Ivy Friday roundup

Princeton 83, Brown 59

After losing to Yale 90-66 Saturday night, Brown lost its second straight Ivy game by 24 points. This time, it was because Brown turnovers led to a greater number of opportunities for the Tigers, who outstole the Bears, 13-3. (Five steals came from Steven Cook alone.) As a result, the Tigers attempted 21 more shots than the Bears and were never seriously threatened. Cedric Kuakumensah registered seven blocks and eight rebounds but did not score, with Steven Spieth picking up the slack to the tune of 24 points on 7-for-7 shooting, but with five of Brown’s 20 turnovers. True to form, eight Tigers scored at least six points, led by Spencer Weisz’s 16 and Henry Caruso’s 13. Princeton’s got all the momentum it could ask for going into a monumental game at Yale Saturday night.

Cornell 77, Harvard 65 

In what was easily the most entertaining Ivy game of the night, Harvard’s Ivy title hopes faded thanks to the efforts of one Matt Morgan. The freshman guard keeps topping himself in Robert Hatter’s absence, as Morgan scored 17 of his 33 points in the final 10 minutes to lift the Big Red past the Crimson for the second straight game in this series, and the first win at Lavietes for Cornell since 2010. Harvard outrebounded Cornell 51-34 and had its way in the paint in the second half, especially courtesy of Zena Edosomwan’s 24 points on 11-for-17 shooting. In fact, 14 of Edosomwan’s points came on dunks.

But a 40-25 halftime deficit for Harvard came back to bite the Crimson later, and Cornell built that lead by making the most of Harvard coach Tommy Amaker inexplicably going with a small lineup for much of the first stanza, thus surrendering the Crimson’s size advantage in the early going. Harvard went 6-for-17 from the charity stripe, while Morgan went 12-for-13 himself. Morgan had zero turnovers, while fellow freshman guard counterpart Tommy McCarthy committed six. However you slice it, Morgan dished Harvard a loss that resonated throughout the Ivy League, if only because the Crimson’s run atop the conference seems soon to be over.

Yale 81, Penn 58

This one was less interesting. Top-tier cleaned up bottom-tier in New Haven, with Brandon Sherrod improving to a perfect 16-for-16 clip from the floor in the last two games (even though he only went 5-for-11 from the foul line). Both teams attempted 50 shots, but Yale made 30, while Penn converted only 20. Not surprisingly, the Elis owned Penn on the boards, 41-25. It’s the other ‘P’ that means more to Yale, though, and the biggest matchup of the Ivy slate thus far awaits Saturday night when the Tigers come to town.

Columbia 77, Dartmouth 60

What seemed like the night’s biggest tossup game developed into a rout pretty quickly, with the Lions pouncing to a 32-9 lead in the opening 8:30 and reestablishing separation after Dartmouth cut the lead to single digits early in the second half. Columbia’s four greatest offensive weapons – Maodo Lo, Grant Mullins, Alex Rosenberg and Luke Petrasek – combined for 56 of Columbia’s 77 points and 18 field goals, one more field goal than Dartmouth as a team.

When Columbia beat Cornell last Saturday, it was easy to point to the Lions’ 13-for-24 shooting from beyond the arc and argue that that kind of sharpshooting wouldn’t last. But Friday night’s win was solid across the board, as the Lions drew 21 turnovers, registered 11 steals and yes, shot 40 percent from three-point range. The Lions are riding a wave right now, and they can deliver a knockout blow to the Crimson Saturday night.

4 thoughts on “Ivy Friday roundup

  1. I think more than anything tonight’s game was Cornell showing the league that they are for real. Beating the defending champs (though not nearly as good as last year’s version) on their home floor without your leading scorer is definitely a statement win. They just beat an upper division team convincingly, and now their next two games are Dartmouth and Brown. Could be 3-2 heading to New Haven, likely with Hatter back, and a chance to vault into the CIT/CBI conversation and become a player in the Ivy race.

    I’ll say it again: I think Columbia is the 2nd best team, ahead of Princeton and obviously the rest of the field. They got my attention when they took Northwestern to OT very early in the year, and have looked very good early in the Ivy season. Have to factor in all the seniors they have– experience always helps in the 14 game tournament and this is their last shot. Can’t wait to see them play Yale next Friday– should be the game of the year in the Ivies and hopefully is a nice up and down 2 OT game to get the Bulldogs all worn out before my Big Red come in on Saturday.

  2. So far Morgan is ROY and first team All-Ivy. What a player!!! Harvard may be less than assumed after their OOC play. Columbia’s showing against a better-that-expected Dartmouth team is very impressive. The Tigers’ best weapon is lots of weapons. 11-3 will get it done.

  3. I think it’s premature to declare that Harvard’s “run atop the conference seems soon to be over.” The same parity which has allowed second-division Cornell to defeat the Crimson two years in a row is on track to keep the conference more tightly bunched in 2016 than most years. Harvard still has every chance of being in the thick of it at season’s end. Also, there’s something different about Harvard’s program compared to the other Ivies. The usual rules don’t seem to apply. I’m not just talking about academics, I mean the way the Yale @ Dartmouth game ended last year. The normal laws of basketball were suspended for two minutes. Something supernatural is going on in Cambridge. The rest of the League programs ignore that at their own peril. What did Ralph Waldo Emerson say? “If you’re going to strike the king, you’d better kill the king.”

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