WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Bulldogs’ season well under way
Four games into season, the Yale women’s basketball team is 2–2.
The Yale women’s basketball team (2–2, 0–0 Ivy) has played three games since their season opener against Fordham on Nov. 7.
Last Friday night, the Bulldogs visited St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to match up against the Hawks (3–0, 0–0 Atlantic 10). Despite double-doubles from Grace Thybulle ’25 and Nyla McGill ’25, Yale lost 54–59. On Monday night, however, the Elis turned things around by beating Fairfield University (1–2, 0–0 Metro Atl.) 68–61.
The win earned first-year head coach Delila Eshe her first victory during her time at Yale. The Elis’ most recent contest was on Wednesday night, when they beat Army (1–3, 0–0) 71–66.
“I think [getting the first win] was awesome, it was great,” Eshe said. “I feel like more so for the team it was like pulling off that bandaid. It just started to mount the pressure of getting the first win so now we got it under our belt we can move on and hopefully do a lot more winning.”
The Bulldogs fell behind St. Joseph’s by 10 points in the first quarter, which the Hawks finished with a 50 percent field goal percentage. In the second quarter, Yale’s defense held St. Joseph’s offense to a much lower shooting percentage. By the end of the first half, the Hawks led by 29–20.
In the third quarter, Yale outscored St. Joseph’s by nine and brought the score to a 39–39 tie. The Hawks pulled away in the fourth and the Bulldogs could not catch up, losing the game 59–54.
Two Bulldogs set career highs in points and rebounds during the game. McGill finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds while Thybulle earned 16 points and 13 rebounds.
On Monday night, the Yale women’s basketball team beat Fairfield to earn Eshe her first win coaching the Bulldogs. Yale pulled away in the first quarter and kept Fairfield at bay for the rest of the game. The final score was 68–61.
Point guard Jenna Clark ’24 had to bring the ball up the court in the face of full-court defensive pressure from Fairfield guard Jinelle Brown, who swiped six steals on the night and also scored 21 points.
“[Brown’s defense] is definitely tough,” Clark said. “But I think we did a good job of helping each other and using her aggression against her and getting her into some foul trouble. I had a couple turnovers, she picked me off, but you know we just gotta work on that and keep moving from there because I think a lot of teams are going to put pressure on me bringing the ball up all year.”
The Blue and White found ways to match Brown’s intensity on defense.
Near the end of the game, when Fairfield was rallying for a comeback win, Mackenzie Egger ’25 took a charge to stop a Fairfield fast break and shift momentum into the Bulldogs’ hands.
“Those are the most important plays of the game,” said Kiley Capstraw ’26. “ I think that play right there really changed the game. It doesn’t matter how many points you score. You take that one charge, you’re the player of the game.”
Rookie Capstraw led the Bulldogs with 24 points on 6–13 shooting from the field. At the end of the game, the first-year secured the victory for Yale at the free throw line, where she went 10–12 on the night.
“I think the first few games I was nervous.” Capstraw said. “I definitely still had some of those freshman-y jitters, but I just knew that I had to step into my role and you know do what I can do and really just score the basketball.”
On Wednesday night the Bulldogs traveled to West Point to match up against Army (1–3, 0–0 Patriot). Yale won the battle by a score of 71–66. Five Yalies–Clark, McGill, Egger, Klara Aastroem ’24, and Elles van der Maas ’24–scored in double digits. McGill also pitched in ten rebounds, earning her second double-double of the season.
“Our bench is so deep and we have so much talent that anyone can go off and have a great game,” said van der Maas.
The Bulldogs are on the road this week for their next game at Maine on Saturday at 6 p.m.