The beginning of the end for Cornell

In the midst of a six game losing streak, Cornell headed to Penn and Princeton for its final road trip of the season.  The Big Red were hoping to get back in the win column, surprise a top-tier team and escape the league basement.  Unfortunately, the team finished the weekend with two losses, an eight-game losing streak and sole possession of last place.

Most of the information about this past weekend was covered well by Mike Tony in his Friday roundupSaturday recap and Ivy Power Rankings.

Just to add a small amount to those items:

Read moreThe beginning of the end for Cornell

Harvard-Yale: The Elis must hold serve

The biggest drama Friday night at Yale may be halftime, when Yale will find out if Columbia was able to knock off Princeton at Jadwin. If not, the Elis will likely have to win out.

Yale will be playing its first repeat league game without Jack Montague, with the Elis having already played (and defeated) Harvard sans Montague less than two weeks ago. The experience of that will help. Montague, unfortunately is now out for the rest of the season after having withdrawn from the university.

The Elis beat Harvard, 67-55, at Lavietes Pavilion earlier this month. It was not that close.

Read moreHarvard-Yale: The Elis must hold serve

Jack Montague withdraws from Yale, will not return to team

Jack Montague drills a game-winning three-point shot at then-defending national champion UConn on Dec. 5, 2014.
Jack Montague drills a game-winning three-point shot at then-defending national champion UConn on Dec. 5, 2014. (Sox and Dawgs)

Jack Montague has “withdrawn” from Yale, the Yale Daily News reported Wednesday, citing an update regarding Montague’s status from the University Registrar’s office Tuesday. Later Wednesday afternoon, Yale announced in a press release that Montague will not return to the team, declining further comment.

The University Registrar’s office declined to specify why Montague, the team’s captain, had withdrawn from the university, and Montague had told the YDN he was taking a personal leave on Feb. 17 and added then that he was “trying to come back as soon as possible.”

According to Yale’s policy on absence, withdrawal and reinstatement, the earliest he could have come back to Yale is the spring ’17 semester if his withdrawal is medical, or the fall ’17 semester if his leave is due to personal (non-disciplinary) reasons. If a personal leave is done to avoid disciplinary reasons, then there is no reinstatement. If the withdrawal is due to disciplinary reasons, then the return date is determined by Yale College Executive Committee.

Read moreJack Montague withdraws from Yale, will not return to team

A substantial sweep for Princeton

The Tigers’ weekend sweep of Yale and Brown at Jadwin gave them control of their destiny in the hectic Ivy race and tied them with the Bulldogs in the all-important loss column.

The largest Jadwin crowd in the Mitch Henderson era, bolstered by a beer-soaked cadre of undergraduates and Garden State chief executive Chris Christie, Delaware ’84, was on hand for Friday’s matchup with Justin Sears and company. Yale controlled the backboards and the game in the early going, taking an 11-6 lead after six minutes. Two Sam Downey free throws gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game, 19-13, with nine minutes to go in the first period. The key statistic was Yale’s six offensive rebounds while shutting the Tigers out in that category. At the five-minute mark the margin remained six, 27-21.

Read moreA substantial sweep for Princeton

Another memorable Leede/Lavietes weekend for Yale?

It was penciled in in September as a huge game. One which would go a long way toward deciding the Ivy League Championship, again: Yale at Harvard. Then something went wrong and something else went very right.

Read moreAnother memorable Leede/Lavietes weekend for Yale?

Columbia-Yale: A quick primer

Last year, Yale won at Columbia, 63-59, and Columbia won at Yale, 56-50, a season after the Elis prevailed at Levien Gym in the CIT quarterfinals at the Lions’ expense. But in this series’ matchup in New Haven last season, it was the Bulldog guards who had led the way in a losing effort for Yale, as Justin Sears scored just seven points on 3-for-8 shooting.

Yale enters the game tonight as the best team in the Ivies. Columbia can compete with Princeton as No. 2 until proven otherwise. Columbia is finally playing good defense in Ivy play after bad outings against Longwood, Fairfield and Stony Brook, among others. The Lions have the offensive weapons in Alex Rosenberg, Maodo Lo and a resurgent Grant Mullins to match Yale offensively. Those three notch a combined 42.6 points per contest. Indeed, the Lions are outscoring opponents by 8.5 points per game and outshooting the opposition from three. Luke Petrasek is shooting 53.6 percent from the floor and Lukas Meisner can certainly score off the bench. The Lions are not as strong as Yale in their starting lineup, player for player, and the bench which Yale used sparingly against Princeton, could spell the difference. Once again, if Sears and Sherrod can avoid foul trouble and the crowd is into the game despite a concurrent home hockey contest, the Elis should win. If the Columbia threes are falling, it could be a different story. Time will tell.

Princeton vs. Yale: A crucial showdown in New Haven

January 30 is a bit early for one of the three top most significant Ivy games of the year. But here it is. Princeton at Yale.

Last year, Yale beat Princeton on the road, 81-73, and smothered the Tigers at home in February, 81-60. Justin Sears had a total of 53 points on 19-for-26 shooting. Princeton simply had no one to contain him.

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Penn comes first for Yale this weekend

Last year, Yale trumped Penn easily at the Palestra, 75-48, with Makai Mason leading the way off the bench with 14 points. The series finished much closer in New Haven, with the game not decided until the final minute. Yale won, 55-50, partially due to a 32-24 rebounding advantage and 9-for-10 free throw shooting from now graduated Javier Duren.

Read morePenn comes first for Yale this weekend