WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Elis see off seniors with win

Guard Allie Messimer ’13 made two of three 3-pointers in Friday’s win over Columbia.
Guard Allie Messimer ’13 made two of three 3-pointers in Friday’s win over Columbia. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

The women’s basketball team swept their final pair of home games this weekend as they said farewell to seniors Allie Messimer ’13 and Megan Vasquez ’13.

After a 66–49 victory over Columbia (4–21, 2–9 Ivy) on Friday night, the Bulldogs (12–14, 7–5 Ivy) sent their seniors out on a high note with a 71–64 win over Cornell (11–14, 3–8 Ivy) on Saturday evening.

“It was amazing to see all our friends and family in the stands who came to support Allie and I on senior night,” Megan Vasquez ’13 said. “My teammates gave it their all to make sure it was the perfect night and it truly was.”

Vasquez led the team in scoring with 18 points and six rebounds in her final home game in the Bulldog uniform. Yale shot 43.3 percent from the field and was 6–18 from beyond the arc.

Cornell put the Bulldog defense to a test as three of their players scored in double-digits, with both Allyson DiMagno and Spencer Lane posting double-doubles. The Big Red out-rebounded the Bulldogs 44–42 and accumulated 46 total points inside the paint.

Both teams started slowly in the first half, but the Elis sprung the game open with a 10–2 run to end the first half and went into the break up 28–17.

Coming out of halftime, the Big Red stormed back to take the lead at 36–35 after Lane was fouled on a layup and converted the and-one free throw with 12:25 remaining in the game. Vasquez responded with four points over the next two minutes to pull the Bulldogs back ahead, but Lane made another layup with 8:32 remaining to knot the game at 43. From that point on, it was all Yale as guard Sarah Halejian ’15 hit a 3-pointer to key a 16-6 run that put the game out of reach.

“All around [Cornell] played a solid game, but we played as a team and had a lot of balanced scoring which was key to the win,” Halejian. “They got a lot of buckets down the stretch, but we just kept pushing and scoring.”

Halejian had 17 points against Cornell and currently leads the team in scoring overall, averaging 14 points per game. Both Janna Graf ’14 and Meredith Boardman ’16 had notable contributions this weekend with 16 and nine points, respectively, against the Big Red.

On Friday, the Elis took advantage of a weak Columbia defense and an effective transition game to complete the sweep of the Lions this season. In the first half, Yale broke a 17–17 tie at the eight minute mark with a crucial 9-1 run and went into the locker room with a 33-26 lead.

Yale dominated the boards against Columbia, out-rebounding the Lions 37–33 and getting 28 points in the paint. After an early second-half battle, the Bulldogs outscored Columbia 22–14 in the final ten minutes of the game, led by Graf who had 19 points total.

The Bulldogs have won five of their past six games and are hoping for a strong finish among the top three teams in the Ivy League. Captain Allie Messimer attributed the recent wins to the Elis’ offensive consistency and good team dynamic.

The seniors will play their final two games on the road next weekend to close out the 2012-’13 season.

“The final home game was bittersweet,” captain Allie Messimer ’13 said. “It was sad to think I’ll never play in that gym again, but the team made it special and the fact that we won was awesome.”

Yale will face Princeton on Friday, March 8 and Penn next Saturday, March 9.

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