By Marcus McLin

Staff reporter

After a rough start in Ancient Eight competition this season, a much-needed win appears to be within reach for the women’s basketball team.

The Bulldogs (3-14, 0-4 Ivy League), who are still seeking their first league victory, will host Columbia and Cornell on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Captain Morgan Richards ’05 has been strong for the Bulldogs during the conference season, averaging 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds during conference play.

Eli center Erica Davis ’07 still leads the squad overall with 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Davis also leads the league with 35 blocks, just six shy of breaking her own single-season school record.

Speaking of records, Eli guard Tory Mauseth ’05 is getting closer and closer to the Yale career three-pointer record, needing only four more from beyond the arc to pass Autumn Braddock ’99’s mark of 157.

Though these records will almost certainly be broken, the Bulldogs know they have to keep their main focus on the more important issues of the season: Winning games and getting back into the middle of the conference.

After the two tough back-to-back losses to Brown and a 53-40 decision to the University of Pennsylvania last weekend, the Bulldogs finally looked like they were getting their act together in a strong second half against Princeton.

Although the Tigers (9-6, 1-1 Ivy) edged Yale with a 56-52 win, the Elis walked off the court feeling more confident in their own performance and potential.

“I think we can definitely beat [Cornell and Columbia] after seeing the way we played against Princeton,” Yale center Sarah Zoubek ’08 said. “Furthermore, we’ve looked over their profiles and found out that we can take advantage of Cornell’s and Columbia’s tendency to fall short late in the season.”

After getting a taste of what the Elis need to win, the Bulldogs cannot wait to test their newfound limits on the Lions (9-8, 2-2 Ivy) and the Big Red (2-15, 0-4 Ivy).

Yale’s last encounters with Columbia and Cornell were both very successful. The Elis took a 56-50 decision in last year’s season finale against the Lions and dominated the Big Red with an 83-60 win.

As time changes, so do the players and the outcome of this weekend’s games may not be the same as last season’s. But the Bulldogs are definitely hoping to continue their success against Columbia and Cornell starting Friday evening against the Lions.

Columbia had a great start to its conference season, winning both of its games against Cornell, but slowed down after losing its next two to Dartmouth and Harvard. Guard Susan Kern leads the Lions, averaging 9.8 points per game this season while forward Adia Revell is averaging 10.0 points per game in Ivy play.

Like the Bulldogs, Cornell is also looking for its first Ivy win, but the Big Red has been struggling even more than the Elis. Currently ranked last in the Ancient Eight, Cornell will actually be the underdog in Saturday’s game. The Elis will have to keep a look out for Cornell guard Lindsay Krasna, who is averaging 12.0 points per game, and Claire Perry, who averages 10.8 ppg and has totaled 33 steals this season.

“Our whole team is pretty angry about starting out 0-4 in conference,” Eli guard Chinenye Okafor ’07 said. “We all have been telling ourselves, ‘Enough is enough. We’re tired of this nonsense and we’re going to finish this weekend 2-4.'”

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