Washington 104, Penn 67
This one was over before it started. The Huskies raced out to a 16-0 lead and never let up, maintaining a full-court press that Washington coach Lorenzo Romar kept up even when the Huskies built a 42-point lead. The Quakers needed to be lights out from deep and weren’t, hitting just six of 28 three-point attempts. It also seems Penn will be one of many Ivies – Columbia, Princeton and Cornell included – who will struggle defensively this season. Penn got open looks but could not convert, and its interior defense got exposed early and often. Probably won’t be the last time that happens, either.
Canisius 87, Cornell 62
Unlike Penn, the Big Red were very much in this one, enjoying a 38-36 lead early in the second half before Canisius took over. The Golden Griffins dropped 51 points on Cornell in the second half, and that’s simply much too much, especially when you know you’re not going to get much offense from your frontcourt to keep up. Cornell got outrebounded 47-31, and it’s really simple – defense and rebounding are important, and the Big Red don’t yet appear to have the personnel to keep pace in either of those areas.
Providence 94, Brown 73
Last season, Brown upset Providence, 77-67, and only misses Leland King from its list of substantial contributors from that game this season. Nevertheless, the Bears got a different result Saturday, struggling on the boards and losing steam as the second half wore on. Freshman guard Corey Daugherty disappeared for the second straight game, but freshman forward Travis Fuller picked up the slack, notching 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting and six rebounds in 24 minutes. This is a team very hard to get a handle on because the offense is going to be led by a different handful of characters each night. The good news is the turnovers seem to be down so far this year.
Princeton 75, Saint Peter’s 72
The up close confines of Dillon Gym welcomed back the Tigers with a gritty win, with the clear MVP being junior forward Henry Caruso and his 23-point, eight-rebound performance. The Tigers beat the Peacocks – something they failed to do last season – not with outside shooting but with balance, poise and defensive intensity. Nine different Tigers scored and seven different Tigers rebounded. Princeton never looked rattled, and at this early point, that’s enough.