WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Penn and Princeton head to Yale

The Elis are led by guard Sarah Halejian ’15, who was recently ranked the fifth-leading scorer in the Ivy League, averaging 13.8 points per game.
The Elis are led by guard Sarah Halejian ’15, who was recently ranked the fifth-leading scorer in the Ivy League, averaging 13.8 points per game. Photo by Kamaria Greenfield.

After a frustrating start to its conference schedule, the women’s basketball team is heading into the weekend looking for a win.

The Bulldogs (6–12, 1–3 Ivy) will host both Penn (9–8, 2–1 Ivy) and Princeton (12–5, 3–0 Ivy) in the John J. Lee Amphitheater this weekend in hopes of climbing up in Ivy League standings. Falling to both Harvard and Dartmouth last week put the Elis two games behind both the Crimson and the Big Green, who are currently tied for second place in the league.

“If we play the game that we are capable of playing, I am confident that we can rise in the standings,” captain Allie Messimer ’13 said. “I honestly feel a lot of confidence coming from the team going into this weekend.”

Yale is currently averaging 37.5 percent from the field, which the team will work to improve in advance of this weekend’s games. The Bulldogs are led by guard Sarah Halejian ’15, who was recently ranked the fifth-leading scorer in the Ivy League, averaging 13.8 points per game.

Guard Janna Graf ’14 has also been a key player for the Elis and currently holds a 41.1 percent 3-point average, ranking her fourth in the Ivy League from beyond the arc.

“Offensively, we have been making a few changes that will move the ball better on offense and improve the quality of shots that we have been taking,” said Messimer.

Yale’s inside game will be put to a test this weekend. Averaging 43.1 percent from the field and picking up 44.7 rebounds per game, Princeton brings a strong presence under the basket.

“We’ve been working on throwing in to the post more and getting more ball movement,” Graf said.

Led by Alyssa Baron, who averages 14.3 points per game, Penn boasts a 70.1 percent average from the free-throw line. The Quakers also average 4.5 blocks per game, which will surely challenge Yale’s posts.

The Bulldogs are heavily reliant on center Zenab Keita ’14 and forward Meredith Boardman ’16, who pull an average of 4.2 and 4.3 rebounds per game, respectively. Yale has also focused on improving defensive efforts and averages 8.4 steals per game.

“Defense is something we have consistently gotten better at and can take pride in as a team. Everyone has made improvements along the way,” Graf said.

The Elis have 10 games remaining in their conference lineup and will continue seeking a NCAA tournament bid.

“In order to make postseason play we really need to win. It’s still possible but we need to play together,” Graf said.

Yale will take on Penn this Friday at 7 p.m. and Princeton this Saturday at 7 p.m.

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