WNIT recap: Penn and Harvard move on with wire-to-wire wins

Penn (23-6) 64 vs. American (22-11) 45

In a game between the regular season co-champions of the Ivy and Patriot Leagues, the Quakers dominated all facets of the game and ran away with a 64-45 victory. Penn jumped out to a 16-5 lead after one quarter and stretched it to 23 with just under a minute to go in the first half.  American scored the first seven points of the third quarter to make it a 41-24 game, but that would be the closest they would get.

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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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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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Ivy Madness media day tidbits

 

  • Penn men’s coach Steve Donahue noted Penn’s “interesting path” to the Ivy League Tournament, which included a 0-3 start to league play for the second time in three seasons, Antonio Woods noted he’ll shoulder the burden of guarding Bryce Aiken, and AJ Brodeur said that it may be more difficult to play Ivy teams than Big 5 teams because the Ivies know the Red & Blue so well and are more prepared to face them.

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Reports: Jerome Allen testifies about taking money to get recruit into Penn

Five months after former men’s coach Jerome Allen reportedly pled guilty to accepting a bribe from a Florida businessman, Philip Esformes, to place Esformes’s son Morris Esformes on the recruited athletes list, he testified late last week and provided more information than had been previously reported.  Details of his testimony can be found at the Miami Herald, the Daily Pennsylvanian, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Law360.

Among the bombshells reported by Law360:

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