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Columbia, Cornell at Lee this Weekend

The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's basketball huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale vs. Columbia Friday 6:00 p.m.

Yale vs. Cornell Saturday 5:00 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In second place in the Ivy League standings with six games remaining, the Yale women's basketball team welcomes a pair of league opponents to Lee Amphitheater this weekend. The Bulldogs host Columbia Friday (6:00 p.m., ESPN+) and Cornell Saturday (5:00 p.m., ESPN+).

Bulldogs Go4TheGoal to Fight Pediatric Cancer Saturday

The Bulldogs have partnered with Go4TheGoal, a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children battling cancer by providing financial support, developing and implementing unique hospital programs, funding innovative research and granting personal wishes. Donations will be collected at the marketing table at Saturday's game.

Go4theGoal was founded in 2006 by Richard Stefanacci's family after he was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. After a yearlong battle, Richard lost his fight with cancer just a few months shy of his 15th birthday.

Historic Win at Princeton Highlights Weekend

Yale (14-7, 4-2 Ivy League) registered another memorable win against Princeton on Friday night. The Bulldogs -- who beat the Tigers 73-59 at Lee Amphitheater last season to snap a 17-game losing streak in the series -- won at Jadwin Gym for the first time since 2009 by persevering for a 96-86 overtime victory. Princeton rallied from a seven-point deficit with 3:11 to play to force overtime, but the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 17-7 and outrebounded them 8-1 in the extra session for the win. Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) led the team in points with 33, a career high. The 96 points scored by Yale broke the school record by two.

On Saturday at Penn, the Bulldogs rallied from a 16 point deficit and got within two of the Quakers, but a Yale shot that would have tied the game came up short with 18 seconds left. Barahman led the team in points with 14.

We Love the 90s

In setting the school record for points in a game last Friday at Princeton, the Bulldogs scored 90+ points in a game for the 12th time in program history. Here are the team's top six scoring games:

  • 96 at Princeton 2/8/19
  • 94 vs. Hofstra 11/22/91
  • 94 vs. Marist 3/2/79
  • 93 vs. Princeton 3/2/84
  • 92 vs. Princeton 2/15/03
  • 93 vs. Fordham 12/9/86

Double-Digit Win Streak at Home

Yale has a 10 game winning streak at Lee Amphitheater, starting with a 69-63 win vs. Harvard on Feb. 17, 2018. Overall the Bulldogs have enjoyed a considerable home court advantage in recent years. They are 39-18 (.684) since the start of the 2014-15 season:

2014-15: 8-4 (.667)
2015-16: 10-5 (.667)
2016-17: 7-4 (.636)
2017-18: 8-5 (.615)
2018-19: 6-0 (1.000)

Yale is averaging 70.5 points per game in its six home games this season. The Bulldogs are averaging 62.5 points per game in their 12 road games, and 61.3 points per game in their three neutral-site games.

Bulldogs Seventh Nationally in Defensive Boards

Yale is seventh in the nation in defensive rebound rate (74.9%) per herhoopstats.com. The Bulldogs are 10th nationally in defensive rebounds per game (30.0).

Defense Trending Up

Yale is holding its opponents to a .360 shooting percentage this season, 32nd in the nation. That represents an improvement of 47 percentage points from last season, when Yale's opponents shot .407.

The Bulldogs are allowing only 60.8 points per game, a 4.1 points per game improvement compared to last season (64.9).

Roxy Watch

Junior guard Roxy Barahman (Calabasas, Calif.) is closing in on the 1,000 career point mark. She would be the 22nd Bulldog to accomplish that feat. Here is a look at her progress:

  • Current: 924 career points
  • Needs: 76 points
  • Averaging: 19.7 points per game
  • Projected to get to 1,000, at current average: Saturday, Feb. 23 at Harvard

Barahman is 28th in the nation in points per game (19.7). She is among the Ivy League's top 10 in:

  • Points per game (1st, 19.7)
  • Steals per game (2nd, 2.1)
  • Field goal percentage (6th, .415)
  • Assists per game (7th, 3.7)
  • Rebounds per game (10th, 6.7)

Here are her highs for the season in select categories:

  • Points: 33 at Princeton Feb. 8 (career high)
  • Rebounds: 14 vs. North Carolina A&T Dec. 29 (career high)
  • Assists: 6 (three times) (career high is 9, Feb. 9, 2018 at Columbia)
  • Steals: 5 at Princeton Feb. 8 (tied career high from Nov. 19, 2017 at Kansas)

Barahman is an ecology and evolutionary biology major in Davenport College at Yale and is a graduate of Oaks Christian.

