Ivy women’s hoops in review: Dec. 13-22

Princeton (7-7)
12/15 vs Marist (#14 Mid-Major Top 25) 60-57
12/19 at St. Francis (Brooklyn) 83-64
12/21 at Hartford 75-38

The Tigers are on a six game win streak, including all five games that Bella Alarie has played since returning from a broken right wrist.  The reigning Ivy Player of the Year, who has been named Player of the Week in each of her first two weeks back, is absolutely crushing the competition with 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.  Alarie’s presence in the middle has helped the defense limit its opponents to 48.6 points per game, while opening up the team’s transition offense and improving its production to 70.2 points per contest.

The Tigers will look to extend its dominance next Saturday when they travel to New Hampshire (3-9) in the team’s last non-conference game before stating league play at home against Penn on Jan. 5.

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Post-holiday program alert: Ivy League to launch “Road to Ivy Madness” podcast

On Thursday, the Ivy League office announced that it will produce a weekly “Road to Ivy Madness” podcast for the upcoming conference schedule. The 12 episodes, available each Wednesday on IvyLeague.com and Apple Podcasts, begin on Jan. 2, three days before the opening of league play with a Penn-Princeton doubleheader at Jadwin Gym.  Each “Road to Ivy Madness,” hosted by Bill Spaulding, is expected to be 20-25 minutes in length and feature major storylines in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

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Dartmouth men win eighth game of the season, most in the McLaughlin era

On Saturday afternoon, the Dartmouth men rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to defeat Albany on the road, 61-52. With the win, the team’s fourth in a row and its second victory over the Great Danes this season, the Big Green are 8-5. Not only are their eight wins the second most in the Ivy League this year, but they are the most wins in a single season of the Dave McLaughlin era.

Just over a year ago, the program was reeling with a surprise announcement that two time All-Ivy forward Evan Boudreaux would prematurely end his playing career at Dartmouth, as well as a season-ending injury to starting guard and second leading scorer Guilien Smith.  Now, less than six weeks into the 2018-2019 campaign, the Green have risen from the ashes and look to be a force in the upcoming Ivy season.

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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.

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Report: Columbia’s Mike Smith out for season with torn meniscus

According to an Associated Press report on Columbia’s 82-73 loss at Boston College Wednesday night, Lions coach Jim Engles announced that star point guard Mike Smith has a torn meniscus and will miss the remainder of the 2018-2019 season. Smith’s injury occurred in the first half of last Friday’s game against Bryant.  The junior point guard ends his season as one of the Ivy League’s top performers with 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

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Ivies take Manhattan for MSG Holiday Festival

NEW YORK – Back in the day, the MSG Holiday Festival was a premier two day four team bracketed event that featured several of the nation’s top teams.  In addition to the classic 1964 Festival featuring Princeton (Bill Bradley), Michigan (Cazzie Russell), Syracuse (Dave Bing) and St. John’s (Coach Joe Lapchick), there were years like 1995, when Penn won the title and used it as a stepping stone to the AP Top 25; 1997, when Princeton was victorious on its way to a top 10 AP ranking; and 2009, when Cornell took the title on its way to a Sweet 16 appearance.  Over the last few years, the event has morphed into a one day double-header featuring the Johnnies and three other local mid-majors.  This year, the “worlds most famous arena” was home to a quarter of the Ancient Eight as Columbia took the subway and Princeton came up the NJ Turnpike to take part in the annual pre-Christmas tradition.

Before the Garden was cleaned up for the Knicks nightcap versus the Hornets, the Lions held off Iona  and the Tigers succumbed to the Red Storm.  While neither team was perfect and the results were spit, both teams had solid efforts and hope to use the day as a motivator as the Ivy schedule quickly approaches.

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Ivy Tournament update: Ticket sales begin Tuesday

The Ivy League announced that tickets for the third Ivy Tournament will begin with a presale for select individuals on Tues., Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. For all other fans, tickets will be available on Fri., Dec. 14 at 10 a.m.  After holding the first two postseason events at Penn’s Palestra, this year’s version of Ivy Madness will take place on March 16th and 17th at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater.  After checking out IvyMadness.com and reaching out to Matt Panto, Associate Executive Director, Strategic Communications & External Relations for the Ivy League, here is information on the upcoming ticket sale.

