No. 11 Princeton comes up just short against No. 6 Kentucky in NCAA Tournament, 82-77

The No. 11 seed Princeton women’s basketball team gave No. 6 seed (and national No. 17) Kentucky all it could handle but came up just short in its first-round game at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

The Tigers were up by as many as nine points in the second quarter and up four at the half, but a 28-15 third quarter propelled the Wildcats into the lead and gave them enough of a cushion to withstand a late Tigers rally to claim the first-round victory.

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No. 6 Harvard outlasts No. 3 Georgetown, 71-68, to advance to NIT second round

No. 6 Harvard registered the first win for an Ivy League team in the NIT in 17 years courtesy of a balanced scoring effort, turning in a 71-68 win at Georgetown.

Despite trailing 54-49 with 11:52 to play, the Crimson (19-11) fought back, overcoming a 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) shooting effort from deep at McDonough Arena for their postseason win since 2014, when the Crimson upset Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament.

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Ivy Madness: An appreciation

Constance Cotton and her son, Yale first-year guard Matthue Cotton, with Yale first-year forward Isaiah Kelly and his mother Beverly (from left), as they share a moment of familial celebration on the floor of the John J. Lee Amphitheater following the Bulldogs’ 97-85 championship victory over Harvard in Sunday’s Ivy League Tournament final. (Photo courtesy of Constance Cotton)

With the Yale men and the Princeton women winning their respective divisions on Sunday, another Ivy League Tournament is in the books.  Here are a few of my personal highlights that were not found on the television or the box scores:

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Ivy League postseason schedule

CIT: Cornell men at Robert Morris, Tues., 7 p.m. (NEC Front Row)

Cornell is set to make its first postseason appearance in nine years when it plays Robert Morris in the first round of the 2019 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Big Red’s previous five  postseason appearances were all in the NCAA Tournament (1954, 1988, 2008, 2009, 2010). The game pits Princeton alumnus and Cornell coach Brian Earl against Penn alumnus and Robert Morris coach Andy Toole.

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No. 1 Princeton wears down No. 2 Penn in fourth quarter, wins Ivy League Tournament final, 65-54

In a tight game between the regular season co-champions that featured 10 lead changes and six ties, Princeton’s stars took control down the stretch to defeat Penn and win the Tigers’ second consecutive Ivy League Tournament title Sunday.

With the victory, the Tigers (22-9) secured the Ancient Eight’s automatic bid and await their opponent for the NCAA Tournament on Monday night’s selection show.  Penn (23-6), meanwhile, will have to wait and see if it can secure the Ivy League’s second-ever at-large bid or be chosen for a second straight WNIT appearance.

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No. 1 Harvard proves too deep, too strong for No. 4 Penn in Ivy League Tournament semifinal

Tommy Amaker summed things up simply when he stepped into today’s postgame press conference: “We had to do everything we could to make winning plays to win the game.”

But they did.

Harvard took Penn’s best punches in each of the two halves but proved to be too strong and too deep for a Quakers team that has been depleted by injuries all season long. Bryce Aiken, a two-time first-team All-Ivy guard, epitomized this for the Crimson as he scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the last eight minutes of each half.

The game started out well for Penn, which used a 7-0 run to jump out to a 14-4 lead at the 13:21 mark of the first half.  Harvard chipped away and eventually took its first lead of the game, 31-28, after a Noah Kirkwood three with 3:56 left in the first half.  The Crimson held on and went to the locker room, up 36-34.

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More Ivy Madness media day tidbits

Tommy Amaker, Harvard men’s coach, on what he and his team have learned from their first two experiences in the Ivy League Tournament: “We’ve learned how hard it is (to win).  We learned how hard it is to play in tournament atmospheres, tournament environments.  We’ve played well, but haven’t been able to win the championship.  You need to be a little bit lucky as well as playing well.  We’re hopeful for both this weekend.”

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