Maund Earns Starting Spot

Senior forward Alexandra Maund (Dorchester, Mass.) made her second career start this past Saturday, a night after she scored a career-high 18 points while grabbing 11 rebounds in Yale's 96-86 overtime win at Princeton. That was her first career double-double, and it was the second straight Friday she set a career high in scoring -- she scored 17 in Yale's 65-62 win vs. Harvard Feb. 1.

Maund is on pace for career highs in points (5.4 per game) and rebounds (3.6 per game). A women's gender & sexuality studies major in Saybrook College at Yale, she is a graduate of Noble and Greenough School.

Gorman Faces Vero Beach High School Teammate

Junior forward Megan Gorman (Vero Beach, Fla.) will face another Vero Beach High School alum this weekend in Cornell junior guard Caitlyn Smith. At Vero, Gorman was a four-year starter and three-year captain. She helped the team to the 2016 Florida 8A State Championship. Gorman returned to Vero Beach High's gym earlier this season, as the Bulldogs practiced there following their appearance in the FAU Holiday Classic in Boca Raton.

Gorman is on pace to establish career highs in rebounding (8.0 per game), scoring (7.1 points per game), assists (1.9 assists per game) and blocks (0.5 per game). She is fourth in the Ivy League in rebounding.

Gorman is an economics major in Trumbull College at Yale.

Yale Wins Emsbowl I

First-year forward Camilla Emsbo (Lakewood, Colo.) faced her identical twin sister, Kira, when Yale played Princeton last Friday. The two played together at Lakewood High, and they were profiled in the Denver Post. The Bulldogs won Friday's meeting 96-86 in overtime, with Camilla grabbing seven rebounds and scoring six points. The two teams meet again in New Haven on Mar. 9, the last game of the regular season.

Emsbo has won five Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards. She is second in the league in blocks per game (1.9) and third in the league in rebounds per game (8.7). She is second on the team in scoring (12.2 points per game). Emsbo is second in scoring among Ivy League rookies, trailing only Columbia's Sienna Durr (14.6 points per game).

Emsbo was a five-star ESPN recruit out of Lakewood High, and ESPN ranked her as the No. 34 best recruit in the country (sixth-best at her position). She was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Colorado. She is in Branford College at Yale.

Bulldogs Move Up in RPI

Yale is now the second-highest ranked Ivy League school in the NCAA RPI rankings:

  • 69 Penn
  • 73 Yale
  • 84 Harvard
  • 94 Princeton
  • 200 Dartmouth
  • 227 Brown
  • 261 Columbia
  • 275 Cornell

The Bulldogs ended last season with an RPI of 90. Princeton (29), Penn (61) and Harvard (62) were the Ivy teams ranked higher.

Around the Ivy League

Four weekends remain in Ivy League regular season play. In addition to Yale and Brown hosting Columbia and Cornell this weekend, Dartmouth and Harvard host Penn and Princeton.

First-place Penn, at 5-0 in Ivy play, has a game-and-a-half lead on second-place Yale and Harvard -- they are both 4-2 in the league. Princeton, at 3-2, is the only other team with fewer than three league losses.

The top four teams in the regular season standings qualify for the 2019 Ivy League Tournament, which takes place at Lee Amphitheater Mar. 16 and 17.

Scouting Columbia

Columbia (6-13, 2-4 Ivy League) nabbed a 75-65 win vs. Harvard last Friday to get back into the thick of the race for one of the four spots in the Ivy League Tournament. The Lions' one-point loss to Dartmouth Saturday dropped them into sixth place, but they are just a game-and-a-half behind fourth-place Princeton. They feature one of the top rookies in the league in guard/forward Sienna Durr, who leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounding (6.2 rebounds per game). She is a four-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week selection.

Scouting Cornell

Cornell (7-10, 1-5 Ivy League), which plays at Brown Friday night, has lost five in a row -- though the last two were by just seven points to Dartmouth and Harvard. The Big Red features the third-best scoring defense in the Ivy League, allowing just 59.2 points per game. Cornell is second in the league in steals per game (9.76). Forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich, a transfer from Penn, leads the team in scoring (15.6 points per game).

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