On Saturday night, the Ivy League regular season ended with a co-championship, another dominant night from the third-place team and a surprise fourth-place team heading to Ivy Madness.
In Saturday’s regular season finale against last-place Dartmouth, Cornell’s five seniors Joel Davis, Jack Gordon, Troy Whiteside, Steven Julian, and of course Matt Morgan were honored pregame and all got the start. After Cornell got the first two points just 35 seconds in from a Steven Julian alley-oop, the Big Green went on an 11-2 run and eventually led by one at the half.
But Cornell dominated the second half, outscoring Dartmouth by 16 and winning, 66-51. Jimmy Boeheim arguably played his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points off an excellent 9-for-10 shooting from the field, and a perfect 2-for-2 from deep.
Matt Morgan couldn’t follow up his dominant 31-point performance on Friday against Harvard, finishing with just eight points and snapping his double-digit scoring streak at 80 games, good for 12th in college basketball history and an Ivy League record.
Seeing it through
Brown notched an outstanding 67-63 win at Jadwin Gym, hanging on after nearly surrendering a 60-47 lead with 2:17 left. Brandon Anderson was the best player on the floor off the bench, posting 21 points and three steals in just 28 minutes, his trips to the foul line and jumpers setting back the Tigers any time they got even a modicum of momentum. Brown’s defense shut Princeton down early and often, holding the Tigers to 0.79 points per possession and collecting a whopping 25 turnovers from the hosts.
The Cornell Big Red defense came out with a plan to slow down Harvard’s junior guard Bryce Aiken, and was very successful in doing so. Aiken had 17 points but shot a poor 4-for-18 from the field. Cornell’s Matt Morgan put on a show in one of his last home games, dropping 31 points with five threes, leading Cornell to a 72-59 win over the Crimson.
This season was the first time in nine years that the Big Red swept Harvard, dating back to the magical Sweet 16 run of 2009-10. Unfortunately, Cornell didn’t get the help it needed from Princeton and Yale Friday, and the Big Red were eliminated from the Ivy League Tournament. But, they still have a lot to play for on Saturday against Dartmouth.
In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Yale basketball legend Jim Morgan ’71 and IHO writer Rob Browne.
Mike and Rob consider future Ivy League Tournament venue sizes and the option of expanding the tournament to eight teams, react to Devin Cannady’s leave of absence, recap last weekend’s pivotal men’s and women’s action and predict what the women’s and men’s Ivy League Tournament seedings will look like:
Jim Morgan reflects on how he came to play at Yale (where he still holds the highest scoring average in program history), going head-to-head with Pete Maravich (and winning), playing for coach Joe Vancisin, the Dartmouth shuffle, facing the 1970-71 Penn team that achieved an undefeated regular season, what he thinks of the Ivy League Tournament’s rotational schedule, and much more:
Banghart earns win 250, Delaney Smith sticks at 599
In a matchup of two of the Ivy’s premier teams and coaches, the Tigers (18-9, 10-2 Ivy) came out on top of the Crimson (14-11, 7-5), 61-58, on Saturday night. With the win, Princeton coach Courtney Banghart won the 250th game of her 12-year career. Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 37th year there, will have to wait one more weekend to try and capture the 600th win of her storied tenure.
In a defensive battle where both teams shot under 36 percent from the field, the Tigers were able to use its inside presence (11-for-15 vs 2-for-2 in free throws; 36 to 28 points in the paint) to offset Harvard’s league-leading outside game. The Crimson, which entered the game shooting more than 33 percent from three and averaging over nine treys a game, finished the night making only six baskets at a 23 percent accuracy.
A little more than two weeks ago at the halfway point, Cornell had a 5-2 Ivy League record and looked well in control of the fourth seed for the Ivy League Tournament. But after a home loss to Yale, and two consecutive road weekends that resulted in being swept, Cornell now sits at 5-7 and tied with Penn for fifth, a game behind Brown.
After Friday’s action, two teams (Princeton, Penn) clinched spots in Ivy Madness and one team (Brown) was eliminated, while the other five teams continue to battle it out for the last two tickets to IT-3.
Princeton 64 vs Dartmouth 47
Penn 75 vs Harvard 70
Cornell 66 vs Yale 56
Columbia 93 vs Brown 62
In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Dartmouth coach Belle Koclanes and IHO writer George Clark.
Mike and George sound off on the Ivy League’s announcement this week of the conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025, analyze the Princeton women’s huge win at Penn Tuesday night, look back at the past weekend of Ivy action and ahead to the penultimate weekend of league play:
This weekend, Yale, Harvard and Princeton can all clinch their spots in the 2019 Ivy League Tournament. With that happening, the other five teams still mathematically have a chance to get that fourth spot, but only three of those teams remain the most likely.
Columbia and Dartmouth each sit at 2-8 in conference play despite playing good basketball, but each becomes mathematically eliminated with a loss this weekend.
However, Cornell, Brown and Penn remain right in the thick of it. Cornell and Brown each sit at 5-5 with a matchup between the two on Saturday in Providence. Remember, Cornell won the first meeting between the teams. Penn sits at 4-6, desperately needing a road sweep this weekend but with a tough Harvard team in its way Friday.
Cornell and Penn will look to Columbia to help play a spoiler role to knock off Brown on Friday on ESPNU, and doing so would put Cornell and Penn in a more likely position to get the final slot.
Looking up top, Yale and Harvard will be all clinched with home wins on Friday, but they won’t come easy, playing Cornell and Penn respectively. Cornell winning at Yale Friday would be a huge boon and confidence-booster for the Big Red.
Princeton can get in with a win and Brown and Cornell losses on Friday, being the simplest way to do so.
Now let’s look at clinching scenarios for Cornell, Brown and Penn: