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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Cornell fades late, falls in upset bid against Syracuse

The hoopla over Saturday’s Cornell-Syracuse tilt being the Battle of the Boeheims gave way to a good basketball game, with the Big Red clinging to a lead with six minutes to play.

But several bad shots and turnovers down the stretch along with a couple of tough shots falling for the lethal Tyus Battle-Frank Howard combo for Syracuse brought the Big Red down, resulting in a 63-55 Syracuse victory.

and because of that Syracuse was able to escape with a 63-55 victory. Cornell dropped back to 4-4 while Syracuse went to 5-2.

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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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Absent Chris Lewis, Harvard stuns Saint Mary’s with impressive road win

Harvard took the floor on Saturday night with an immediate disadvantage: already 8.5-point underdogs on the road against the Gaels, the Crimson had arguably their three best players donning street clothes. On the far right side of their bench sat Bryce Aiken, Seth Towns, and, to the surprise of many, Chris Lewis, Harvard’s leading scorer.

After earning Ivy Rookie of the Year honors in his freshman campaign, Aiken battled knee ailments all of last year and missed an extended amount of time. When he did play, it was clear that he wasn’t at full strength. The former top-100 recruit underwent surgery this past offseason, and was expected to be healthy by the start of this year. However, Aiken has yet to see action in the 2018-19 season.

It’s been an eerily similar journey for Towns, whose breakout sophomore season earned him the 2017-18 Ivy League Men’s Player of the Year award. The lanky sharpshooter scored just under 23 points per 40 minutes last year, shooting more than 44 percent from deep. His impact on Harvard’s offense was especially noticeable late in the shot clock; when the Crimson had no open looks and the clock was nearing zero, Towns would often create shots on his own via isolation play.

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Women’s hoops week in review: Nov. 12-18

Princeton (0-2 This week; 1-3 overall)
vs Seton Hall 66-70
at Penn State 71-79 (OT)
Even with their starting lineup absences, the Tigers just missed sweeping two major conference foes this week.  Against Seton Hall, Princeton came back from an 18 point third quarter deficit to hold a 66-59 point advantage with 2:15 left in the game.  Unfortunately, the Orange & Black went scoreless the rest of the way, as the Pirates finished on an 11-0 run.  The Tigers were also up 7 against Penn State with 2:42 left in regulation, but the Nittany Lions went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 63.  In the extra session, Princeton could only manage 1 field goal in 10 attempts as they went down to their third straight defeat.

Despite the losses, Princeton received improved play from first-year starters Grace Stone (13 points and 7 rebounds in 36 minutes vs PSU), and Kira Emsbo (6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks in 12 minutes vs PSU), a 6′ 5″ forward who missed her senior season due to a ACL tear.  A Thanksgiving tournament in Cancun against DePaul (#15), Syracuse (#18) and Kansas State should continue to give the younger Tigers more experience and make the whole team stronger by the time Bella Alarie, Taylor Baur and Qalea Ismail return from the DL.

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Women’s Hoops Week in Review: Nov. 6-13, 2018

Princeton (1-1 This week; 1-1 Overall)
The Tigers did not miss Leslie Robinson (graduation), Bella Alarie (injury), Abby Meyers (academic suspension), and Qalea Ismail (injury) on Tuesday, beating the Broncs 89-65 at Jadwin.  The Orange & Black, led by 25 points from Gabrielle Rush, 16 from Carlie Littlefield and 10 from Taylor Baur, shot 47 percent from three and 59 percent from two.

Things were completely different at George Washington, when Princeton arrived with Baur added to the injured list.  The Tigers, who beat the Colonials by 20 one year ago, could not get anything going offensively, eventually falling by a score of 64-49.  For the afternoon, the Tigers only shot 18 percent from beyond the arc and 42 percent from two.  Sophomore McKenna Haire came off the bench to lead the Tigers with 13 points, followed by 12 from first-year starter Julia Cunningham.

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Ivies go 7-0 on opening night

  1. While most of the nation’s attention was focused on Election Night coverage, seven of the 16 Ivy teams opened the 2018-19 season. When the evening was over, the four men’s and three women’s teams were victorious and there was no need for any recounts.  After noting the highs and lows for the Penn men, below are summaries for the other six squads.

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