Ivy women’s hoops weekend review – Jan. 19-20, 2019

Brown (9-8, 1-0 Ivy) 86 vs Yale (10-6, 0-1 Ivy) 71

The Bears starters used a fast paced offense and defense to pave the way for a 86-71 victory in front of a boisterous Education Day crowd at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  Shayna Mehta led the way for Brown, scoring a career high 37 points on 10 for 19 shooting from the field and 14 of 15 from the free throw line.  In all, Brown had four players in double figures with Justine Gaziano adding 19, Taylor Will scoring 13 and Erika Steeves putting in 11.  Bruno shot 52 percent from the field, including 8 three pointers at 44 percent, and hit 76 percent (16-21) from the charity stripe.  On defense, Yale was held to 29 percent shooting from three and 50 percent (8-16) from the line, while Roxy Barahman, who entered the day as the league’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per game, was limited to eight points on 23 percent shooting.  The Bears full court pressure stymied the Bulldogs to the tune of 18 steals and 20 forced turnovers that led to 29 points.

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Matt Morgan becomes Cornell all-time leading scorer

Cornell’s first half en route to a thrilling 60-59 victory over Columbia offered more than just a 14-0 start; it featured Matt Morgan surpassing Ryan Wittman as Cornell’s all-time leading scorer and move into fourth place all-time in Ivy men’s scoring history.

Morgan has shown over the last four years that he is one of the premier scorers in mid-major basketball along with Fletcher Magee (Wofford) and Mike Daum (South Dakota State). Morgan is now one of just over 570 players who have scored more than 2,000 points all time. His streak of 68 games with double-figure points is now 23rd all-time. His three free throws on the night also put him 14th in conference history in made free-throws. His three steals put him 13th in program history and sits 15th in Cornell history in steals. He now sits just 114 points away from second all-time in conference scoring, a slot long held by Jim Barton of Dartmouth.

His fourth straight scoring title seems like a sure thing, as he is averaging at least 3.9 points more per game than any other Ivy player, with second place belonging to Princeton’s Devin Cannady, who has been suspended.

Morgan also hit a career-high nine threes in Cornell’s previous game (a win at Towson), tied for first in program history for a single game. Becoming Cornell’s all-time leading scorer may now be his greatest accomplishment, but that may change once he becomes second in conference history. Unless he averaged 35.3 points per game the rest of Ivy play, Morgan won’t break Bill Bradley’s record of 2,503 points, unless Cornell finds itself in the postseason.

Ivy women’s weekend preview: Jan. 18-19, 2019

Yale (10-5, 0-0 Ivy) at Brown (8-8, 0-0) – Friday 1/18/19 11:00 am
1/12/18 Yale home win, 77-63
1/19/18 Brown home win, 81-71

Yale
RPI #109; Strength of Schedule #256
Current Steak 5 wins; Last Five 5-0

Roxy Barahman (junior, guard) – 20.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.2 stealspg, 36.2 minutespg
Camilla Emsbo (first-year, forward) – 11.0 ppg, 50.4% FG, 8.9 rpg, 1.8 blockspg
Megan Gorman (junior, forward) – 7.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 32.4 minutes pg

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Dartmouth engineers commanding win over Harvard

Last year, there was the Legend of Flannel Night! This year, we can add the new Legend of Wings Night!!

The Harvard men arrived for their league-opening match with Dartmouth as a five-point favorite, according to KenPom. They also had former first team All-Ivy guard Bryce Aiken in uniform for the first time this season. Neither of those things mattered, in the end (and Aiken didn’t play anyway), as the Big Green used a sizzling 68 percent shooting performance to beat the Crimson, 81-63, for their first Ivy opening victory in 12 years.

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Penn men left looking for answers after being swept by Princeton

On an afternoon when the University of Pennsylvania honored the 1978-1979 Final Four team, the present-day Quakers played more like the 2014-15 squad in a 62-53 defeat to their arch rivals from Princeton. In another game of sloppy offense and tenacious defense from both sides, the Tigers (9-5, 2-0 Ivy) prevailed on the strength of their rebounding and free throw shooting.

