Princeton’s roller-coaster regular season ended in calamity this weekend. In a season of ups and downs, the Tigers saved their worst for last, losing back-to-back games in convincing fashion at home to Brown and Yale. After surrendering an astounding 25 turnovers to Brown on Friday night, the Tigers completely collapsed on Senior Night, losing by 22 points on Saturday to Yale, 81-59. It was the most lopsided loss by a Princeton team at home to Yale in program history.
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.
Harvard (8-5 Ivy, 15-11) 80 vs Cornell (5-8 Ivy, 11-13) 38
Harvard clinched a spot in Ivy Madness and locked down the third seed for next Saturday’s semifinal with a dominant 80-34 win over Cornell. The win, in addition to securing the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the Ivy Tournament, was the 600th career victory for Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith is now one of 19 active coaches to reach that impressive milestone.
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:
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
Yale junior forward Miye Oni is one of Ivy League basketball’s most electrifying talents, a NBA-caliber standout and Ivy Player of the Year candidate who ranks in the league’s top 10 in scoring, assists, three-point percentage, three-point field goals, blocks, free-throw percentage, rebounding, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes played. His father Oludotun resides in California and attends many Yale games.
Ivy Hoops Online: Has Miye always been such a young age very interested in basketball?
Oludotun Oni: Yes, as early as two years old. He loved to shoot the ball and he always wanted to wear his Kobe jerseys. We bought him a toy hoop and he would shoot the ball all day long. He never got tired of it; he would cry when it was time to wrap it up. I remember him asking me to lift him up so he could “dunk.” He was so excited one day when Derek Fisher, then with the LA Lakers, gave him a “high-five” during an event at the Valencia mall in California. When he was five years old, he and his older sister (Toni) played in the YMCA league, then later in the church league, and the Los Angeles Rec./Park league. We also took both of them to the Michael Jordan Flight School camp at UC Santa Barbara for a couple of years.
Eight thoughts on the women’s side:
1. Aghayere on a rebounding spree
There was a whopping 77 points scored in the first half in Penn’s battle with visiting Cornell, featuring the Big Red’s No. 2 Ivy scoring defense vs. the Red & Blue’s No. 1 Ivy scoring defense. No. 1 eventually got the best of No. 2 as the game eventually settled into more of a grind-it-out struggle. Princess Aghayere posted a career-high 23 points and 10 boards, the fourth double-double of her senior campaign. Aghayere grabbed seven of Penn’s offensive rebounds, fueling a 15-6 scoring edge for Penn in second-chance points. Aghayere is one of three Quakers to rank in the Ivy’s top nine in offensive rebounding (fifth behind league-leading Eleah Parker and ahead of Ashley Russell in ninth place). If Penn goes to another 2-3 zone variation against Princeton tomorrow night, Aghayere will have to come up big on the boards as she did in Penn’s win at Princeton last month, when she snared a team-high 12 boards, limiting a Tigers squad that crashed the boards against the zone well that day.
Eight thoughts on the men’s side:
1. Penn’s defense finds its stride
Penn held Cornell to 18 points in the second half and 0.78 points per possession for the night, an inspired defensive performance marking the latest glimpse of how high Penn’s ceiling can be when the defense is fully locked in. Matt Morgan’s usage rate was lower than usual, and Penn did a good job zeroing in on the second-all-time leading scorer in Ivy history. Morgan and company actually had a decent outing from beyond the arc (8-for-22, 36.4 percent), but it didn’t matter because everything else was effectively taken away. The Big Red typically thrive at the foul line, but Penn’s characteristically disciplined defense (the Quakers rank best in the Ivy League in defensive free throw rate) didn’t feed into that. Instead, Penn preserved its outside shot at an Ivy League Tournament berth, a feat only as realistic as its defense is strong down the stretch.
Eight thoughts on the women’s side:
1. Dartmouth hanging in there
Dartmouth did something it hadn’t done in a decade last night: defeat Yale at home. And the timing was pivotal as the Big Green notched its second win at the wire in the past four games courtesy of a Paula Lenart putback of a missed Isalys Quinones three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left, giving the Big Green a 56-54 victory to lift them to 4-5 in the Ivy standings – within a game of Yale with five outings to go. It was a gutsy win for the Big Green, whose savvy senior guard Cy Lippold suffered an injury versus Princeton last Saturday. Lenart and Quinones put Dartmouth over the top in a defensive battle, and Annie McKenna’s six steals helped stymie the Bulldogs. If Dartmouth can best Brown tonight and sweep Columbia and Cornell in the final weekend, it has a decent chance of tying Yale in the Ivy standings at 8-6, but the Bulldogs would still own the second tiebreaker: highest seed defeated (Yale has topped both Princeton and Harvard, while Dartmouth has beaten neither.) So the Big Green’s road slate at Penn and Princeton next weekend is a huge, if challenging, opportunity to neutralize or even claim the tiebreaker away from Yale.