Ivy Friday women’s hoops recap: Harvard’s in; first, second and fourth seeds still undecided

Harvard (8-5 Ivy, 15-11) 80 vs Cornell (5-8 Ivy, 11-13) 38

Harvard clinched a spot in Ivy Madness and locked down the third seed for next Saturday’s semifinal with a dominant 80-34 win over Cornell. The win, in addition to securing the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the Ivy Tournament, was the 600th career victory for Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith is now one of 19 active coaches to reach that impressive milestone.

Even without Jadyn Bush in the lineup, the Crimson were on the attack early, finishing the first quarter up 23-8. They did not let up in the second, taking a 44-13 lead into the locker room. They increased their advantage to 41 after three and coasted the rest of the way. The team shot 47 percent from the field, including 35 percent (10-29) from three. They won the rebounding battle by 12 and forced 19 turnovers as they held the Red to a season low 36 points.

Katie Benzan led all scorers with 17 points. Rachel Levy, staring in place of Bush, added 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Jeannie Boehm had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Nani Redford and Sydney Skinner each finished with 13 points. Laura Bagwell-Katalinich led the way with 10 for Cornell, and Samantha Will had a career-high 8 points.

Princeton (11-2 Ivy, 19-9) 88 at Brown (1-12 Ivy, 9-20) 68

Carlie Littlefield led four double-digit Princeton scorers with a career-high 23, as the Tigers won their ninth straight game and remained tied for first in the Ivy League with one game remaining in the regular season.  Littlefield went 8 for 14 from the field and 5-6 from the line, in addition to grabbing 6 rebounds.  Bella Alarie had another double-double with 19 points on 8-16 shooting and 14 rebounds.  Sydney Jordan had 13 points and 6 rebounds, while Taylor Baur had her first career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 22 minutes of game time.

The Tigers jumped out to an 18-6 lead after one and stretched it to 20 before finishing the half up 42-24.  Princeton pushed their advantage to a high of 32 less than a minute into the fourth quarter, but the Bears never got any closer than 17 points.  Despite shooting 19 percent (4-21) from three, the Orange & Black shot 54 percent from two and 80 percent (16-20) from the free throw line.  They outrebounded the Bears by 12, had 14 more second chance points and 28 more points in the paint.  The Bears made 38 percent (8-21) from three, but only could manage 39 percent from inside the arc.  In the team’s twelfth straight defeat, Shayna Mehta led the way with 27 points.

Dartmouth (6-7 Ivy, 13-13) 60 vs Columbia (4-9 Ivy, 8-18) 48

Dartmouth used strong second and fourth quarters to beat Columbia, keeping their hopes alive for the last spot in the Ivy Tournament.  After being knotted at 13 following the first quarter, the Green had a seven point lead with 90 seconds left in the half before finishing with a 30-25 lead.   Dartmouth jumped out to a 12 point advantage a minute and a half into the third quarter, but the Lions cut it down to two points with a two minutes to go in the third.  The Green ended the third frame with a rally to make it a seven point lead heading into the final ten minutes.  A Riley Casey three with 8:29 left in the contest made it a 46-40 game, but that would be as close as Columbia would get as Dartmouth stretched the lead to as many as 15, before finishing the frame with a 16-11 advantage.

In a rough shooting night, which saw both teams hitting less than 35 percent from the field, Dartmouth won the rebounding battle 40-29, leading to the Green getting 10 more possessions and 6 more second chance points.  They also forced 20 turnovers and had 14 points off turnovers, which was 7 more than Columbia.

Isalys Quinones had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Anne Luce scored 11 and Annie McKenna added 10 points.  In a huge emotional boost for the Green, senior co-captain Cy Lippold came back from injury to score 2 points and add 1 assist in 8 minutes of action.  The Lions did not have any double-digit scorers, with Casey leading the way with nine.

Penn (11-2 Ivy, 21-5) 65 at Yale (6-7 Ivy, 16-12) 56

The Quakers had another close game, but managed to escape the John J. Lee Amphitheater with a hard fought win, 65-56, over Yale.  With the victory, the Red & Blue stay tied with Princeton for the league lead at 11-2.

After Penn built a nine point halftime lead, 28-19, the Bulldogs bounced back to tie the game at 40 with one quarter remaining.  Yale outscored Penn 21-12 in the third quarter with Roxy Barahman scoring nine points in the last two and a half minutes and Alex Cade getting a put-back layup at the buzzer.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs went up by four before the Quakers went on an 10-0 run to rebuild a six point advantage with six minutes to go in regulation.  In that stretch Eleah Parker scored 7 points and Phoebe Sterba hit a three.   A deep Tori Andrew three from the right side with just over two minutes to go brought Yale to within 4, but Penn hit 11 of 14 free throws to finish the game and complete the series sweep.

Both defenses excelled, limiting their opponents to under 38 percent overall shooting and 22 percent from three.  The teams were almost equal in all statistics, except Penn won the turnovers battle (15 forced turnovers leading to 15 points for Penn vs 6 forced turnovers and 3 points off turnovers for Yale) and second chance points (21-11)

Penn’s Parker had a career-high 29 points to go along with 16 rebounds and 4 blocks in the Quakers’ win. Sterba added 11 points with three baskets from beyond the arc.  For Yale, Barahman and Andrew scored 14 and 9 points respectively, on a combined 7-30 shooting.  With the backcourt struggling, the Bulldogs’ frontcourt helped out with 36 points on 13-32 shooting.  In that group, Megan Gorman had 12 while Camilla Emsbo had 9, Cade scored 8 and Alexandra Maund added 7 points.

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After Friday’s action, three teams are officially into Ivy Madness, but only one has a definite spot.  Harvard, at 8-5, is locked into the three spot and will take on the #2 seed in next Saturday night’s second game.  Penn and Princeton are still tied for first at 11-2, while Yale and Dartmouth are tied for fourth at 6-7.  Cornell is one game out at 5-8, but they still have a chance to get the last ticket to the Tournament.

Penn will take on Brown (6 pm; ESPN+ and The CW) and Princeton will visit Yale (5 pm; ESPN+) on Saturday.  If both teams end the night tied, the two teams would be co-champions for the regular season with Princeton getting the #1 seed. The Tigers would get the top line  due to the fact that the two teams split their season series, but Princeton has a better record (2-0 vs 1-1) against three seed Harvard.

If Yale defeats Princeton on Saturday, the Bulldogs would get the #4 seed no matter what happens in the Cornell-Dartmouth game (5 pm; ESPN+).  A Yale win would bring their record up to 7-7, which would be one game better than a victorious Cornell.  A Dartmouth wins would get them to 7-7, but Yale would own the first tiebreaker from their head-to-head series sweep.

If Yale loses to Princeton, then the winner of the Cornell-Dartmouth game would be the #4 seed in the Ivy Tournament.  In this case, Yale would finish the season at 6-8.  A Dartmouth win would bring them to 7-7 and make them undisputed fourth place team.  A Cornell win would make them 6-8 and they would hold the head-to-head tiebreak due to their two victories over Yale.

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