An AJ Brodeur jump shot in the paint capped a 12-1 Penn (10-6, 0-2) run, giving the Red & Blue a 20-10 lead with 6:55 left in the first half. The lid then seemed to close for the rest of the half for the Quakers as the Tigers bounced back with two 6-0 runs to finish the half tied at 27.

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Big Green looks for big upset in Ivy opener versus Harvard

The Dartmouth men’s basketball team welcomes Harvard on Saturday night for both programs’ Ivy tip-off. The Crimson have won the last four meetings and five of the last six, including both games in 2018. On Jan. 6, Harvard beat Dartmouth 61-51 at Lavietes Pavilion, while earning a 62-57 overtime victory at Leede Arena on Jan. 20.

The Big Green, picked eighth in the Ivy media preseason poll, finished the nonconference schedule at 9-7, already the most single season wins in coach David McLaughlin’s three-year tenure and the school’s best mark since going 8-4 in the 1996-97 campaign. The team is now ranked at No. 223 by KenPom, the program’s best since 2015, and look to defend their home court against the 2018 regular season co-champs and 2019 preseason Ivy favorites.

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Ivy women’s hoops in review: Jan. 5-6

Penn takes round one at Princeton

On Saturday afternoon, the Penn women, behind a career game from junior Phoebe Sterba, bounced back from a dominant Princeton third quarter to take the Ivy opener 66-60. The Quakers’ (9-2, 1-0 Ivy, 2-0 Big 5) victory, the first over the Tigers (8-8, 0-1) since the 2017 Ivy League Tournament championship, extends their present steak to five games and gives them an important road victory over the Ivy preseason favorites.

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Penn poised to bounce back against Princeton

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Red and Blue. After a euphoric start to the season with wins over New Mexico, Miami and, of course, the reigning national champions, the Quakers then had a bit of downturn, losing in blowout fashion to Toledo and enduring an embarrassing defeat to the heretofore winless Monmouth Hawks. Naturally, the last two losses can be explained as starters freshman Michael Wang and senior Max Rothschild were both out due to injury. Injuries are indeed part of the sport (just ask Harvard), and losing two productive members of the frontcourt rendered this Penn team substantially smaller and guard-heavy. (Oh, did I also mention that Penn had already lost its leading scorer from last year as well?) Although “super-stud” AJ Brodeur did his best, it hard for any team to win in this fashion.  

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Princeton has become a different team going into Penn rematch

Mike Tony posted an excellent recap of Saturday’s heart-stopping overtime victory by the Tigers over arch-rival Penn. I thought I’d share some of my own observations.

Pete Carril was on hand to welcome back one of his favorite teams, the 1969 Ivy Champions, celebrating the 50th anniversary of that title. Most of the members of that team returned, led by NBA first-rounders Geoff Petrie and John Hummer. The first game in Jadwin Gym, also against Penn, was played 50 years ago this month.

The Tigers of January are a far different team than the one that opened the Division I season absorbing a sound thrashing by Lehigh in Bethlehem. Let’s break down the changes, most of which have been positive.

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Ivy women’s hoops in review: Dec 23 – Jan 4 (Pre-Ivy edition)

Princeton (8-7)
Div I Opponents Win Rate: 53.3 percent (#108, nationally)
12/29 at New Hampshire, 90-42

The Tigers have won seven straight, outscoring those opponents by an average of 72.3 to 49.6.  For the season, they are leading  the league in free throw (79.6 percent; #6 nationally) and second in three point (33.3 percent; #86) shooting.  The two point shooting is last in the league (43.9 percent; #175), but is quickly improving with the return of Bella Alarie (19.3 ppg; 55.3 percent from two) and Taylor Baur (11.0 ppg; 60.0 percent from two) to the starting lineup.  The defense is controlling the paint with a 13.7 block rate (#2  Ivy; #14), as well as holding rivals to 66.7 percent from the free throw line (#3 Ivy; 113) and 41.8 percent from two (#4 Ivy; 95).  While they are last in defensive three point shooting (34.4 percent; #289) for the season, in their last seven games the Orange & Black have held teams to 28.6 percent (38-133) from beyond the arc.

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