The Yale women’s basketball team just keeps on winning. With two victories over the weekend, the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to eight games — the longest win streak in program history.
Yale (14–3, 4–0 Ivy) squared off against Columbia (11–6, 2–2) in the Big Apple on Friday night. Although the Elis were up by just three points at the break, they unleashed their offensive firepower in the second half en route to a 25-point victory.
Saturday’s game against Cornell (9–7, 2–2), however, posed an entirely new challenge. Down 14 points at halftime, the Blue and White staged an impressive comeback spearheaded by star guard Roxy Barahman ’20. With eight points in the fourth quarter, Barahman led the Elis to their eight consecutive win and their first 4–0 start to Ivy play since 2014.
The Bulldogs’ shooting ability took center stage against the Lions on Friday. As a team, the Elis shot 59.6 percent from the field — their highest percentage in a single game this season. However, the Bulldogs struggled to establish a substantial lead against the Lions in the early going. After Yale jumped out to an early 10–0 lead, Columbia responded with a 15–5 run of its own to close out the first quarter. In the second quarter, neither team could establish a significant lead, and the half finished with the Elis up 35–32.
Despite the narrow margin, the Blue and White emerged from halftime with confidence and energy. The Elis tallied 24 points in the third quarter, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. Guards Tori Andrew ’21 and Klara Astrom ’23 were responsible for nine of the team’s 13 three-pointers. Andrew made all six shots she attempted from long range, while Astrom hit three of four.
“On any given night, we know we have to have the confidence to be the aggressors on the offensive side of the floor,” Andrew said. “As a shooter, I know how much extra time I put in to work on my shot, and when it’s gametime it becomes muscle memory at that point. I also know my teammates and coaches have confidence in me and want me to shoot it, and it helps space the floor out for driving opportunities.”
Even with a 12-point lead at the end of the third quarter, Yale kept its foot on the gas pedal and cemented the win with an impressive 25-point margin.
Although the fixture against the Lions was arguably the Elis’ best offensive performance of the season, there was no time to celebrate, as the Bulldogs shifted their focus to preparing for a challenging game against Cornell in Ithaca.
Saturday’s game against the Big Red was a tale of two halves. In the first quarter, the Elis went cold from the field, sinking just 28.6 percent of their shots. The Bulldogs also went the entire first half without sinking a three-pointer, and by the end of the second quarter, the Elis were down by 14.
The tide shifted after halftime, however. As shots started to fall, the Bulldogs developed more momentum. In the third quarter alone, the Blue and White shot 78 percent from the field and tied the game heading into the final period of play.
“We knew we didn’t have a very good offensive half in the first two quarters and trusted our shots would fall,” Barahman said. “We came out in the third quarter and put a lot more pressure defensively and also shot with confidence, which helped us close the gap. Once we had them tied going into the fourth, we knew it was our game.”
Barahman’s confidence heading into the fourth quarter was on full display as she went on to score eight of her 26 total points in just that frame alone. The senior point guard’s leadership, composure and offensive ability ultimately helped seal the comeback victory for the Blue and White.
“The comeback was truly a testament to our roster’s depth but also to the amazing leadership of our point guard – Roxy,” guard Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 said. “She put in the team on her back in the second half and had a will to win that was unmatched. When I saw the determination in her face, I just felt like there was no way we weren’t gonna win!”
Barahman ranks third in the Ancient Eight in scoring with 16.9 points per game. Forward Camilla Emsbo ’22 is not far behind with 15.4 points per game. Emsbo recorded a 24-point double-double against Cornell, her sixth double-double of the season.
At the end of the second weekend of Ivy play, the Bulldogs are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the league — Princeton currently sits at 3–0. The two teams face off on Feb. 14 at John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven.
Drew Beckmen | email@example.com