IF YOU MISSED IT SCORES
NCAAM Wisconsin 76 Minnesota 63
NCAAM Arkansas 78 South Carolina 74
NCAAW Wake Forest 85 Syracuse 79
SPORTS CAMILLA OPPERMAN ’16 SPECIALIZING STAR Following her career high-tying 9.825 on the floor exercise, Opperman was named the ECAC Specialist of the Week for the second time this season. Opperman’s fourth-place finish was also the highest for any Yale gymnast on Friday.
NHL Flyers 3 Blues 1
RYAN HITCHCOCK ’18 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR In his first season at Yale, Hitchcock tied for the team lead with 12 assists and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. His head coach, Keith Allain ’80, was named the Ivy Coach of the Year, and three teammates were named to the All-Ivy first team.
NHL Wild 2 Capitals 1
FOR MORE SPORTS CONTENT, VISIT OUR WEB SITE yaledailynews.com/sports
“I feel like we are all ready and itching to play against another color jersey.” GREEN CAMPBELL ’15 BASEBALL
YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2015 · yaledailynews.com
Ivy title hangs in the balance BY ROBERT HESS II CONTRIBUTING REPORTER March Madness is epitomized by a matchup between two Ivy League juggernauts duking it out for their conference crown. That matchup comes to life on Friday, as Yale takes on Harvard in perhaps the program’s biggest game in 13 years, before the Bulldogs travel to New Hampshire to take on Dartmouth in their regular season finale. Heading into the final weekend of the Ivy League basketball season, Yale (21–8, 10–2 Ivy) and Harvard (20–6, 10–2) sit atop the standings with matching 10–2 conference records. On Friday night, these Ancient Eight frontrunners will square off in front of a sold-out crowd at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, and a win would put Yale in prime position for its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1962. “The opportunity to play in
the NCAA Tournament for Yale would be a dream come true,” forward Sam Downey ’17 said. “But right now, all that matters is just focusing on our game plan and playing our best in these next two games.” Yale travels to Harvard fresh off winning back-to-back home games against Princeton and Penn. In both contests, the Elis trailed by three at halftime before being carried by forward Justin Sears ’16 in the second half. Over the weekend, Sears collected nine offensive rebounds, providing his teammates vital opportunities for second-chance points. For his efforts, the junior from Plainfield, New Jersey earned Ivy Player of the Week honors, his fifth such award this season and 10th of his career. The Crimson, on the other hand, struggled in a loss at Cornell last Friday, which caused them to drop into a first-place tie with the Bulldogs. Harvard
shot 25.4 percent from the floor in that contest, as Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders, the team’s leading scorers, were held to 9–31 shooting. But on Saturday, Harvard bounced back by shooting a scorching 58.7 percent in an 80–70 win again Columbia. Everyone who follows the Ivy League knows what is at stake tonight: the coveted conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Although this is the penultimate game for both teams — the Bulldogs travel to Dartmouth on Saturday, while the Crimson hosts Brown — it has the feeling of a championship game. Despite the hoopla surrounding the game — some Harvard students camped out to receive tickets; ESPN has plans to use live coverage during SportsCenter and Harvard has had to bring in extra bleachers — the players SEE MEN’S BASKETBALL PAGE 8
Baseball faces 15 games in 15 days BY ADAM JENKINSON CONTRIBUTING REPORTER The Yale baseball team will spend plenty of time in the sun over spring break despite not being on vacation, as they travel south to take on some of the best college baseball teams America has to offer.
BASEBALL Beginning this Friday, the Elis embark on an extensive road trip, mixed with two short home stints. Over the two-week vacation, the Bulldogs will play 15 games, including a critical game against Duke on March 10. “Being successful on the spring trip for any Ivy League team is always a statement that northeastern teams can play, even being prohibited from practicing on a baseball field for months,” centerfielder Green Campbell ’15 said.
