Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Saturday women’s edition

Eight thoughts on the women’s side:

1. Aghayere on a rebounding spree

There was a whopping 77 points scored in the first half in Penn’s battle with visiting Cornell, featuring the Big Red’s No. 2 Ivy scoring defense vs. the Red & Blue’s No. 1 Ivy scoring defense. No. 1 eventually got the best of No. 2 as the game eventually settled into more of a grind-it-out struggle. Princess Aghayere posted a career-high 23 points and 10 boards, the fourth double-double of her senior campaign. Aghayere grabbed seven of Penn’s offensive rebounds, fueling a 15-6 scoring edge for Penn in second-chance points. Aghayere is one of three Quakers to rank in the Ivy’s top nine in offensive rebounding (fifth behind league-leading Eleah Parker and ahead of Ashley Russell in ninth place). If Penn goes to another 2-3 zone variation against Princeton tomorrow night, Aghayere will have to come up big on the boards as she did in Penn’s win at Princeton last month, when she snared a team-high 12 boards, limiting a Tigers squad that crashed the boards against the zone well that day.

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Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Saturday men’s edition

Eight thoughts on the men’s side:

1. Penn’s defense finds its stride

Penn held Cornell to 18 points in the second half and 0.78 points per possession for the night, an inspired defensive performance marking the latest glimpse of how high Penn’s ceiling can be when the defense is fully locked in. Matt Morgan’s usage rate was lower than usual, and Penn did a good job zeroing in on the second-all-time leading scorer in Ivy history. Morgan and company actually had a decent outing from beyond the arc (8-for-22, 36.4 percent), but it didn’t matter because everything else was effectively taken away. The Big Red typically thrive at the foul line, but Penn’s characteristically disciplined defense (the Quakers rank best in the Ivy League in defensive free throw rate) didn’t feed into that. Instead, Penn preserved its outside shot at an Ivy League Tournament berth, a feat only as realistic as its defense is strong down the stretch.

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Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday women’s edition

Eight thoughts on the women’s side:

1. Dartmouth hanging in there 

Dartmouth did something it hadn’t done in a decade last night: defeat Yale at home. And the timing was pivotal as the Big Green notched its second win at the wire in the past four games courtesy of a Paula Lenart putback of a missed Isalys Quinones three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left, giving the Big Green a 56-54 victory to lift them to 4-5 in the Ivy standings – within a game of Yale with five outings to go. It was a gutsy win for the Big Green, whose savvy senior guard Cy Lippold suffered an injury versus Princeton last Saturday. Lenart and Quinones put Dartmouth over the top in a defensive battle, and Annie McKenna’s six steals helped stymie the Bulldogs. If Dartmouth can best Brown tonight and sweep Columbia and Cornell in the final weekend, it has a decent chance of tying Yale in the Ivy standings at 8-6, but the Bulldogs would still own the second tiebreaker: highest seed defeated (Yale has topped both Princeton and Harvard, while Dartmouth has beaten neither.) So the Big Green’s road slate at Penn and Princeton next weekend is a huge, if challenging, opportunity to neutralize or even claim the tiebreaker away from Yale.

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Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday men’s edition

Eight thoughts on the men’s side:

1. Columbia was due

Columbia hadn’t won an Ivy road game since its very first under Jim Engles at Cornell on Jan. 14, 2017: 17 such games ago. The Lions were 3-8 in games decided by one possession this season, including a 72-70 loss to Penn at Levien Gym three weeks prior, and were 4-20 in games decided by six points or fewer dating back to the start of last season. So when Maka Ellis’s stunningly easy layup off an inbound pass went in with 0.4 seconds left in overtime to clinch the 79-77 win for the Lions at the Palestra, it was a long overdue coup de grâce for a program that had long been far more competitive under Engles than its win-loss column showed. Kudos to Gabe Stefanini for coming up just two rebounds shy of a triple-double (20 points, 10 assists, eight boards) and Ellis for pitching in five of his 14 points in the final 1:24 in overtime as a rookie on the road to erase Penn’s 77-72 lead at that point.

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Inside Ivy Hoops – Feb. 21, 2019

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Brown coach Mike Martin and IHO writer Rob Browne.

Mike and Rob analyze this season’s Ivy League Tournament ticket sales to date, consider whether to tinker with Ivy back-to-back weekends and ponder contenders for several All-Ivy award categories while looking back on the past weekend of Ivy action and ahead to this weekend’s games:

 

Brown coach Mike Martin analyzes his team’s defensive improvement this season and offensive struggles in Ivy play, weighs in on whether Ivy back-to-back weekends are worth tweaking and where to hold the Ivy League Tournament, and much more:

 

Recordings were very lightly edited for sound quality.

Ivy women’s hoops Saturday recap

Columbia (7-14, 3-5 Ivy) 83 at Brown (9-15, 1-7) 81

Columbia’s Madison Hardy sank two three-pointers in the last minute to push the Lions over Brown, 83-81, at the Pittzitola Sports Center.  The victory was Columbia’s first conference road win and brought the Light Blue into a three-way tie for fifth place.  The Bears, which lost their seventh straight contest, ended the night in sole possession of last place.

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Ivy women’s hoops Friday recap

Cornell (8-10, 2-5 Ivy) 65 at Brown (9-14, 1-6) 53

The Big Red limited the league’s most prolific offense to only 17 second half points, as it came away with a 65-53 victory over Brown in Providence.  With the Bears holding a 42-37 lead four minutes into the third quarter, Cornell finished the frame on a 13-2 run to take a six point lead.  A Justine Gaziano layup made the score 57-53 in favor of the Big Red with 3:38 to go, but those would be the last points of the night for the Bears.  Cornell then went on an 8-0 run, including a 6-6 performance from the free throw line, to close the game.

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Cornell overcomes dreadful start, bests Brown in overtime

Cornell has struggled in the first half this season, and Friday night’s game against Brown was no exception. It took Cornell 12 minutes to score their first 10 points, and its defense wasn’t stellar to start either. But the Big Red eventually rallied in a nail-biter, topping the Bears, 70-66, in overtime at Newman Arena to notch their fourth straight win over Brown.

Brown was able to get a few easy baseline threes early from Desmond Cambridge and Obi Okolie, who both struggled after the first 10 minutes. Matt Morgan had a rough, three-point first half.

It was Jimmy Boeheim who stepped up early with the team struggling, scoring 13 of the team’s 27 first-half points. Cornell trailed 31-27 at the half and by as many as 13 (26-13 with 6:12 to go in the first half). It looked like a blowout in the making.

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Ivy women’s hoops Saturday recap

Princeton (11-9, 3-2 Ivy) 93 vs Brown (9-13, 1-5) 74

The Tigers rebounded from Friday night’s overtime loss to Yale by beating the Bears by 19 on Saturday night.  In front of the team’s alumnae, including the ’14-’15 team that went 30-0 in the regular season, Princeton jumped out to a nine point lead after one quarter and eleven at the half.  The Bears cut the lead to six, two and a half minutes into the third quarter, but that would be as close as the they would get.

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An OK, not great, weekend for Penn men’s basketball

OK, not a great weekend for Penn basketball, but it certainly could have been worse.

First, the Quakers got off to an early lead in Providence against Brown which they never relinquished. The Bears, however, looked completely uninspired throughout the contest. Penn was never really in danger of anything except perhaps the random concussion when, in what can be considered the longest two minutes in basketball history, Mike Martin decided to foul every remaining Penn possession. `It was as painful to watch as I am sure as it was for the Red & Blue players to play. Regardless, a win is a win, as they say.

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