Ivy women’s hoops weeks in review: Nov. 29 – Dec. 12

Princeton (4-7)
12/2 vs Davidson 65-57
12/8 vs Quinnipiac 54-42
12/11 vs Monmouth 79-47

Before the return of Bella Alarie on Friday night, Princeton went 2-7 with home victories bookending a seven game losing streak.  While the youthful Tigers have gained valuable game experience during this time, culminating in a come from behind win over Davidson, the return of the reigning Ivy Player of the Year immediately showed why they were picked to repeat as league champs.  In Alarie’s first game back, she had 16 points, a career high 19 rebounds and 5 blocks.  Not only did the Tigers win by 12 over a Quinnipiac squad that made it to the second round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, but Alarie was named Ivy League co-Player of the Week.  In her follow-up performance at Monmouth, she put up 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.

During Alarie’s absence, Carlie Littlefield and Gabrielle Rush stepped up for the Orange & Black.  Littlefield averaged 15.3 points (4th Ivy), 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists (11th), 1.8 made threes (9th) and 1.7 steals (4th) in 33.9 minutes per game.  Rush, meanwhile, added 13.6 points (8th), 6.7 boards (9th), 2.8 made threes (2nd) and 1.7 steals (6th) per contest.

Over the first part of the season, the team has been uncharacteristically weak in two point shooting (40.9 percent), three point defense (35.9 percent) and offensive rebounding rate (27.5 percent).  With their premier post player back and other important rotation players expected back from the DL soon, the Tigers should expect those numbers to improve significantly.

Penn (6-2)
12/5 vs La Salle 65-34
12/8 at Iona 66-43

Eleah Parker leads the Quakers with 13.0 points (9th in Ivy), 7.6 rebound (5th) and 2.6 blocks (1st) per game.  Ashley Russell and Princess Aghayere both average 9.8 points a game with Russell pulling down 7.0 boards per contest, 0.5 a game more than Aghayere.  Parker is also sixth in field goal shooting with 49.5 percent, and Aghayere is second with a 53.2 percent rate.

While Penn’s offense is in the middle of the pack, putting up 63.1 points per game (5th) on the strength of its 45.9 percent two points shooting percentage (4th), their defense continues to be elite.  They are presently second in the nation in points allowed (49.8), holding opponents to 35.9 percent shooting from two (#29 nationally) and 25.5 percent from three (#14). They are also in the Top 60 nationally on the glass with a 37.6 percent offensive and 72.5 percent defensive rebounding rate.

Harvard (4-6)
11/30 vs Quinnipiac 67-72 (2 OT)
12/4 vs Maine 60-67
12/8 vs Rutgers 49-60

Jadyn Bush is twelfth in the league in scoring (11.1 per game), as well as tops in rebounding (9.4 per game) and field goal percentage (54.2 percent).   Katie Benzan is first in made threes (3.4 per game, 34 total), third in three point shooting (35.4 percent) third in steals (38.5 percent) and seventh in scoring (14.2 per game).  Sydney Skinner is tops in three point shooting (38.5 percent), third in made three pointers (2.5 per game), seventh in steals (3.4 per game) and tenth in scoring (12.5 per game).

After going 13-0 over two seasons at the renovated Lavietes Pavilion, the Crimson have now lost three in a row at home.  This recent skid is the team’s longest regular season drought since going 0-5 in December 2015.  Despite the rough stretch, Harvard continues to do a very good job moving the ball and getting open threes, leading the Ivy League in assists (15.8 per game), made threes (8.7 per game) and perimeter shooting (38.2 percent).  They are also solid in the interior, where they are second in the conference at shooting the two (46.5 percent), cleaning up on the offensive glass (34.6 percent) and limiting opponent’s shoots inside the arc (38.2 percent).  The Crimson need to improve, however, in turnovers (17.0 per game), three point defense (32.1 percent) and sending their rivals to the free throw line (20.5 attempts per game).

Yale (7-5)
11/29 at Providence 42-59
12/4 vs St. Peter’s 72-56
12/6 at St. John’s 52-56
12/8 at Vermont 58-55
12/11 at Army 62-51

Roxy Barahman continues to put up big number across the board.  She is leading the league in points (20.5 per game), third in steals (2.3 per game), sixth in assists (3.8 per game) and thirteenth in rebounding (6.3 per game).  First year center Camilla Emsbo is also stuffing the stat sheet for the Bulldogs.  The two time Ivy Rookie of the Week is averaging 11.5 points (14th in Ivy), 9.1 rebounds (2nd) and 1.8 blocks (2nd) per game, while shooting 53.2 percent (3rd) from the field.

With decent shooting from two (45.8 percent) and weak shooting from three (25.1 percent), the Bulldogs success comes from its defense.  With the major roster changes from last year’s graduation, Coach Allison Guth realized that she needed to switched from a high pressure defense focused on turnovers to one that protects the paint.  As a result, she reached out to Virginia’s Tony Bennett during the offseason to get a tutorial on the pack-line defense.  The Dark Blue & White have been quick learners, holding opponents to 60.1 points per game (87th nationally), 39.2 percent two point shooting (57th) and a 24.6 percent offensive rebounding rate (10th).

Dartmouth (5-4)
12/1 at San Diego 76-78
12/5 vs Boston University 64-44
12/9 vs Fairfield 59-46
12/12 vs UMass-Lowell 70-54

Senior forward Islays Quinones’ experience from a summer playing for the Puerto Rico national team in the FIBA World Cup has helped her move up the league’s leaderboard.   Through the team’s first nine games, she is averaging 14.6 points (6th Ivy) and 7.6 rebounds (7th) per game, while shooting 51.0 percent from the field (5th) and 83.3 percent from the charity stripe (1st).  Cy Lippold was struggling through the first few weeks of the season (7.4 ppg and 25 percent from three), but she has turned things around over the last two weeks.  Following a 1-7 three point performance against Cal State Fullerton, she is 15 of 23 from downtown, including a 7-10 performance versus UMass-Lowell.  For the season, she is now at 10.2 points, 2.4 made threes (4th) and 4.1 assists (5th) a game, as well as a league leading 41.5 percent  rate from beyond the arc.

