Columbia 90, Harvard 76
The Lions entered this weekend knowing they needed to win out to have a realistic shot at the Ivy title after Princeton stole one at Levien Saturday night. And Columbia held serve at Levien in its return to game action, with Alex Rosenberg and Maodo Lo pitching in 23 and 22 points respectively as their senior seasons get into crunchtime. The Lions notched 1.43 points per possession and shot 57.4 percent from the floor, enough to withstand similarly hot shooting from the Crimson, who shot 11-for-18 from beyond the arc. Let’s be honest though, this game should be remembered for Lo’s ridiculous, nonchalantly athletic quarter-court bank shot to end the first half.
Dartmouth 78, Cornell 66
An unacceptable result for Cornell. The Big Red should not be finding themselves down 20 with 12:35 remaining to the same Big Green team they beat in Hanover last month. They should not have a roster this unequipped and prepared to rebound the ball. They should not go 8-for-33 from beyond the arc at home when they’re built to beat teams from deep, especially a poor shooting squad like Dartmouth. Most importantly, they cannot string together listless loss after listless loss. After a road sweep (of Harvard and, yes, Dartmouth) that followed two impressive showings (but losses) against Columbia, Cornell has taken a nosedive. A loss to the league’s worst defense. Back-to-back losses to Yale and Princeton by a combined 60 points. a salt-in-the-wound bow to Steve Donahue’s Quakers in Ithaca and now this loss to the Big Green. Not a good extended sequence in conference play after getting back what was then the league’s leading scorer in Robert Hatter. Cornell takes low-percentage shots and allows high-percentage shots. That’s a function of both personnel and coaching. In fact, even the personnel points back to coach Bill Courtney.
In a more positive light, kudos to Evan Boudreaux for a 22-point, 18-rebound performance. The young trio of Boudreaux, Taylor Johnson and Miles Wright is really starting to gel together. Cornell’s Darryl Smith posted 22 points in 33 minutes, showing what he can do.
Princeton 75, Yale 63
KenPom gave Princeton a 66 percent chance to win this game. Eighty-nine percent of IHO Pick ‘Em Pool members thought Princeton would beat Yale. But perhaps no one was more confident in Princeton than the Tigers themselves. Princeton, especially at Jadwin, constitutes a buzzsaw for other Ivies right now, or at least as long as the Tigers’ shooting is on fire. Just as Yale clipped Princeton in New Haven earlier this season, by simply outshooting the Tigers, Princeton got even by shooting 40 percent from deep while Yale shot just 8.3 percent. That was really the game right there. (Maybe Yale can thank Jadwin’s funky sight lines?) Devin Cannady scored 20 points in just 26 minutes, and with Jack Montague out due to personal issues, the Elis’ comparative lack of depth finally caught up with them, as Brandon Sherrod, Makai Mason and Justin Sears combined for 51 of Yale’s 63 points.
Now Yale and Princeton each have one Ivy loss – to each other – with Columbia also in control of its own destiny. At some point, you’d think Yale, Princeton or Columbia will lose to one of the other five Ivies. They haven’t yet.
Penn 79, Brown 74
The Quakers have now won four of their last five games, downing Brown by letting Darien Nelson-Henry go to work. After spraining his ankle earlier this season, it appeared as though the previously injury-addled DNH might limp through the rest of his collegiate career. But Nelson-Henry has been dominant recently, racking up assists in Penn’s motion offense and posting 19 points and nine boards against the Bears Friday night. Sophomore guard Darnell Foreman nearly attained a triple-double, notching 11 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 34 minutes. Looks all that’s left for Penn basketball to accomplish is get rid of the shield logo on its Twitter account.