Yale Athletics

Over the past weekend, the Yale women’s basketball team (11–11, 5–4 Ivy) lost to Harvard University (14–7, 7–2 Ivy) on Friday night before beating Dartmouth College (2–21, 0–9 Ivy) the following evening.

The Bulldogs’ win over the Big Green snapped their three game losing streak and pushed the team’s conference record above .500.

“We have to be tough and when we take punches in games we need to punch back,” said Jenna Clark ’24. “We can’t let strength waver, we have to stay focused, level headed, neutral throughout games and especially in practices have good weeks leading up to the games.” 

Harvard pulled ahead of Yale in the second quarter, when they outscored the Bulldogs 19–4. Despite Yale outscoring Harvard 31–17 in the fourth quarter, they could not come within reach of the Crimson. The final score of the game was 67–54 Harvard. 

The loss did not overshadow the titanic performance of Nyla McGill ’25, who scored 17 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, four rebounds shy of the school’s single-game record. 

“My mentality is to go for any “loose” ball regardless of whatever opponent is nearby, knowing the team depends on second chance opportunities on the offensive end,” McGill said. “And on the defensive end it’s important to have pride in minimizing the amount of chances they have to score.”

McGill grabbed six of her 20 rebounds in the fourth quarter against Harvard. The Bulldogs carried their fourth quarter momentum into their game against Dartmouth as they outscored the Green 11–9 in the first quarter.

Dartmouth pulled ahead by three in the second quarter but Yale answered back in the third with an 11–0 run. Clark credited much of the third quarter swing to Yale’s full-court press.

“I honestly think the press was a huge proponent of it.” Clark said. “We were just working really hard, moving around really fast… we got a few steals and I think that changed the momentum for sure.”

Clark had 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds against the Green. McGill put forth yet another double-double with her 10 points and 12 rebounds. McGill also had 4 steals.

Seven of the 11 unanswered points came from Kiley Capstraw ’26, who has been averaging 10.1 points in her first year playing for the Bulldogs. She finished the game against Dartmouth with 12 points.

Brenna McDonald ’24 made her first career start during the game. McDonald scored nine points, four rebounds and four blocks.

“We played team basketball, everyone contributed something to the win, we had a lot of players on the board and that’s what made us the better team,” said Grace Thybulle ’25.

The Bulldogs will next play against Columbia (18–4, 7–2 Ivy) at 2:00 pm on Saturday in Levien Gymnasium in New York City.

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.