Although Dartmouth is seventh in the league with 68.2 points per game, they have the conference’s most accurate offense.  Presently, they are second from the free throw line (69.7 percent), while leading league in  two (47.4 percent), three (33.6 percent) and overall (42.2 percent) field goal shooting.  If there’s room for improvement, the Big Green need to increase their nationally low free throw rate (12.8 percent; #332).  On the defensive side, Dartmouth is holding a 4 percent advantage over their opponents, as well as limiting their rivals to 0.73 points per play (#98 nationally).

Since the fall of 2017, Dartmouth is 9-1 in non-conference play at Leede Arena, including a 4-0 mark this season.  That home court advantage, as well as their three game winning streak, will certainly be put to test when the Green & White face 2018 Sweet 16 participant Buffalo (6-2) next Tuesday.

Brown (6-6)
12/1 vs Bryant 84-68 (Ocean State Tipoff at URI)
12/2 at URI 67-72 (Ocean State Tipoff at URI)
12/8 at Maine 96-102 (OT)

Senior forward Erika Steeves, who was named the most recent Ivy League co-Player of the Week, went over the 1,000 point mark for her career during her 30 point effort at Maine.  She now joins fellow senior Shayna Mehta and junior Justine Gaziano as the program’s first-ever trio of active thousand point scorers.  Steeves has now upper her scoring to 9.8 points per game, just a fraction of a point away from joining Gaziano (19.5 ppg), Mehta (18.1 ppg) and Taylor Will (11.5 ppg) in double digits.

The Bears offense is still at or near the top of the Ivy League with 72.8 points, 7.8 made threes, 14.8 assists and 14.7 turnovers per game, along with 231 made two and 93 made threes pointers per game.  While they are averaging 9.1 steals and 16.9 forced turnovers per contest, they are allowing opponents to average 73.6 points, 6.7 made threes, 12.9 free throws and 16.5 assists per game.  In addition, Bruno is being outrebounded by 4.3 percent.

Cornell (2-5)
11/29 at Lehigh 54-67
12/1 at Stony Brook 63-61

After a rookie year at Penn, where she played 11 minutes in 3 games, Laura Bagwell-Katalinich is eleventh in the Ivy League in scoring (12.4 points per game), fourth in rebounding (8.3 per game), and eleventh in field goal percentage (44.2 percent).  Samantha Widmann is in the conference’s top 15 in points (11.4 per game), boards (6.1 per game), field goal percentage (49.2 percent), assists (3.0 per game) and steals (1.9 per game).

The Red are clamping down on defense, holding teams to 58.7 points per game (3rd Ivy; 67th nationally) and 26.9 percent three point shooting (2nd Ivy; 53rd nationally).  However, the offense continues to struggle, putting up league and national lows in points per game (55.0; #331 nationally), three pointers (3.6 per game; 25 total – #326 nationally), and three point shooting (24.5 percent: #320).

Columbia (2-8)
11/29 at St. Joe’s 61-68 (OT)
12/2 at Boston College 60-74
12/5 vs Cal State Fullerton 58-61
12/11 at Fordham 49-68

The Lions, who have lost their last eight games after starting the year 2-0, continue to play a large number of underclassmen.  Of their top 8 rotation players, all of whom play over 10 minutes per game, 4 are first years and 2 are sophomores.  Of the rookies, Sienna Durr, a two time Ivy Rookie of the Week, is leading the way with 15.1 points (5th in Ivy), and 6.5 rebounds (11th) per game. In addition, her 47.9 field goal and 75.0 free throw shooting percentages are in the conference’s top ten.  For the more experienced Lions, Janiya Clemmons has 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, as well as a 48.1 shooting percentage.

As a team, Columbia’s offense is at, or near, the bottom of the conference in most metrics.  The bright soit us their 46.1 percent two point production, which is third best in the Ancient Eight.  Unfortunately, there isn’t bright spot in the defensive numbers.

Ancient Eight’s Top Eight

Bella Alarie  – Princeton (junior, guard/forward)
vs Quinnipiac: 16 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks
vs Monmouth: 16 points, 16 serious, 2 assists, 4 blocks

Roxy Barahman – Yale (junior, guard)
vs Providence: 15 points, 3 rebounds
vs St. Peter’s: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block
vs St. John’s: 13 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists
vs Vermont: 21 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Army: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block

Katie Benzan – Harvard (junior, guard)
vs Quinnipiac: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
vs Maine: 10 points, 3 rebounds. 4 assists
vs Rutgers: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal

Sienna Durr – Columbia (first-year, guard/forward)
vs St. Joe’s: 16 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal
vs BC: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists
vs CSF: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
vs Fordham: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks

Justine Gaziano – Brown (junior, guard)
vs Bryant: 35 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
vs URI: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
vs Maine: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal,  1 block

Carlie Littlefield – Princeton (sophomore, guard)
vs Davidson: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals
vs Quinnipiac: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
vs Monmouth: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals

Eleah Parker – Penn (sophomore, center)
vs La Salle: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 4 blocks
vs Iona: 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 5 blocks

Isalys Quinones – Dartmouth (senior, forward)
vs SD: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
vs BU: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
vs Fairfield: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
vs UMass-Lowell: 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Leave a Comment