The women’s basketball team achieved a trio of sweeps this weekend: a weekend sweep, a Dartmouth sweep and a Harvard sweep.
The Bulldogs (13–13, 9–3 Ivy) defeated Dartmouth (7–18, 3–8) on Friday night and Harvard (16–9, 8–3) the next day, repeating the sweep that they completed on Feb. 11 and 12 at home.
The two wins lifted the Elis up to second place in the Ivy League standings with just two games left in the season. Yale currently trails first-place Princeton (21–4, 10–1) by one-and-a-half games.
The Elis kicked off the weekend in Hanover, N.H., where they used a strong defensive and shooting performance to power past Dartmouth and earn a 70–45 victory.
“When we’re hitting on all cylinders like that, we’re really tough to beat,” head coach Chris Gobrecht said. “We were really committed to getting the job done defensively, and we also knocked some shots down, so that’s a tough combination.”
Forwards Mady Gobrecht ’11 and Ericka von Kaeppler ’13 each scored 13 points to lead the Bulldogs. Gobrecht also added six rebounds and six assists. Forward Michelle Cashen ’12 grabbed a game-high 10 boards and scored eight points, while guard Allie Messimer ’13 finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Elis shot 42.2 percent from the field in the contest and also won the battle of the boards by a 49–32 margin.
Guard Faziah Steen paced the Big Green with 12 points and three assists, but the Dartmouth squad shot just 27.8 percent from the floor in the effort. The Bulldogs opened the game by sinking three consecutive three-point shots to jump out to an early 9–0 lead at the 14:37 mark.
Four minutes later, Cooper hit a jumper that narrowed the deficit to 15–7, but the Elis responded by scoring nine unanswered points to go up 24–7 with 5:40 left in the half.
Still, the Big Green battled back and went on a 9–4 run to cut Yale’s lead to 28–16. But captain Yoyo Greenfield ’11 drained back-to-back three-pointers to give the Bulldogs an 18-point advantage at the 1:29 mark — a margin it brought into the locker room at halftime.
“I think we played really good defense, and we forced a lot of turnovers, which turned into fast breaks,” Greenfield said. “We really pushed the ball tonight, and everyone also shot well, so that helped a lot.”
The Bulldogs continued to be the dominant team throughout the second half and pushed their lead to as high as 30 points after guard Aarica West ’13 sank a shot from beyond the arc at the 5:16 mark.
Though the Big Green closed out the game with a 6–1 run over the final 4:30, it could not overcome the deficit, and the Elis were able to come out with their second win over Dartmouth this season.
“I think it’s a great time to be reaching our peak and playing as well as we can be, especially going into [Saturday]’s game and our last two games,” Greenfield said. “It gives us confidence, and we’re all really pumped about tomorrow night.”
The next day the Bulldogs traveled to Cambridge for a showdown with archrival Harvard. The Bulldogs used a strong first half to build a 10-point lead at halftime and made clutch plays in the second half to stay in control of the game and come away with a 78–64 win.
It was the first time the Elis had won at Cambridge since 2001 and the first time they had swept the season series since 1994.
“This win is awesome,” Vasquez said. “It means so many things. It was an emotional win that put us at .500 for the season, and we’ve swept Harvard. It’s been a long time since our program could say that.”
Vasquez recorded 23 points to lead all scorers and also added seven rebounds in the effort. Cashen totaled 17 points and eight boards, while forward Janna Graf ’14 tallied 13 points. West chipped in with seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals.
The Bulldogs also won the battle of the boards for the second night in a row, outrebounding the Crimson 40–33.
Harvard was led by forward Emma Markley, who finished with 17 points. Guards Victoria Lippert and Brogan Berry added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The game started off with both teams trading baskets for the first four minutes of the contest. But the Elis took control of the game after a layup from Gobrecht gave the them their first lead of the game and sparked a 19–4 run that gave Yale a 27–10 edge with 8:47 left in the half.
The Crimson countered with six unanswered points to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 27–16, but Messimer sank a shot from downtown to end the run and push Yale’s advantage up to 14 at the 3:15 mark. Still, Harvard closed out the first half with back-to-back layups from Elise Gordon that pulled the Crimson within 10 points at halftime.
Harvard continued to battle in the second half and went on an 11–3 run to reduce the deficit to four points with 8:28 left on the clock. But Vasquez came through for the Elis and drained a three-point shot and converted a three-point play to give Yale a 53–43 edge.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to the score,” Vasquez said. “I was just trying my hardest to attack the Harvard defense. I knew that they were vulnerable on transition defense, so I took advantage of the opportunity.”
The Crimson pulled within six points after Lippert hit a shot from beyond the arc with 1:14 left on the clock, but they would get no closer, as the Elis knocked down the shots they needed from the charity stripe to maintain their lead and emerge with the 78–64 victory.
“Beating Harvard anytime is a pretty cool thing, and to be able to do it twice in one year is pretty special,” coach Gobrecht said “It’s a compliment to them that it’s a big deal, that’s how much success their program has had. That’s kind of where the bar is, so you feel really good when you’re able to measure up.”
The Elis close out the season this weekend when they host Columbia and Cornell. Both games are scheduled for tip-off at 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater.