Ivy women’s hoops Friday in review – Jan. 12, 2018

Yale 77 vs Brown 63

Yale (8-6; 1-0 Ivy) opened up its march to Ivy Madness with a double digit victory over Brown (12-2; 0-1 Ivy) in a Friday matinee contest at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  After a poor shooting first quarter from both teams, Yale entered the second frame up 3 and stretched it to six at halftime.  The Bears came out hot at the beginning of the third quarter, going on an 8-0 run over the first 1:36 to take a 39-37 lead.  From there, the teams stayed close and were tied at 58 with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter. Two Tamara Simpson steals and layups in nine seconds sparked Yale to a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach.

Center Jen Berkowitz led the way for the Bulldogs with 20 points and nine rebounds.  Simpson added 15 points and eight steals, one away from tying a career high.  Megan Gorman had 11 rebounds from the guard position.  For Brown, Erika Steeves had 18 points and 13 rebounds.

With Yale’s 43 percent shooting being a slight improvement than its season average, this game was ultimately won on the defensive side.  The Bulldogs used a variety of schemes to keep Brown 19.2 points below their season average, while limiting them to 38.5 percent shooting, 17 percent three-point shooting and five made three-pointers.  Yale held Shayna Mehta and Justine Gaziano, the league’s second and third-leading scorers, to 25 points combined, 13 points below their collective averages, and allowed each only five second half points.  Yale also was able to use its greatest strength, pressure defense, to force 13 steals and 18 turnovers on the usually sure handed Bears.

Despite the best start in program history, the loss of Taylor Will, the league’s fourth-leading scorer, has made Brown vulnerable.  The team is now 1-1 against Division 1 opponents since her season-ending injury and the win at Howard (4-11) required late game heroics to overcome 35 percent shooting and force overtime.  The Bears will hope that a return to the friendly confines of Pizzitola Center will improve their fortunes (and shooting) when these two teams meet up for the return match next Friday.

Princeton 69 vs Columbia 47

The Tigers (12-3; 2-0 Ivy) dominated Columbia in former assistant coach Megan Griffith’s second return trip to Old Nassau.  Princeton ran out to a quick 10-2 lead in the first seven minutes, eventually expanding it to 25 points with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Lions cut it to 15 with three minutes left in the game, but the Orange & Black closed the game on a 9-2 run for its sixth straight win and second straight conference victory.

Bella Alarie had 18 points on 64 percent shooting to go along with 13 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. Gabrielle Rush put 11 up points, hitting three of four three-pointers.  She is hitting threes at 74 percent in league play, while only shooting  24 percent in non-conference games.  Point guard Carlie Littlefield had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and only one turnover. Columbia’s Camille Zimmerman, the Ivy League’s leading scorer, had a season high 29 points on 60 percent shooting to go along with 10 rebounds for her 30th career double-double.

Princeton’s offense was not spectacular this evening, shooting 39 percent overall, 49 percent from two and 32 percent from three.  Other than Rush, the team went 3-for-15 (20 percent) from beyond the arc.  Typically for the Tigers, there defense was spectacular.  They limited Columbia to 31 percent shooting, 38 percent from two and 14 percent from outside the arc.  Princeton also secured 20 offensive rebounds and a 33 percent advantage on the boards.  The Lions struggled greatly, with only three players in the scoring column and their fourth under-50 point performance this year.  The Tigers will look to work on their offense, when 4-10 Cornell visits Jadwin Saturday afternoon.

Penn 68 vs Cornell 48

The Quakers (7-5; 1-1 Ivy) ran away from Cornell (4-10; 0-1 Ivy) early to made it three for three for the home teams on Friday.  The Red & Blue used their speed and strength to jump out to a 17-3 lead over the first 6:30 of the opening quarter.  They widened their advantage to 25 points with 3:30 left in the half before Cornell cut the lead to 20 at halftime.  Penn opened up the second half on a 13-0 run to go up by 33 points. The Big Red then went 24-7 to get the lead down to 16 points with 9:14 to go, but the Quakers never let them get any closer.

Center Eleah Parker had 15 points and 10 rebounds for her eighth straight game scoring in double figures, as well as second career double-double.  Lauren Whitlatch had 11 points on the strength of three three-pointers, while Michelle Nwokedi had nine points, seven rebounds, six blocks and a career high seven assists.  For Cornell, Samantha Clement had a career high 23 points, hitting five of eight three-pointers.  Samantha Widmann, who came into the contest averaging 15.5 points per game, only had three points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Penn dominated on the inside, holding Cornell to eight two-pointers on 24 percent shooting and securing 8 percent more rebounds than the Big Red.  The interior offense helped the Quakers hit 57 percent from two and contributed to 32 points in the paint, 16 more than Cornell.  From the outside, the Red & Blue hit nine threes on 35 percent shooting, which was an improvement on their Ivy opener (6 made threes on 30 percent shooting).

The Quakers did allow the Big Red to score nine three-pointers at 43 percent, which was much higher than Cornell’s 5.3 made threes at 31 percent in non-conference play.  Over two league contests, Penn is allowing an average of 8.5 threes at 40 percent.  This is something the Red & Blue will need to work on as they get set to face a Columbia team that only hit two three-pointers on Friday night and averages 5.9 threes on 30.5 percent shooting for the year.

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