After finishing a home stand of games against some of the Ivy League’s elite, the women’s basketball team will pack its bags and take on the challenge of playing on the road this weekend.
In the last three games, the Elis (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) dropped tough games to Harvard (12-7, 4-1), Dartmouth (10-9, 5-0) and Cornell (7-11, 3-3), the teams that were picked as preseason numbers one, two and three, respectively. With games against Princeton (8-11, 3-2) and Penn (4-15, 1-4) this weekend, Yale will face two up-and-coming teams in the Ivy League that should provide a good road challenge.
Up first will be the Tigers, who are coming off a two-game winning streak after sweeping a weekend with Columbia and Cornell to grab third place in the Ancient Eight. Two Princeton players also picked up Ivy League honors this past week for their strong play against the Lions and the Big Red. Whitney Downs went for a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc and shot an astounding 11-12 over the weekend on the way to earning Ivy League Player of the Week honors. Meanwhile, Devona Allgood averaged 12.5 points per game and 4.5 rebounds over that same span to claim Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.
The Tigers also boast the Ivy League’s current leader in three-pointer and free-throw shooting percentage, Addie Micir, who also leads Princeton in scoring with 12.5 points per game. Princeton is very much the dark horse of the Ivy League and could potentially make a run for the title if Dartmouth or Harvard slips up. A win against the Tigers would help the Elis kick off a slew of road games over the next few weeks.
On Saturday, the matchup with Penn will be a test of the Bulldogs’ stamina in playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road. The Quakers were ranked sixth in the preseason Ivy League coaches poll and picked up their first win of the season against Cornell last weekend, snapping an eight-game losing streak in the process.
Against Yale, Penn will be trying to continue that momentum by looking for leadership from the Ivy League’s best scorer, Carrie Biemer, who is averaging 17.6 points per contest. The Quakers also boast a three-point shooting threat from Kelly Scott, who is the only other Penn player to average double figures in scoring. If the Elis can battle fatigue and keep up their intensity, they should be able to pick up a win against the Quakers.
This weekend’s games represent a tough test for the Bulldogs. At 2-4 in the Ancient Eight, Yale is down, but not necessarily out, of the hunt for a league title. But in order for them to continue their campaign for the postseason, the Elis will have to triumph away from the John J. Lee Amphitheater for an extended span of three weeks.