Princeton’s peak performance pummels Penn

The Princeton women (17-4, 7-1 Ivy) made a strong statement on the first night of league play, when they defeated two-time defending champion Penn (15-5, 6-2) at the Palestra, 70-55.  After Tuesday night’s even more convincing 20-point blowout of the Quakers at Jadwin Gymnasium, the Tigers have put the rest of the conference on notice that they are the clear favorites to take the regular season and tournament titles.

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With 0-3 records in Ivy play, Columbia women and Cornell men look for positives

The women’s and men’s basketball teams for Columbia and Cornell arrived at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday winless in conference play.  While the main goal for each team was to secure its first league win, it was almost as important for the individual teams to feel good about their games as they move into the hardest stretch of their seasons.  

The Columbia men had, perhaps, their best game of the season as they dismantled Cornell, 88-62.  On the women’s side, the Big Red led for 36:49 of the 40-minute contest in route to an important 57-47 road win over the Lions.  In dominating their respective games, the Columbia men and Cornell women have strong momentum heading into next Saturday’s rematches in Ithaca.  The two losing squads and their staffs, however, were left trying to come to grips with their play and figuring out how to turn things around, for next weekend and the remainder of the year.

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Ivy women’s hoops weekend update

Brown 81 vs Yale 71 (OT)

In Yale’s 77-63 win in New Haven last Friday, the Bulldogs were able to prevent the Bears from getting into its fast paced offensive flow.  At the start of this week’s return match in Providence, Brown (13-2; 1-1 Ivy) was determined not to let that happen again.  However, they ended up forcing the pace to go a bit too fast and both teams struggled over the first 20 minutes.  The Bears managed to take a four-point lead into the locker room, but they shot 36 percent overall, 40 percent from two and 27 percent from three, as well as committing 10 turnovers. Yale (8-7; 1-1 Ivy), meanwhile, shot 27 percent overall, 33 percent from two and 29 percent from three.

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Checking in with Yale men’s basketball

Record: 8-9 Overall and 1-0 Ivy (4-2 Home; 4-7 Away)

Rankings: KenPom #196; Bart Torvik #212; TeamRankings #152

What’s Hot

Sharing the Rock, Defensive Rebounding and Two-Point Shooting

Over the previous three seasons, Yale has been in the top 100 for assists. After the first half of the 2017-18 campaign, the Bulldogs are tops in the conference averaging 18.4 assists a game and their 67.2 percent rate is second in the country.

The Elis have a defensive rebounding rate of 73.0 percent, which is fourth in the Ivy League and top 90 nationally. While it may not be as high as the program’s 75.7 percent rate in its historic ‘15-‘16 season (top 10 nationally), it is on pace to be the second-best performance in the last 10 years.

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Ivy women’s Saturday recap – Jan. 13, 2018

Princeton 75 vs Cornell 54

Cornell (4-11; 0-2 Ivy) challenged the Tigers (13-3; 3-0 Ivy) in the first half, finishing the second quarter down 36-34.  Princeton came out of the break on a 17-0 run in the first five minutes, completed the quarter up 22 and coasted in the fourth stanza for a convincing 21-point victory over the Big Red.

Leslie Robinson had 16 points and Bella Alarie scored 13, while Gabrielle Rush continued her hot hand in league play with 75 percent three point shooting and 11 points.  Cornell’s Samantha Widmann, from nearby Lawrenceville, led the Big Red with 17 points and seven rebounds.

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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.

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Checking in with Columbia men’s basketball

Record: 3-10 Overall and 0-0 Ivy (2-3 Home; 1-7 Away) 

Rankings: KenPom #238, Bart Torvik #239, TeamRankings #218

What’s Hot:

Three-Point Shooting and Mike Smith

Columbia’s offense focuses primarily around the three-pointer, with the team averaging 29.1 attempts and 10.6 made baskets a game.  Their 36.3 percent rate is second in the conference, while their attempts and made triples rank in the top 25 nationally.  The Lions attempt 46 percent of their total shots from three, which is in the top 30 nationally, and secure 43 percent of their points from outside the arc, a top 10 amount.

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