WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Tori Andrew ’21, Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 reflect on Yale careers during final spring
After contributing to the team’s record-setting 19-win season last year, graduating seniors Tori Andrew ’21 and Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 leave behind a legacy of leadership and success for Yale women’s basketball.
Despite missing out on their senior season, women’s basketball guards Tori Andrew ’21 and Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 leave Yale with legacies that speak for themselves — both on the stat sheet and in the minds of their teammates and coaches.
When Andrew and Andrews arrived in the Elm City in fall 2017, they had an instant impact on the program. Andrews — who hails from Dallas, Texas — appeared in all 32 games her rookie season, tallying 7.4 points per game. Andrew — a St. Louis native — led the team in three-pointers and free-throw shooting en route to the program’s first ever appearance in the Ivy League tournament. In just their first season, both established what would become their hallmark traits as players — Andrews, who is a former staff reporter of the News, emerged as a gritty and tenacious presence on the court, and Andrew showed off her shooting ability and deep knowledge of the game.
“Tori and [Ellen Margaret] both stepped on campus and immediately made an impact on the program with just the talent they came in with,” last year’s captain and forward Megan Gorman ’20 said. “They’re both phenomenal players who, just with talent alone, have helped bring our program to a new place.”
Beyond their raw basketball talent, Andrew and Andrews impacted the program with their mentorship and leadership.
After a strong first season, Andrews faced a major setback her sophomore year. On Nov. 21, 2018, Andrews suffered an ACL injury that sidelined her for the remainder of the season. Despite the injury, Andrews affirmed her commitment to both the team and her recovery. Widely considered one of the most athletic and hardest-working players by her teammates, Andrews successfully recovered and reasserted herself as a dominant force on the hardcourt during her junior year.
“The experience of rehab and sitting out and all the additional work that I had to put in on order to be ready for junior year wouldn’t have been worth it if I didn’t love the team so much,” Andrews said. “I still thoroughly enjoyed my sophomore season because I got to participate and be on the team.”
While Andrews led from the sideline, Andrew cemented her status as a sharp shooter and a reliable scoring presence during her sophomore year. She once again led the team in free-throw shooting percentage and three-pointers scored in her second season.
Andrew is also cherished by her teammates for the passion and concern she has for others.
“She does a really good job of being there for people and connecting with people,” Gorman said. “That just speaks to who she is as a person and the type of friend she is, which makes her a great leader.”
Andrew and Andrews share a special relationship with head coach Allison Guth. Although Guth assumed the head coaching position just one year prior to the duo’s arrival on campus, Andrew and Andrews played crucial roles in the team’s achievements under Guth thus far.
After taking charge of the program, Guth challenged Andrew, Andrews and the rest of the team to set ambitious goals. Last season’s record number of wins was a product of both the upward trajectory of the program since Guth’s arrival and the raw talent on the team. In addition to tying the program record for wins twice during their careers, Andrew and Andrews also helped the team win a postseason championship after defeating University of Central Arkansas in the 2018 Women’s Basketball Invitational final.
“We set goals at the beginning of every season, some abstract, but some very concrete as far as wins and losses, specific teams we wanted to take care of within the conference,” Andrew said. “It was a constant conversation and something that we were actively pursuing.”
Andrew and Andrews also scored major program victories over Power Five teams during their junior season. In a three-point victory over the University of North Carolina last year, Andrews contributed 24 points and six rebounds to hand the Tar Heels their first home loss of the season.
Forward Alex Cade ’22 — originally a member of Andrew and Andrews’s recruiting class — decided to take a year off to preserve her senior season. Both Andrew and Andrews, however, decided against time off to graduate on time and begin the next stage of their lives. Andrew plans to start law school this fall, while Andrews is heading to Newark, New Jersey to serve as an elementary school teacher as a part of Teach for America.
Although Andrew has not decided where she will be studying next fall, Andrews looks forward to traveling to New Haven regularly next season to support the Elis.
“I feel like I still didn’t fully get the Yale experience that I wanted my senior year, so I’m planning on sort of living vicariously through my teammates,” Andrews said. “I’m excited to move on to the next chapter, but also to be close to this community, this place and the team.”
Although the duo will not take the court at the John J. Lee Amphitheater next year, they leave behind a culture of winning that will translate into success for years to come. For Guth, Andrew and Andrews “will be some of the best players to have ever played at Yale.” After tying the program record for wins, reaching the Ivy League tournament in two out of three seasons and winning a postseason championship, Andrew and Andrews carry resumés that rival those of the best players who have come through the program.
“That’s the legacy they’re leaving — they lived our core values, they created new standards to our program,” Guth said. “They left this place better than they came.”
Yale women’s basketball finished with 19 wins and eight losses during the 2019-20 season.
Drew Beckmen | firstname.lastname@example.org