Yale started out the last week of the summer by announcing a new set of admission policies for recruited athletes in the wake of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal on Wednesday. Two days later, heading into Labor Day weekend, the athletic department followed with a posting of the women’s basketball schedule for the 2019-20 season.
Coach Allison Guth’s fifth season in charge of the Bulldogs features a strong 13-game non-conference schedule which will have her team facing nine teams that made the postseason in 2019. The Elis will challenge Mercer, North Carolina, Quinnipiac, and UCLA, which went to the NCAA Tournament, while taking on WNIT participants Fresno State, Loyola Marymount, Northeastern, Providence, and Sacred Heart.
The Bulldogs will start the season at home with two tough contests. On November 5, they face Providence, which made it to the round of 16 in the WNIT and defeated both Yale and Penn last year. Things won’t get any easier as they welcome Quinnipiac, a team that went 26-7 last year and earned its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Yale will head to southern California for three games over Thanksgiving week, a homecoming for senior first team All-Ivy guard Roxy Barahman. On November 26, the Bulldogs will play on the famed hardwood of Pauley Pavilion against UCLA, which was 22-13 and made it to the NCAA’s Sweet 16 a year ago. The team then heads to Loyola Marymount for the LMU Classic, where they will take on Fresno State on the 29th and the host Lions on the 30th.
During December, the Elis will host St. John’s on the 6th, looking to avenge last season’s 56-52 defeat, and travel down to Tobacco Road to take on former Princeton coach Courtney Banghart and her North Carolina Tar Heels on the 28th. (Fans of the Bulldogs may want to stay in Chapel Hill, as the men’s team will visit the Dean Dome two days later).
After closing their out-of-conference schedule at home against Mercer, the reigning two-time Southern Conference champion, on January 2, the Bulldogs will open its Ivy schedule against Brown on the 17th. Yale will then hit the road for the next five games, visiting the Bears, the Empire State Ivies, Harvard and Dartmouth.
The Elis return home for the next four games, starting with Princeton and Penn on February 14 and 15 and finishing a week later with Cornell and Columbia. Yale will split its last four games, traveling down to visit last year’s co-champions on the regular season’s penultimate weekend and finish at home against Dartmouth and Harvard on March 6 and 7.
Two season’s ago, Yale went 19-13, earning the No. 4 seed in the Ivy Tournament and winning the Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament. Last year, the Bulldogs started league play 5-2 and seemed on its way to another Ivy Tournament birth. The Elis only won one more game the rest of the way, ending with a 16-13 record and a tie for fourth place with Cornell and Dartmouth.
A season sweep at the hands of the Big Red kept the Bulldogs out of the Ivy Tournament and a chance to win the league’s automatic NCAA bid on its home court.
Yale loses Alexandra Maund and Gabby Nelson from last year’s squad. Maund was a major part of the rotation the last two years, mostly coming off the bench to give the frontcourt valuable minutes, points and rebounds. Coach Guth will bring in three new players, Klara Astrom, Jenna Clark, and Ayla Elam, to replace the recent graduates. In addition, the team will welcome back Ellen Margaret Andrews, who was the starting forward for the first five games before a season-ending injury at Cincinnati.
The 2019-20 edition of the Bulldogs will look to get back to the Ivy Tournament on the strength of their two stars, Barahman and sophomore forward Camilla Emsbo. Barahman led the league in scoring (18.6 per game) and assists (4.3 per game), while placing second in steals (two per game), and eleventh in rebounds (6.5 per game). Emsbo, the top-50 recruit from Colorado, earned a league-high seven Rookie of the Week awards, while ending her rookie campaign second in the conference in blocks (1.79 per game), fourth in rebounds (7.9 per game) and 15th in scoring (11 per game).
2019-20 Yale Women’s Basketball Schedule
11/5 Tue. vs PROVIDENCE
11/13 Wed. vs QUINNIPIAC
11/16 Sat. at Colgate
11/21 Thu. at University of Massachusetts Lowell
11/23 Sat. at Northeastern
11/26 Tue. at UCLA
11/29 Fri. vs Fresno State (at LMU Thanksgiving Classic)
11/30 Sat. at Loyola Marymount (LMU Thanksgiving Classic)
12/6 Fri. vs ST. JOHN’S
12/19 Thu. vs SACRED HEART
12/28 Sat. at University of North Carolina
12/31 Tue. vs WAGNER
1/2 Thu. vs MERCER
1/17 Fri. vs BROWN
1/25 Sat. at Brown
1/31 Fri. at Columbia
2/1 Sat. at Cornell
2/7 Fri. at Harvard
2/8 Sat. at Dartmouth
2/14 Fri. vs PRINCETON
2/15 Sat. vs PENN
2/21 Fri. vs CORNELL
2/22 Sat. vs COLUMBIA
2/28 Fri. at Penn
2/29 Sat. at Princeton
3/6 Fri. vs DARTMOUTH
3/7 Sat. vs HARVARD