Such prohibition was evident this week, as a game against the University of New Haven, which was supposed to be the season and home opener for the Bulldogs, was canceled due to the heavy snow. This delay made many players want to play even more. Several players interviewed said they are ready to see if the hard work they put in this winter will translate to a higher level of play. “Of the 301 Division I college baseball teams, we are the last team to start,” catcher Robert Baldwin ’15 said. “The extra practice has allowed us to fine-tune our fundamentals, but has left us yearning for outside competition.” The first opponent Yale will face this season is the University of Richmond Spiders (5–3), with the game being played at Davidson University this Saturday at noon. Later in the afternoon, the BullSEE BASEBALL PAGE 8
JULIA HENRY/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Yale’s first Ivy loss of the year was to Harvard in a 52–50 nail-biter that came down to the final seconds.
Tennis travels for upcoming tests BY JACOB MITCHELL CONTRIBUTING REPORTER Rest and relaxation are not on the agenda for the Yale men’s and women’s tennis teams over spring break. Both teams will be in action as the men’s team prepares for nine matches over the next two weeks and the women’s team prepares for four contests.
TENNIS The men’s team has not competed since traveling to Virginia two weeks ago, but they will kick off spring break by hosting Fairleigh Dickinson, Marist and Stony Brook on March 7 and March 8. The Bulldogs will compete in matches against the other schools on both of the two days, and they will then travel to Loyola Marymount on March 14. Improvement will be the theme for the Elis, who have already
compiled a 6–3 record thus far in the season, including impressive wins over George Washington and William and Mary. However, the team is focused on gaining momentum for Ivy League play that begins next month. “Coming into spring break, we know we are going to have to train hard if we want to compete in the Ivies,” Stefan Doehler ’18 said. “We’ve had some solid wins in the season so far but we definitely know we can do better, and spring break will be a perfect time to work on what we need to improve.” The cold, snowy weather in New Haven also has some members of the team circling March 15 and March 19 on their calendars. The Bulldogs will travel to Irvine and San Diego to face the Portland Pilots and the Utah Utes, respectively. “The team is very excited to SEE TENNIS PAGE 8
JOEY YE/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
The men’s tennis team will head to the sun to take on Portland and Utah in Irvine, California and San Diego.
Bulldogs end year at home BY JULIA YAO STAFF REPORTER After falling to the top two teams in the Ivy League — firstplace Princeton and runner-up Penn — the Yale women’s basketball team will complete the last weekend of its regular season by facing Harvard on Friday night and Dartmouth on Saturday.
GRAHAM HARBOE/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
After a cancelled opener against New Haven, the Elis will be the final Division I team to begin competition.
STAT OF THE DAY 53
OLUFOLAKE OGUNMOLA/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Captain Sarah Halejian ’15 is 10th on the Yale all-time scoring list, with 1,226 points.
The games come on the heels of a tough run for the Bulldogs (12–14, 6–6 Ivy) — the team has lost six of its last seven games, and currently ranks fourth in the Ivy League. “It’s an important weekend because not only is it our last weekend of [the] season, but we have the potential to get third place in the Ivy League, something we haven’t done in a couple of years,” guard Meg McIntyre ’17 said. Additionally, Saturday’s game
is senior night, when captain and lone senior Sarah Halejian ’15 — 10th on Yale’s all-time scoring list with 1,226 points — will be honored for her contributions to the team. The Elis will face stiff competition this weekend. Tied for second place in the league, Harvard (12–14, 5–7) came away with two wins over Cornell and Columbia in Cambridge during the past weekend. Leading the team in scoring is 6’4” senior forward Temi Fagbenle, who averages 14.3 points per game, enough for sixth in the conference. Fagbenle was named to the All-Ivy first team last year and has earned 14 Ivy League weekly awards in her career. Joining Fagbenle in doubledigit scoring are fellow senior forward and co-captain Erin McDonnell and junior forward Annmarie Healy, averaging 13.2 and 12.9 points per game, respectively. As SEE W. BASKETBALL PAGE 8
YEARS SINCE THE YALE MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM LAST MADE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. With wins this weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth, or with a win over Harvard and a Crimson loss to Brown on Saturday, the Bulldogs would clinch a bid to the Big Dance.