Yale 77, Brown 68
As it did last season, Brown gave Yale a scare in New Haven, but not a loss.
Late free throws by Makai Mason and Jack Montague iced the game for the Elis, and Mason led Yale with 20 points in 32 minutes. Brown overcame an early 21-4 deficit to cut Yale’s lead to 37-31 at halftime. Cedric Kuakumensah, Tavon Blackmon and JR Hobbie combined for 50 of Brown’s 68 points and 15 of its 20 field goals. Brown and Yale combined for 49 fouls and 36 turnovers in what turned out to be a sloppy game.
One concern for Yale in its Ivy title chase might be, as previously stated in this space, lack of depth. Justin Sears fouled out with the game still very much in question, and getting only six points off the bench in an eight-man rotation against one of the league’s worst defenses isn’t all that reassuring.
Columbia 74, Cornell 70
Robert Hatter missed this game with an injury, but Cornell took Columbia to the wire anyway. Ultimately, though, Columbia prevailed courtesy of a balanced scoring attack, with Alex Rosenberg, Jeff Coby, Kyle Castlin, Grant Mullins and Maodo Lo all scoring at least 12 points. The Lions outscored the Big Red at the foul line, 23-6, including three late free throws from Coby that iced the game.
Keeping Cornell in the game at every turn was freshman guard Matt Morgan, who stepped up in a big way with Hatter out, notching 29 points on 10-for-23 shooting (including five three-pointers) and three assists. Cornell pushed pace and arguably won the battle of tempo with a Lions squad that likes to eat clock, and Columbia struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just seven of 23 three-pointers. Columbia got a win it needed to have, though, by getting solid production from Lo in crunchtime, whose two three-pointers down the stretch gave Columbia a winning cushion.
In two Ivy weekends so far, the favorites – Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia – all beat their travel partner underdogs, but every game has been a struggle. And so it goes in Ivy basketball.
In a non-league game, Harvard staved off Howard, 69-61, courtesy of Patrick Steeves’ 18 points, Zena Edosomwan’s 17-point, 15-rebound performance and Corbin Miller’s 5-for-12 clip from three-point range. Tommy McCarthy, recovering from an injury of his own, posted 13 points in 26 minutes.
Also, Dartmouth beat Pine Manor, 121-56, so there’s that.