.M.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 2018-19 season gets underway Tuesday night for the Yale women's basketball team, as the Bulldogs host Colgate (6:00 p.m., ESPN+). Coming off a season in which they set the school record for wins, the Bulldogs return three starters and a pair of players who averaged more than 10 minutes per game off the bench.
Bulldogs Coming Off Historic Season
Yale is coming off a historic season, as the Bulldogs set the school record for wins (19), became the first Ivy League team to win a national postseason championship (the Women's Basketball Invitational) and qualified for the Ivy League Tournament. The Bulldogs started the season strong -- going 7-3 in their first 10 games -- and ended the season with four straight wins to take the WBI title. That was one of two four-game win streaks, the longest streaks of the season.
Yale on the Offensive
Yale averaged 67.2 points per game last season, a 10 percent improvement over the previous season's average (61.1 points per game).
The 82 points the Bulldogs scored in the wins vs. Colgate and TCU last year 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.
Senior guard Gabby Nelson (Hurst, Texas) has been elected captain for the 2018-19 season by her teammates.
Nelson earned the captaincy by spending the past three seasons contributing in a wide variety of ways. She has played in 33 career games, including 17 last season. She was third on the team in three-point shooting, connecting on 32 percent of her shots.
A leader among Yale's reserves, Nelson played a critical role in one of the turning points of the 2017-18 campaign. She earned her first career start in the Bulldogs' 82-72 upset at TCU -- less than 15 miles from her home -- on Nov. 21. The Horned Frogs were ranked in the top 25 at one point last year, and the victory was part of a 7-3 start to the season for the Bulldogs.
Nelson is an economics major in Ezra Stiles college at Yale. She spent the summer of 2018 in New Haven, working for Yale women's basketball alum and 2010-11 captain Yosepha Greenfield '11. Nelson was a marketing and business development intern at the educational consulting company that Greenfield co-founded, InGenius Prep.
Barahman Honorable Mention All-Ivy
Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) earned honorable mention All-Ivy League honors after emerging as an impact player last season. She led the Bulldogs in assists per game (4.1) and was third in points per game (13.5) and rebounds per game (4.5).
Barahman reached a career high in assists with nine in the 73-50 win at Columbia Feb. 9. She set a career high with 12 rebounds in the WBI semifinal win vs. South Alabama Mar. 24. She scored a career-high 24 points at Binghamton Dec. 2. That was one of three times that season she reached the 20-point mark.
Barahman is in Davenport College at Yale and is a graduate of Oaks Christian. She is Yale's lone returning Ivy honoree, as first team All-Ivy League selection Jen Berkowitz '18 and Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Tamara Simpson '18 both graduated.
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 33-18 (.647) at John J. Lee Amphitheater. Here is a look at the team's home record in the past six 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: 8-5 (.615)
Yale set the school record for wins in a season (19) last year. Combined with the 15 wins from the 2016-17 season, that was the first time in school history Yale has won 15 or more games in back-to-back seasons. The Bulldogs' first varsity season was 1973-74.
Here are Yale's top eight seasons in terms of overall wins:
19 wins: 2017-18
17 wins: 1979-80
16 wins: 1993-94, 2011-12
15 wins: 1976-77, 1988-89, 1992-93, 2016-17
Yale's eight Ivy League wins last season were the most since 2012-13, when the Bulldogs went 8-6 in the league. The team record for league wins is 10. Here are Yale's seasons with eight or more Ivy wins:
10 Ivy wins: 1988-89, 2010-11
9 Ivy wins: 1986-87
8 Ivy wins: 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18
Ivy Women in National Postseason Tournaments
Yale's performance in the WBI last year ranks as the best performance by an Ivy League women's basketball team in any of the current national postseason tournaments. The Bulldogs were the first Ivy team to advance past the second round in any of those tournaments. Here are the best records by Ivy League teams in each of them:
TOURNAMENT (W-L, Team, Year)
Women's Basketball Invitational: 4-0, Yale, 2018
NCAA Tournament: 1-1, Two times
Postseason WNIT: 1-1, Seven times
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. The Bulldogs have improved their win total from season to season in each of the past three years and set the school record for wins with 19 last season. Yale won the WBI Championship -- becoming the first Ivy League women's basketball team to win a national postseason tournament -- and qualified for the Ivy League Tournament.
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.
Colgate (0-0, 0-0 Patriot) fell to Yale 82-56 when these teams met at Lee Amphitheater last year. The Raiders return all five starters from last year, plus guard Rachel Thompson -- who was a starter and played in 12 games before a season-ending injury. Forward Summer King is the team's top returning scorer (9.5 points per game).
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity