The start of back-to-back Ivy weekends did not disappoint as we
were treated to some thrilling contests last night. Storylines abound at all levels of the league, so let”s just jump right in.
- The biggest story of the weekend was Columbia crashing out of the title race after getting swept by the Ps, just like old times. The Lions put forth a valiant effort on national TV against Princeton, but couldn”t convert late and went down 72-66 at Jadwin, falling to 1-3 on the young season. Despite a career night from Maodo Lo (16 pts) and only three team turnovers, the Lions couldn”t stop a hot shooting Tigers squad. Princeton shot 51% from the field and a scorching 73% (8-11) from three. Hummer was just 2-8 from the field, but made his impact in other ways, getting to the stripe and knocking down 12-14, and dishing out seven assists to go with seven rebounds. TJ Bray had another great performance, hitting 6-10 including 3-3 from deep and committing zero turnovers. Brendon Connolly, who has seen his minutes dwindle as of late, knocked down a pretty running hooking shot to put the game away late. Princeton continues its perfect homestand and moves to 3-0. Brown and Yale visit Jadwin next weekend.
- Speaking of the Bears, Brown almost threw its hat into the title contender ring but fell 89-82 in two overtimes at Harvard in an instant classic, as the Crimson improved to the most unconvincing 4-0 record in recent memory. Brown fought back from 22 down to get within 5 in the final minute. Sean McGonagill banked in a deep three to cut the lead to 69-67 as the Bears” magic kicked in again. Harvard”s inbounds pass was stolen by Matt Sullivan and Joe Sharkey got a deep look to tie, but it wouldn”t fall. The ball bounced to Sean McGonagill who rose up right at the buzzer from just inside the three point line and found nothing but net to improbably send the game to an extra session. In the first overtime, Christian Webster continued his late-game heroics, nailing a three with :38 left to break a 75-75 tie, but cold-blooded Steve Albrecht answered with a deep ball of his own and Wes Saunders” reverse layup rimmed out in the final seconds, sending the game to a second OT. Brown finally ran out of gas in the second OT as Webster hit another three in the first possession and Harvard never relinquished the lead, closing out the Bears 89-82.
- For the Crimson, Chambers was fantastic with 17 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds in 49 minutes. Saunders contributed 18 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Webster was Mr. Clutch with 16 points on 5-8 shooting. For Brown, McGonagill carried the load with 20 points and played all 50 minutes. Sullivan chipped in with 18 points. The Bears fall to 2-2 with both losses coming on the road in overtime.
- Penn blew a late lead on Saturday night that could”ve had the young Quakers in 3rd place this morning. Instead, Cornell escaped with a weekend split that moves the Big Red to 2-2. Galal Cancer nailed a jumper with ten seconds left to give Cornell the victory. Penn certainly didn”t do themselves any favors with three consecutive turnovers down the stretch, including a five-second call that gave Cornell the ball back after Cancer”s bucket. The Quakers seemed to have control of the game in the second half, holding a nine point lead with 12 minutes to go before a 12-0 Cornell run capped off by a Johnathan Gray three gave the Big Red a 57-54 lead. The game was tight the rest of the way as a Cartwright three wrestled the lead back for Penn with about two to play before Errick Peck”s two free throws tied the game at 69 and set the stage for the final drama.
- Cornell was led by perfect shooting from Errick Peck who was 8-8 from the field and 3-3 from the line for 20 points. Shonn Miller was pretty quiet with just 5 points and 2 rebounds in 29 minutes. The Big Red improves to 2-2 and will host Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend. Penn assisted on 24 of their 28 field goals, but the Quakers” 16 turnovers doomed them in the end. Patrick Lucas-Perry had 14 points on 5-10 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench. Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry both added 10, and Miles Cartwright had 8 points and 9 assists. Fran Dougherty injured his arm in the second half of just his second game back and was seen on the sidelines in a sling later in the contest. Penn falls to 1-2 on the season, and hosts Yale next Friday.
- Up north, Dartmouth got off the schneid with a comfortable victory, 71-62, over Yale on Saturday night. Jvonte Brooks was benched for the entirety of the contest but the Big Green responded with perhaps their most complete effort of the season to move into a tie for 6th. Dartmouth controlled this one pretty much the whole way. Apparently, the Big Green had a sloppy week of practice and coach Paul Cormier made sure his leaders paid the price after Friday”s loss at Brown. Gabas Maldunas and Brooks were benched for the start of the game for alleged selfishness. Cormier”s message paid dividends as his young team stepped up and shot 51% from the field and 92% from the line (22-24). Maldunas was dominant, going 8-10 for 16 points to go with 8 rebounds. Alex Mitola added 12 points; John Golden chipped in 11; and Connor Boehm had 10 points as the Big Green broke a seven-game conference losing streak to get to 1-3. After the game, Mitola had an interesting quote regarding the benching of Maldunas and co-captain Brooks, “Obviously, we’re a better team with (Maldunas and Brooks) on the court, but coach feels they aren’t buying in completely. I’m sure they’ll be motivated and they’ll prove themselves at practice and find their way back into the lineup.” We”ll see next week if Brooks can re-enter the good graces of Cormier.
- As for Yale, a solid performance in a loss at Harvard on Friday was quickly forgotten after the Bulldogs could only manage to shoot 35% from the field on Saturday, and were a miserable 21% from three. Austin Morgan had 20 points, but it took him 16 shots to get there, and Matt Townsend contributed a career-high 16 points to go with 6 rebounds. Yale got within 8 on a Townsend layup with 3:15 to play, but the Big Green went 11-12 from the line in the final minute to hold on. Yale falls to 1-3 after getting swept. The road only gets tougher next weekend as the Elis head south to the Killer P”s.