Ivy women’s hoops weekend roundup – Nov. 8-10, 2019

Fri., Nov. 8

Harvard (2-0) 56 vs California (0-1) 53

Cornell (1-0) 71 at Albany (1-1) 51

Cornell opened the 2019-20 season with a dominant road win against Albany, which beat Columbia by four points in overtime on Tuesday.  As opposed to the run-and-gun game against the Lions, the Great Danes would be forced into a halfcourt contest by the defense-oriented Big Red.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops weekend roundup – Nov. 8-10, 2019

Harvard bests California for second straight season

Powered by a second-half comeback, Harvard defeated California for the second straight season Friday night, scoring a 56-53 triumph over the Golden Bears in its home opener.

The Crimson (2-0) trailed 29-19 at halftime but cut the Cal (0-1) lead to 41-39 entering the fourth quarter after an eight-point third quarter from first-year Lola Mullaney, who after exploding for 25 points in her collegiate debut at Northern Illinois notched another 14 points in 27 minutes before exiting midway through the fourth quarter due to injury, having been helped off the floor.

Three other Crimson players joined Mullaney in double figures: senior Mackenzie Barta, who also grabbed 12 boards and made two clutch free throws to extend Harvard’s lead to five with 25 seconds left, sophomore Tess Sussman, who after Mullaney exited scored nine points in the final 6:42 to help secure the win, and senior Jeannie Boehm, who pitched in 10 points in 29 minutes.

Harvard upset No. 14 California 85-79 at Haas Pavilion last season.

Ivy women go 3-2 with a no-decision on opening day

While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.

For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.

Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena.  Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.

Read moreIvy women go 3-2 with a no-decision on opening day

Report: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

As the college basketball world gets ready to tip off on Tuesday night, the Ivy League has its eyes on its end-of-year tournament.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald reported late Monday morning that the conference has decided to move each of the women’s events up one day making Ivy Madness a four-day event.

Prior to the 2018 Ivy Tournament, the Harvard Magazine’s David Tannenwald wrote “A Gendered Schedule”, a piece that described the frustration that a number of Ivy women’s basketball coaches had with the schedule from the inaugural tournament in 2017.  That year, the women’s semifinals were played in the late morning and evening, book-ending the men’s semifinals. Despite the conference’s best intentions, the coaches and their teams felt like second-class citizens in an event that was supposed to reflect equality.

Read moreReport: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

Harvard’s Katie Benzan commits to Texas for 2020-21 season

It appears that Katie Benzan will be trading in her crimson for burnt orange next season.

The three time first team All-Ivy guard, who announced she would forgo her senior season in late August, informed the Harvard Crimson newspaper that she verbally committed to the University of Texas at Austin for a graduate transfer year in 2020-21.  She will formally sign a National Letter of Intent in the upcoming early signing period that runs from November 13 through 20.

Read moreHarvard’s Katie Benzan commits to Texas for 2020-21 season

Ivy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings

Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:

Read moreIvy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings

Ivy League player carousel

The biggest story of the off-season was Miye Oni being selected in June’s NBA Draft.  The Yale junior and reigning Ivy Player of the Year decided to leave school early and leave his name in the draft.  Despite falling to the late second round, a perilous spot to making an NBA roster, Oni impressed in the Summer League and earned a guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz.  He is playing just as well in the pre-season and looks to be a real steal for the Jazz.

Read moreIvy League player carousel

Ivy League coaching carousel

After three years without any head coaching changes, things changed in a big way at the end of April.  Princeton’s Courtney Banghart left after 12 seasons and seven Ivy titles to rebuild the program at the University of North Carolina. The Tigers search lasted a month, ending with the hiring of former UConn guard and long-time Tufts head coach Carla Berube.

On the men’s side, the conference almost lost James Jones to St. John’s, but the Yale coach finished as the Red Storm’s runner-up.  Weeks later, Jones signed an extension that will keep him in New Haven until the end of the 2025-2026 campaign.  In May, Brown’s Mike Martin was reported to be at Holy Cross interviewing for the Crusaders job, but a probable extension kept him in Providence.

Several Ivy assistants made the jump to head coaching positions with Columbia’s (and former Harvard’s) Kenny Blakeney heading to Howard, Penn’s Bernadette Laukaitis returning to Holy Family, Brown’s Tyler Simms going to Clark, and Brown’s Sara Binkhorst moving to Wheaton.

In the off-season’s strangest coaching news, Dartmouth promoted assistant coach Pete Hutchins to associate head coach on March 19th, only to see him jump to an assistant coaching position at George Mason on May 2nd.

The complete list of changes, from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020, for all 16 Ivy teams are noted below.

Read moreIvy League coaching carousel

Ivy 60 for 60: Jeremy Lin

Before “Linsanity,” Jeremy Lin was a two-time All-Ivy selection at Harvard.

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

One of the few Ivy League basketball standouts known more for their professional basketball exploits, Jeremy Lin is also one of its most grateful.

Lin has given Ivy hoops fans a lot to be grateful for too.

Read moreIvy 60 for 60: Jeremy Lin

Ivy hoops roundup – Sept. 25, 2019

  • Princeton’s Bella Alarie completed her last 3×3 tournaments with USA Basketball with a silver medal effort in  Edmonton this past weekend and a bronze medal showing in Montreal in early September.  Overall, her team came in seventh place in the 28-team field.
    The two-time Ivy Player of the Year, who also picked up a silver medal with USA Basketball at this summer’s Pan American Games, continues to improve her stock as she heads into her final year for the Tigers.  Michelle Williams of the WNBA listed Alarie as one of the 12 potential first-round picks in next years’s Draft, while Howard Megdal of High Post Hoops had her as the number five pick for the Minnesota Lynx.
  • Harvard men’s coach Tommy Amaker told Jon Rothstein that 2018 men’s Ivy League Player of the Year, Seth Towns, has been cleared for non-contact work.  Towns, a co-captain of this year’s Crimson team, missed all of last year due to a knee injury sustained in the 2018 Ivy Tournament final against Penn.
    Earlier this month, the senior from Columbus, Ohio, was one of 16 players attending the NCAA Elite Student-Athlete Symposium for Men’s Basketball in Indianapolis.

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – Sept. 25, 2019