Kobe Bryant’s impact on the game of basketball and the people who have a passion for it has been incalculable, and his sudden death at 41 following a helicopter crash that killed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others near Los Angeles Sunday put into perspective just how much Bryant mattered to those who have been Ivy League hoopsters.
One week later, and not much has changed.
Harvard once again came close to blowing a double-digit lead in the final minutes but again managed to hold on for just long enough to come away from Hanover its eighth straight win, 70-66, and a sweep of Dartmouth.
ITHACA, N.Y. – Freshman Shannon Mulroy scored a career-high 27 points off of seven threes as the Big Red prevailed past the Columbia Lions at Newman Arena in overtime, 80-77, avenging their 10-point loss to Columbia last weekend.
“We were just working the ball around and whoever was open was gonna shoot it, and I just happened to be open,” said Mulroy. “Whoever’s open would knock them down.”
“We took care of the ball,” said Big Red coach Dayna Smith. “We mixed up our defenses a little more; we kept people in front of us and didn’t allow as much penetration.”
ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell limited Columbia guards Jack Forrest and Mike Smith to a combined 7-for-32 shooting night as the Big Red took down the Lions, 62-50, at Newman Arena to pick up their first Ivy League win and first Division I win since Nov. 5.
The Big Red (4-11, 1-1 Ivy) were led by a balanced attack on offense while limiting the Lions (6-11, 1-1) to 32% shooting on defense. That was mainly due to Bryan Knapp’s all-around effort for the Big Red. He was tasked with guarding Mike Smith, who scored just 15 points on 5-for-23 shooting.
“We were just forcing him left, [isolating] him as much as we could, just team defense,” said Knapp. “We knew if we could shut him down, that was it. The last five minutes, the gameplan was ‘Bryan, don’t let him get the ball.'”
The Dartmouth women entered Saturday’s rematch at Harvard looking to for its first series sweep since 2009, but a strong defensive effort and solid late-quarter three point shooting allowed the Crimson to keep its streak intact in front of a boisterous Alumnae Day crowd.
On Wednesday, Columbia Athletics announced that the basketball court at Levien Gymnasium will be named for alumnus Jonathan Schiller.
A quick note to readers of Ivy Hoops Online that Thursday marked the 18-month anniversary of the Penn Athletics announcement that it would be hiring outside legal counsel to look into Jerome Allen receiving bribes from Florida businessman Philip Esformes to place Esformes’s son, Morris Esformes, onto the recruited athlete list for the entering Fall 2015 class. The information was revealed as federal authorities were investigating the elder Esformes for healthcare fraud.
With Bryce Aiken watching from the sideline in a walking boot, Harvard withstood a late push from Dartmouth to take its Ivy opener, 67-62, at home.
The first half belonged to senior center Chris Lewis, who had 11 points and was perfect from the floor, while his freshman frontcourt partner Chris Ledlum led the Crimson (12-4, 1-0 Ivy) in the second half with 11 of his own. It was a game of highs and lows for Tommy Amaker’s squad, who withstood Dartmouth’s hot start and good shooting from behind the arc (41%) in the first half, but almost squandered a 12-point lead in the final minutes.
Columbia built an early lead and avoided a late-game collapse, as the Lions opened the Ivy schedule with a convincing 75-61 victory over Cornell Saturday at Levien Gym.
The Big Red (3-11, 0-1 Ivy) started out strong, shooting 57% by the first media timeout, to take a quick 12-9 lead. Unfortunately for the visitors, the Lions (6-11 overall, 1-0) limited Cornell to 14% shooting over the next 14-plus minutes. The Columbia offense, meanwhile, was clicking on all cylinders, shooting 67% from two, 50% from three and 71% from the free throw line to take a commanding 48-29 halftime lead.
Columbia’s three-point shooting was as cold as the snow-filled campus over the game’s first 35 minutes, but a late surge from downtown lifted the Lions to a 76-66 victory in the conference opener against Cornell.
The Light Blue (10-4, 1-0 Ivy) tried to deny the inside early against the Big Red, one of the nation’s top rebounding and two-point shooting teams. Cornell (7-6, 0-1 Ivy) foiled that plan by taking a 10-7 lead on the boards and hitting three of six shots from beyond the arc. Thanks to a strong 47% shooting effort, Columbia was able to finish the first 10 minutes with the score tied at 20.