Yale 86, Columbia 72
Yale outlasted Princeton last Saturday by getting and staying hot, as its starters shot 54.9 percent from the floor and 61.1 percent from three-point range. Against also 4-0 Columbia, Yale asserted its place as the top team in the conference by getting even hotter, shooting 62.2 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Lions relied on active hands to notch 11 steals and force 17 turnovers, applying impressive pressure early in the game, but it never mattered. Yale hit what it wanted to hit, scoring 86 points on just 39 field goal attempts. (For comparison, Cornell scored six fewer points tonight on 76 field goal attempts, but we’ll get to that later.)
That hot streak included Brandon Sherrod setting the record for consecutive field goals made (30) in the first half, as well as Sherrod and Justin Sears going an unusually stellar 24-for-32 from the foul line. Thus the narrative that Columbia could steal a win in New Haven with hot shooting was turned inside out, as the Bulldogs played that role instead. In contrast, the Lions went just 9-for-31 (29 percent) from deep and 11-for-19 from the foul line, committing 30 fouls and posting just eight assists. Why are the Elis are the best team in the league? Because they can win matchups anywhere on the court, at any position, with offense or defense. Yale holds serve in a game it had to have with six of its final eight games on the road.
Penn 71, Dartmouth 64
Steve Donahue gets his first Ivy win as the Quakers’ head coach, but he had to earn it early. Dartmouth raced to an 8-0 start and Donahue immediately benched all five starters, sending a message. Really, though, this game was predictably ugly, including 41 combined turnovers (23 via steals) and 34 combined fouls. Senior center Darien Nelson-Henry bounced back from a sprained ankle to post 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and freshmen Jake Silpe and Jackson Donahue combined for 26 points in the backcourt, with Silpe adding eight assists and five steals. Since the Quakers’ youthful roster competition makes them the real “Big Green,” it’s fitting their first league win comes against, well, the Big Green. Evan Boudreaux notched 27 points and seven turnovers.
Princeton 83, Harvard 62
How important is Zena Edosomwan to the Crimson? Princeton found out the easy way, rendering Harvard’s defense ineffective early and often. The Tigers snared 15 offensive rebounds, made 32 field goals and notched 21 assists, winning with characteristically balanced ball movement. Tommy McCarthy led the Crimson with 16 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from downtown. Now the Crimson are an unfamiliar position – tied for last place in the Ivy League.
Brown 86, Cornell 80
How would the Big Red follow up a surprising road sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend with Ivy leading scorer Robert Hatter back in the fold? By shooting under 40 percent in a losing effort against the worst defense in the conference, of course.
The Big Red shot just 29 percent from three, and Matt Morgan and Robert Hatter combined for only 14-for-38 shooting (36.8 percent). Brown won the day with free throw shooting (a 21-for-24 clip) and rebounding (48 snares). Kudos to Bruno for stringing together two league wins.