While the women’s basketball team may be mathematically eliminated from the Ivy title, there is still plenty to play for this weekend.
In Yale’s (10-14, 3-7 Ivy) last pair of home games this season, the Bulldogs will take on Penn (6-17, 3-6) on Friday and then celebrate Senior Night with their final game in John J. Lee Amphitheater this season against Princeton (9-14, 4-5) on Saturday.
“The senior class has really done a good job of transferring the mentality of ‘we play to compete, we compete to win’ onto the next wave of players,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “That respect and love for our seniors will keep us going for the rest of the season.”
In addition to playing for the trio of seniors that includes captain and guard Jamie Van Horne ’09, guard Kaitlyn Lillemoe ’09 and forward Ashley Easley ’09, the Elis will also be playing for pride. This is a team that had great potential, but injuries have proved too great of a setback.
On Tuesday, the Athletics Department confirmed the loss of starting forward Haywood Wright ’10 for the rest of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in a win against Princeton earlier in the season. Since her injury, the Bulldogs have been just 1-3 despite the strong play of Yale’s other post players.
In the Elis’ most recent outing — a 77-61 loss at Columbia — forward Michelle Cashen ’12 played a career-high 34 minutes and posted her first career double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds while forward Victoria Perez ’11 also set a personal best with nine minutes played and scored the first four points of her collegiate career.
If the Bulldogs are to succeed this weekend, they will need to make up for Wright’s average 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a game, because both opponents have strong forward play. The Quakers boast Carrie Biemer, a big forward who can also shoot from the outside. Biemer is the league’s leading scorer at 17.9 points a game and was instrumental to helping Penn pull away from the Elis in their last encounter.
Meanwhile, the Tigers feature the inside-outside threat of Allie Micir, the league’s leading three-point shooter, and center Devona Allgood, who leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 boards a game. The Bulldogs escaped New Jersey with a last-second 56-54 win earlier in the season, but Princeton’s spread attack could pose problems for the Elis if Yale does not close out on shooters and suck down inside.
Tip-off for both games will be at 7 p.m. in John J. Lee Amphitheater, with Senior Night celebrations culminating on Saturday night.