It was a ‘meh’ Valentine’s Day for Ivy basketball, with all four games being decided by eight points or more and no massive upsets:
Harvard 61, Cornell 40
The Crimson, previously on the wrong end of a 26-2 run against Dartmouth earlier this season, reeled off a 22-2 run of their own to shake off the Big Red. Senior guard Wesley Saunders somehow compiled eight rebounds but zero points in the first half, but steady efforts from senior forward Steve Moundou-Missi and sophomore guard Corbin Miller allowed Harvard to win with comfort. Cornell’s got an amply stout defense, but no offense when Shonn Miller isn’t clicking (and he didn’t at Lavietes, going 1-for-10 from the field).
Yale 81, Princeton 73
Who had sophomore forward Henry Caruso down for 25 points off the bench for Princeton? Doesn’t matter, because senior forward Justin Sears posted 25 points for Yale too and willed the Elis to this win down the stretch. An 11-0 Yale lead eventually dissipated and Princeton attained a 52-45 lead with 12:33 remaining, but freshman guard Makai Mason countered for Yale with a 5-for-5, 11-point performance off the bench. The Bulldogs had to hold serve in the Ivy title race against Harvard here, and they did.
Brown 71, Penn 55
Penn somehow managed to shoot 34 percent at home against the conference’s worst defense in Brown. The Quakers’ sometimes fabulous freshmen were held scoreless in the first half and junior guard Tony Hicks slumped to a 6-for-32 shooting clip in the past three games combined, picking up a technical foul out of frustration in the second half along the way. The Quakers seem out of answers at this point, but give credit to sophomore guard J.R. Hobbie for lighting them up from beyond the arc for 21 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 5-for-7 from downtown. Penn’s perimeter defense needs help fast, and so does its basketball program.
Dartmouth 61, Columbia 49
Senior guard Steve Frankoski led the Lions in scoring with 14, and that turned out to be a bad thing for Columbia. On the flipside, freshman guard Miles Wright is absolutely for real, leading the Big Green with 16 points for his fourth straight game with at least that many points. When the Lions shoot 30 percent from beyond the arc, their bread-and-butter area, and commit 17 turnovers on the road, this is what happens.