  • The presale will be for those individuals who are included on the league’s database for ticket holders to the first two Ivy Tournaments
  • Each institution has also been notifying select individuals via their school databases
  • Those eligible in the league’s database will receive an email on Monday (Dec. 10) and Tuesday morning (Dec. 11)
  • Right now, there are 2,800 seats available at the JLA. To accommodate some of the additional needs of the Tournament, there may be a slight reduction in Standing Room Only tickets that are available for regular season events
  • The is no maximum to the number of tickets that can be purchased
  • Tickets can be purchased for Session 1 (Men’s Semifinals – Saturday 12:30 pm & 3 pm); Session 2 (Women’s Semifinals – Saturday 6 pm & 30 minutes after conclusion of previous game); Session 3 (Men’s and Women’s Championships – Sunday 12 pm & 4 pm); All Sessions; Women’s Sessions Only; and Women’s Championship Only
  • Purchasing Men’s tickets for Saturday grants access to women’s games for that day
  • Prices for the different options are as followed: Session 1 (Mid-court $95, Balcony/SRO $35); Session 2 (Mid-court $25, Side Reserved Chairbacks $25, Balcony/SRO $25); Session 3 (Mid-court $75, Balcony/SRO $25); All Sessions (Mid-court $155, Balcony/SRO $55); Women’s Sessions Only (Mid-court $35, Balcony/SRO $35); Women’s Championship Only (Mid-court $20, Side Reserved Chairbacks $20, Balcony/SRO $20)
  • The following sections will not be available: Sections 001-004 at the endlines (participating team bands and cheerleaders); 101-102 and 104-105 along the sidelines behind the team benches (guests of participating player and coaches); 103 at the mid-court sideline on the team bench side (select media and game administrators)
  • Sections 106 and 110 will be reserved for students.  While the specific number of seats was not disclosed, each participating program will receive the same number of tickets for student and institutional sale
  • Courtside seats will not be available through the Ivy Madness website.  Those interested should contact the Yale Athletic Ticket office directly by calling (203) 432-1400
  • Select Balcony and Standing Room Only tickets may have limited view
  • Students from participating programs will need to contact their school’s ticket office to purchase tickets
  • For those not able to secure tickets to the games, the JLA will be open on Friday March 15th for fans to attend the free shootarounds for any/all of the eight teams.  The “Live from Ivy Madness” event, which will feature the shootarounds, press conferences and interviews, be available on ESPN+ from 8:45 am until (approximately) 5:00 pm.  The Men’s semifinals and Women’s final can be seen on ESPNU, the Women’s semifinals will be on ESPN3, and the Men’s final will be on ESPN2

 

A big week for Brown men’s hoops

The Brown men’s basketball team finds itself ranked No. 179 at KenPom, which is its highest ranking since it was at No. 170 heading into a Nov. 17, 2015 matchup at Northwestern. With two games over the next four days against No. 29 Butler and No. 171 Stony Brook, the Bears are looking to continue their early season success as they enter into their finals break.

At 6-3, Bruno is having its best start since the team had the identical record in the beginning of the 2013-14 season, coach Mike Martin’s second year at his alma mater.  With the return of all five starters and its top six scorers (93.5 percent of all points), as well as a fifth-place spot in the preseason Ivy media poll, Brown’s expectations were high heading into the start of the season. With Harvard’s top two players facing unknown return dates, Penn’s second team All-Ivy guard out for the season following an injury on opening night, a Princeton team that was without its heralded first-year four-star point guard and a Cornell team with its second-best player deciding to become a graduate transfer, it was not shocking for the Bears faithful to think that this might be the year when the team finally returns to the upper division for the first time since 2012-13, Martin’s first season at the helm.  A two-point loss at No. 280 LIU-Brooklyn and a three-point defeat at No. 208 NJIT in their opening weekend quickly seemed to put the breaks on those thoughts.

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Cornell women lose heartbreaker at Stony Brook

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – While the Cornell men took their yearly trip up I-81 to take on Syracuse, the women traveled south to Long Island to complete their four game road trip at Stony Brook. Despite overcoming a seven-point deficit at the start of the final frame, the Big Red could not hold onto a late one-point lead and ended up on the losing end of the 63-61 contest. Cornell now sits at 2-5 on the season.

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Women’s hoops week in review: Nov. 19-28

Harvard (2-1 This week; 4-3 overall)
at Hartford 60-73
vs Jacksonville State 69-62 (Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at Cal. State University – Northridge)
vs CSUN 75-55 (Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at Cal. State University- Northridge)

Three weeks into the season and the Crimson are the league’s most balanced team.  There are three players in double figures and sophomore Jadyn Bush is arguably the league’s most improved and valuable player.  The MVP of the Thanksgiving Basketball Classic is leading the league in rebounding, field goal percentage and free throw percentage, as well as tenth in points.  If not for her second quarter ejection for elbowing a Hartford player in the head while being triple teamed, Harvard may have gone 3-0 on the week.

The Crimson are shooting a league-best 44.1 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from three, while also leading the Ivies with 69.7 points, 8.9 made threes and 15.4 assists per game.  Defensively, they are limiting opponents to 38.1 percent shooting from two and 29.6 percent from three.

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