Yale Athletics

After losing to Princeton University (14–5, 5–2), the Yale women’s basketball team (10–10, 4–3) has returned to ground zero — the practice gym — to prepare for their Friday night showdown against Harvard University (12–9, 3–4).

Saturday’s game against Princeton ended with a score of 79–30. The Bulldogs fell victim to Princeton’s defense and the scoring of Tiger first-year Madison St. Rose, who finished the night with 17 points. 

“I don’t particularly think we did anything well in terms of execution, we started out the gates strong but just progressively fell apart as the quarters progressed.” Nyla Mcgill ’25 told the News. “The team is very cognizant of the things we weren’t doing right, but we weren’t actually able to put it into action.”

Nevertheless, one Bulldog is getting national recognition for her contributions to the team. Jenna Clark ’24 learned on Monday that she is one of the top ten candidates for this season’s Nancy Lieberman Award, which the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coach give each year to the best point guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball. 

Past winners of the award include WNBA legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.

Clark has racked up 111 assists this year, which is the most in the Ivy League, 23 more than the next-best assist mark of 88. The junior also holds an Ivy League high in playing time with 36.5 minutes per game.

“It is surreal.” Clark said. “It’s such an honor to be considered with some of the best point guards in the country. I’m just taking it in.”

The award is in its 24th year. Its selection process lasts throughout the season. According to the Basketball Hall of Fame’s website, Lieberman and a selection Committee “of top women’s college basketball personnel” will vote for the winner. 

Fans will get a say in the matter, as the player who receives the most fan votes on Twitter will get one extra vote in the selection committee’s process. 

Clark and the rest of the squad will take their talents to Payne Whitney Gymnasium on Friday for their game against Harvard (12–9, 3–4).

In Yale’s last clash with the Crimson on January 7, the Bulldogs emerged with a 71–70 overtime victory. McGill led the Bulldogs with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Since then, Harvard has won three games and lost one. 

Yale enters the matchup on a two game losing streak, most recently falling to the University of Pennsylvania.

“Basically as a team we just need to be tougher.” Grace Thybulle ’25 told the News. “When it gets hard we have to push even harder and we have to do all that while playing as a team. We start to fall apart when our offense gets confused and turned around and our defense suffers when we’re not there to bail each other out, especially on tougher defensive assignments. We just need to work harder.”

The game against Harvard will be at 6:00 PM on Friday in John J. Lee Amphitheatre in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Henry Frech is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College majoring in history and hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah. He covers volleyball and women's basketball for the YDN. This semester, he is studying abroad in Mérida, Mexico.