The women’s basketball team heads into the toughest weekend of its season as it travels to both Princeton (19-6, 10-1 Ivy) and Penn (15-10, 8-3 Ivy) for the last two games of its Ivy League slate.
The Bulldogs (12–14, 7–5 Ivy) will enter their final pair of games three-and-a-half games behind first-place Princeton and one-and-a-half behind Harvard and Penn, which are tied for second. Though the Elis are eliminated from contention for both the Ivy League title and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament bid that comes with a second-place finish, they have won five of their past six games and are looking to finish the season playing their best basketball.
“I want these games to prove that we can play at the level that we know we can play at,” captain Allie Messimer ’13 said. “Both teams are really good, but I’d love to end the season on a great note.”
In their last meeting, the Tigers trumped the Elis in a 99–53 win, which was an all-time scoring record for the Tigers program. However, with recent wins at their backs, the Bulldogs are confident in both their offensive consistency and defensive aggression.
“[Princeton] has a lot of strengths,” guard Sarah Halejian ’15 said. “They hustle, but we just need to match their intensity.”
Halejian currently leads the Elis in scoring and has put up double figures in 24 of 26 games this season. She averages 14 points per game and is shooting 71 percent from the free throw line. Janna Graf ’14 and Megan Vasquez ’13, who both average over 10 points per game, are also big scorers for the Bulldogs.
The Quakers will have a difficult time holding on to their second-place spot as they face off against Yale and Princeton this weekend. Penn averages 36 percent from the field, trailing Yale’s 37.8 percent and Princeton’s 43.5 percent average.
“Penn has a lot really good players and is well rounded,” said Messimer. “They have a lot of people coming off the bench to pick up the slack and that makes them harder to guard.”
Junior guard Alyssa Baron averages 14 points per game, tied for fourth in the Ivy League alongside Halejian. Baron leads the Quakers in rebounding with 6.2 per game and will test the Bulldog defense with her 37.3 percent shooting average.
The Bulldogs will be vying for a top-three finish in the league this weekend as seniors Megan Vasquez ’13 and Allie Messimer ’13 suit up for the Elis for the final time.
“We just want to play our best games of the season and finish out the best we can, said Janna Graf ’14. “We want to be proud of what we’ve spent the last five months working on.”
Yale will take on Princeton on Friday and Penn on Saturday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.