Yale Athletics

On Saturday the Yale women’s basketball team (11–12, 5–5) lost 74–46 to the Columbia University Lions (19–4, 8–2) at the Levien Gymnasium in New York, New York.

Columbia came into the game ranked first in the Ivy League standings with an offense averaging more points per game than any other Ancient Eight team. Their offense was on full display in the first half against Yale, as the Lions shot ahead of the Bulldogs with a 14–0 run. Yale could not overcome the 14-point swing despite scoring almost twice as many points in the second half as they did in the first. Nyla McGill ’25 led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounds as she recorded her third double-double in a row.

“I think that Columbia applied great defensive pressure and really tried to force us outside of our comfort zone,” said Jenna Clark ’24. “I think we just settled in the second half offensively and felt a bit more comfortable.”

The Bulldogs’ 29-point second half was due in large part to their performance at the free-throw line. Yale made eight free throws in the second half as opposed to one free throw in the first.

Columbia’s offense outshined Yale’s in the second half, as the Lions also picked up their free throw shooting. Columbia made 15 free throws and added on three three-pointers in the last half.

“Columbia is a very high scoring team with lethal shooters and very athletic individuals.” McGill wrote to the News. “On the athleticism end, their post players are very mobile and touch the rim with ease… this also made the rebounding battle tough.”

Columbia’s athleticism could not keep the Bulldogs from rebounding, as Yale finished the game with just as many boards as the Lions. Both teams grabbed 38.

McGill accounted for 11 of Yale’s rebounds. She also finished the night with 15 points, which earned the sophomore her third double-double in a row.

“She just outworks everybody,” said Grace Thybulle ’25. “Nyla goes in with the mindset that every rebound and every loose ball is hers. The scoring comes naturally as a consequence of that but her main objective is never to score, just to work hard.”

Yale will look to push their Ivy League record back above .500 in their two home games against the University of Pennsylvania (15–8, 7–3) and Princeton University (17–5, 8–2) this weekend. 

Penn stands at third in the Ivy standings and has won their last two games. Princeton is second in the standings and has won their last nine games.

“We just need to be really tough and gritty and play together as a team for the full forty minutes,” said Avery Lee ’25.

The game against Penn will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and the game against Princeton will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be in John J. Lee Amphitheater 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.