Ivy Saturday Roundup

Brown 57 Cornell 56

Cornell’s proven it can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory better than anyone. The Big Red fell to 0-5 in games decided by three points or fewer in devastating fashion, blowing a 40-23 second-half lead and falling following Cedric Kuakumensah’s game-winning shot with two seconds left. Minus Shonn Miller, the Big Red managed to shoot sub-30 percent against the conference’s worst defense. Cornell’s offense is broken, but credit to Brown for coming back in the second half of the second game of a back-to-back.

Harvard 63 Princeton 55

Wesley Saunders and his 23-point, nine-rebound, four-steal, three-assist performance proved to be too much for Princeton, which finished with just one player – Clay Wilson – in double figures. The Tigers led 33-21 with 3:56 left in the first half, but Harvard embarked on a gradual comeback with characteristically solid defense, forcing 19 Princeton turnovers. The Crimson took first place in the conference at 9-1 after…

Columbia 56 Yale 50

Yale couldn’t get much going offensively against the Lions, falling to 8-2 in Ivy play. Justin Sears was stifled early and often, notching just seven points on the night for the Elis. Columbia finally hung on in a high-profile matchup thanks to Maodo Lo, who posted 18 points and six rebounds. As Sears goes, so goes Yale, and tonight, it went down.

Dartmouth 67 Penn 62

A see-saw game in Hanover finished with the hosts on top. Alex Mitola was shut down by the Quakers at the Palestra earlier this season, but he rebounded with an 18-point performance tonight. Penn shut down Miles Wright, who scored just 2 after scoring at least 16 in his previous five games, but it wasn’t enough. Dartmouth got two bench efforts in double-figures from Tommy Carpenter and Connor Boehm. Penn now occupies sole possession of last place in the Ivy League.

Ivy Friday Roundup

Not a lot of intrigue or drama tonight. The higher-ranked Ivies held serve, and here’s how they did it:

Yale 62, Cornell 51

This one seemed over a couple of light years before it actually ended, in no small part due to Cornell’s continued inability to shoot the basketball. The Big Red finished with a 32 percent clip from the field. Despite committing 16 turnovers, Yale was never in danger falling off. Senior guard Javier Duren led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds (all of which came in the first half), making him the second guard in six days to post eight rebounds in the first half against the Big Red after Harvard’s Saunders did it Saturday. The Bulldogs became the second Ivy to get to 8-1 in the conference play just after…

Harvard 69, Penn 46

With Tony Hicks suspended and matching up against the perennial conference champion that beat them by 25 on their home court last month, the Quakers didn’t seem to have much of a chance. They fought admirably, led by freshman guard Antonio Woods’ 12 points and four assists. Still, Harvard had this one all the way. Harvard’s Boston Three Party of Wesley Saunders, Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi combined to shoot 15-for-20 and lock up the Crimson’s fourth straight win over Penn.

Princeton 63, Dartmouth 56

The Tigers outscored the Big Green by 12 in the second half to pull out the win in Hanover and stay within two games of Harvard and Yale in the Ivy race. Pushing Princeton over the top was senior guard Clay Wilson, who scored in double figures for the first time in nine games with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from downtown. (Just kidding, there’s no downtown in Hanover!)

Columbia 76, Brown 59

This game was never really a game. Columbia led 48-28 at halftime and the Bears, which continue to struggle mightily on defense and never got within 14 again. Maodo Lo posted 24 points en route to a total of 33, canning only three fewer field goals than Brown’s entire roster.

Penn junior guard Tony Hicks suspended for weekend

Penn Athletics announced today that junior guard Tony Hicks was suspended by coach Jerome Allen for Penn’s games at Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that Hicks did not travel with the team to New England.

Observers say Hicks twisted the hand of a Brown player in what appeared to be a sign of poor sportsmanship, which followed Hicks getting charged with a technical foul with 6:22 remaining in a 71-55 home loss to Brown for arguing with an official.

