Sam Rubin '95

Although the pandemic cancelled their final season, women’s basketball guards Tori Andrew ’21 and Ellen Margaret Andrews ’21 graduate with the most impressive accomplishments of any women to take the hardcourt for the Blue and White.

After stepping on campus in fall 2017, Andrew and Andrews found themselves immersed in a changing program. Allison Guth had assumed head coaching duties the year prior, and expressed high aspirations for the team. In their first season, the guard duo contributed to a program record 19-wins as Andrews recorded 7.4 points per game and Andrew showed flashes of her shooting ability. Andrews, who is a former staff reporter at the News, appeared in all 32 games her rookie season before missing almost all of her sophomore campaign with an ACL injury. After returning from injury, the duo continued to elevate the Elis their junior year. Despite the season being curtailed last year due to the pandemic, they once again tied the program record with 19 wins.

“I actually think I look at both of those players, and they’ll be some of the best players to have ever played at Yale,” Guth said. “But to have gone through a pandemic and for Ellen Margaret to go through a season-ending injury in one of her years, they won’t have the stats that show that, but they have every team accolade to show the success in which they elevated our program.”

In her rookie season, Andrews displayed the qualities that had impressed Guth throughout the recruiting process: tenaciousness, competitiveness and heart. Appearing in all 32 games, Andrews injected the game with energy on both the offensive and defensive ends, grabbing 2.9 rebounds per game — including a season-high nine boards in the Elis’ victory over TCU. For Guth, the magic of Andrews’ game comes in the moments when she is not scoring the basketball. From grabbing steals to pulling in offensive rebounds, Andrews often provided a spark when the Blue and White needed it the most.

When Guth first recruited Andrew, she saw a naturally gifted player with a high basketball IQ and “one of the purest jump shots.” After tallying a team-high 44 three-pointers during her first season, Andrew emerged as a reliable scoring presence. In her next two seasons, she continued to lead the team in shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

Although Andrew and Andrews may be remembered by fans as a dynamic duo on the court, Guth and their teammates cite their leadership as the most enduring aspect of their legacies.

“I think that both of them together are a really great combination of amazing people, who are also incredible basketball players, great friends and teammates who want to do what’s best for those around them,” former captain Megan Gorman ’20 said. “All of those things make for great leaders.”

With enduring impacts both on the court and off, Andrew and Andrews “created new standards for our program,” according to Guth. After graduation, Andrews is headed down I-95 to Newark, NJ as a part of the Teach for America program, and Andrew is pursuing a law degree.

Although Andrews will not be stepping on the hardcourt next year in the Blue and White, she looks forward to visiting often to continue her involvement with the program.

“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.”

Without Andrews’ competitive spirit and Andrew’s sharp shooting, the Elis will need to fill some holes next year. Nevertheless, with Camilla Emsbo ’23 returning from a gap year during which she played with the Danish national team and Alex Cade ’22 entering her senior season after a leave of absence, the team will have some veteran talent to build upon the legacy of leadership and success that Andrew and Andrews are leaving behind.

Yale women’s basketball finished with 19 wins last year before the Ivy League tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19.