Penn 92, Cornell 84
Don’t look now, but Penn’s now fourth in the Ivy League standings. It’s an upper-tier slot the Quakers owe to an overeager Cornell defense that kept leaving Penn coach Steve Donahue’s players open in his return to Ithaca after leading the Big Red to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2007-08 through 2009-10. Donahue was received warmly before the game, and then basketball happened. That meant more hero ball from Cornell, who didn’t have a starter other than freshman guard Matt Morgan score until 7:54 was left in the game. Of course, Robert Hatter added 21 points off the bench to complement Morgan’s 28-point performance, but Penn won courtesy of going 29-for-35 from the foul line and a career-high 25 points from freshman Jackson Donahue. Senior center Darien Nelson-Henry added 16 rebounds, 15 points and six assists, benefiting from Cornell’s defense of Penn’s ball screens. Cornell hasn’t had a winning season since Donahue left Cornell, and this season isn’t likely to break that sub-.500 streak.
Dartmouth 87, Brown 70
Dartmouth converted a 43-21 rebounding advantage into a home win, its first since nicking Harvard at Leede Arena three weeks ago. Freshman forward Evan Boudreaux posted 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Big Green, complemented by sophomore guard Taylor Johnson’s 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting. Two-time Ivy Player of the Year Cedric Kuakumensah casually notched six blocks for the Bears, but Brown’s defense just isn’t what it needs to be.
Princeton 88, Columbia 83 (OT)
Did Columbia blow it or did Princeton swipe it away? Yes.
Princeton trailed 67-58 with 3:48 remaining in regulation. Then, just as he did in a last-three-minutes comeback at Penn to open league play last month, freshman Devin Cannady took over. Cannady scored eight points in the final 25 seconds of regulation, including two three-pointers in the last 11 seconds. The second three was a deep heave from near the right sideline that tied the game at 76-76 with five seconds to go that neither Tiger nor Lion fans will soon forget. Then Princeton overcame an 83-76 deficit with 2:12 remaining in overtime by reeling off a 12-0 run to end the game, a run started by a three-point play from Cannady, who finished with a game-high 23 points. Cannady only took over because junior forward Pete Miller kept the Tigers in the game, ending up with 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting and 13 rebounds in just 28 minutes. Henry Caruso didn’t score until 7:52 remained in regulation, but he did hit two critical free throws with 17 seconds left that extended Princeton’s lead to three.
As for Columbia, there could be no more brutal way to lose. The Lions had it, then they lost it, then they had it again in overtime and subsequently lost it again. “It,” in this case, could very well be Columbia’s Ivy title chances. Two years after going down in defeat in overtime at Levien at the hands of Harvard, Columbia suffered another Valentine’s Day weekend heartbreak due to a major discrepancy at the charity stripe. Princeton went 28-for-36 from the foul line, while Columbia went just 13-for-18. The Lions may have taken 20 more shots from the floor and committed just six turnovers, but Alex Rosenberg and Maodo Lo weren’t quite efficient enough, going a combined 14-for-38 for 37 points, four turnovers and one assist. At 6-2 in Ivy play, the Lions now trail Yale by two games and Princeton by half a game in the Ivy title chase. With only six games left, Columbia has to win out and hope Yale drops at least one other contest – perhaps Friday at Princeton.
Here’s the shot by Devin Cannady to send Princeton to OT pic.twitter.com/HQXLdb1asc
— CBB Central (@cbb_central) February 14, 2016
Yale 67, Harvard 55
Yale picked up its third straight win at Lavietes Pavilion and 12th straight win overall, led by Justin Sears’ 21 points. Harvard eventually decided to stop messing around and just feed Zena Edosomwan the ball, and Edosomwan responded with an 18-point, 10-rebound performance. Corey Johnson notwithstanding, Harvard just didn’t have the perimeter shooting to successfully complement Edosomwan. For the Elis, it’s encouraging that they pulled off a road sweep despite cooling off from the floor. They can clearly win when they’re not at their best, and now they’re six games from an Ivy championship.