Read morePenn junior guard Tony Hicks suspended for weekend

On the Vine – Feb. 18

Check out our archive of the latest On the Vine podcast, in which Kristyn Brundidge of WKCR Sports and Ashley Wu of the Yale Daily News join Peter Andrews & Mike Tony to cover the latest Ivy action. Segments include reflections on Harvard’s championship pedigree, Yale’s success at Jadwin and predictions on who will prevail in this weekend’s matchups:

Saturday Ivy Roundup

It was a ‘meh’ Valentine’s Day for Ivy basketball, with all four games being decided by eight points or more and no massive upsets:

Harvard 61, Cornell 40

The Crimson, previously on the wrong end of a 26-2 run against Dartmouth earlier this season, reeled off a 22-2 run of their own to shake off the Big Red. Senior guard Wesley Saunders somehow compiled eight rebounds but zero points in the first half, but steady efforts from senior forward Steve Moundou-Missi and sophomore guard Corbin Miller allowed Harvard to win with comfort. Cornell’s got an amply stout defense, but no offense when Shonn Miller isn’t clicking (and he didn’t at Lavietes, going 1-for-10 from the field).

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Ivy Friday Roundup

Harvard 72, Columbia 68

All season long, Ivy pundits (including myself) questioned the Crimson’s ability to rely on outside shooting to win tight games down the stretch. So it’s ironic that Harvard dismissed that doubt – if just for tonight – against one of the most potent three-point shooting teams in the league, Columbia. Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers combined to go 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, and Corbin Miller went 2-for-5 as well for a healthy 40 percent clip. The Lions overcame a 48-31 halftime deficit to tie Harvard at 68-68 with eight second left with a Jeff Coby trey, but Siyani Chambers responded with the game-winning jumper, an indication that he may be ready to shake off the slump he’s been working through all season. This is Harvard wins – it teases us, it allows big runs, it struggles with lineup groupings. But it always comes through in the big games.

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On the Vine – Feb. 12

Home of the weekly live podcast On the Vine with Peter Andrews and Mike Tony, where our roundball poets delve into all things Ivy hoops.

Check out our archive of the latest On the Vine podcast, in which IHO’s own George Clark (Toothless Tiger) and Ian Halpern (Bruno March) join Peter Andrews & Mike Tony to cover the latest Ivy action. Segments include reflections on the ugliness of Harvard-Yale, Princeton’s identity issues, reasons to watch out for Dartmouth down the stretch, and predictions on who will prevail in this weekend’s matchups:

IHO Power Rankings – Feb. 10

1. Harvard (5-1)

Harvard’s still the class of the conference. The Crimson held Yale to 11 points in the entire first half at Payne Whitney Gym to tie Yale atop the Ivy standings at 5-1 in league play. Wesley Saunders’ career-high 33 points did Brown in in overtime the night before. Reports of the Crimson’s demise were clearly premature. Harvard hosts Columbia and Cornell at home, two more solid defensive squads that will not be easy outs at Lavietes. The thing about Harvard is that the Crimson win the close ones – they’re 8-1 in overtime games since 2010. I have a feeling that that stat will be coming into play at least one more time down the stretch.

2. Yale (5-1)

The Bulldogs responded to the biggest game for their program in quite some time by going 3-for-22 in the first half. Harvard’s defense is awesome, but the Elis were visibly a little tense in the early going too. Still, Yale is 5-1 and tied for the conference lead with its greatest rival and another shot at that rival at Lavietes, the same place Yale trumped Harvard last season. All is not lost for the Elis, but it was disconcerting to see them abandon Justin Sears in the second half.

More importantly, the Whiffenpoofs are full steam ahead.

Read moreIHO Power Rankings – Feb. 10

On the Vine – Feb. 4

Check out our archive of last night’s On the Vine podcast, in which Steven Tydings of the Daily Pennsylvanian, David Freed of the Harvard Crimson and IHO’s own George Clark (Toothless Tiger) join Peter Andrews and Mike Tony to cover the latest Ivy action. Segments include reflections on last weekend’s intense conference slate, insights into how Harvard could cool Yale’s Justin Sears down, and predictions on who will prevail in Harvard-Yale and the rest of this weekend’s matchups: