Yale defeats Central Arkansas, 54-50, to take WBI championship

After spending most of Wednesday traveling 1,500 miles from New Haven to Atlanta to Little Rock to Conway, Ark., the Yale women’s basketball team had enough energy left in the tank to take down the University of Central Arkansas, 54-50, for the 2018 Women’s Basketball Invitational championship.

In a defensive contest that came down to the wire, first team All-Ivy senior forward Jen Berkowitz scored the final four points for the Bulldogs (19-13) in the final minute to seal the record setting victory in front of a jammed packed 3,500-plus partisan Farris Center crowd.

The Bulldogs struggled offensively for the second straight game, hitting only three of their first 11 shots in the opening 10 minutes.  The Sugar Bears (25-10), meanwhile, shot 7-for-14, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, to take a 18-11 lead after the first quarter. Yale fared slightly better in the second quarter, shooting 38 percent from the field, but its defense began to lock down Central Arkansas, holding the home team to 31 percent shooting.  After 20 minutes of action, the Elis found themselves down only 27-24.

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Yale outlasts South Alabama in WBI semifinal instant classic

The Yale women’s basketball team somehow survived and advanced in an instant classic in the WBI semifinal against visiting South Alabama, roaring back from 11 points down with under two minutes to go to pull off a stunning comeback 76-74 win in overtime.

found itself home for the first time in twenty eight days, but could not find its shooting touch until the game’s sixteenth minute. By that time, the Bulldogs (18-13) were 1 for their first 25 and down 19 to the visiting Jaguars of South Alabama from the Sun Belt conference (21-13).  The Elis then went on a 11-2 run to close out the first half down only 29-19.

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Bulldogs’ bench shines as Yale moves into WBI semifinals

The Yale women (17-13) visited Binghamton (20-12) in the second round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI), and held on for a 70-64 victory to move into the tournament semifinal.  With the victory, the Bulldogs earned their second-ever postseason win and tied a program record for number of wins in a season. They are now set to face South Alabama at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the Ivy League Network.

With the score tied at eight, four minutes into the game, the Elis broke things open with a 16-2 run over the next 8:10. They extended the lead to a high of 19 late in the second quarter before closing out the half with a 17-point lead over the Bearcats. With Jen Berkowitz limited to 11 minutes due to foul trouble, junior forward Alexandra Maund put up six points (3-for-3 shooting) and six rebounds against Alyssa James, the three-time America East Defensive Player of the Year. First-year guard Tori Andrews, who missed the team’s December game against Binghamton due to an injury, came off the bench and went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc to lead Yale with 10 points.

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No. 12 Princeton loses to No. 5 Maryland in NCAA Tournament

Princeton last faced Maryland at College Park in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, losing to the Terrapins for its first and only defeat of the year. Playing at a neutral site in North Carolina, the No. 12-seeded Tigers not only entertained thoughts of a revenge victory against Maryland, but a possible second round win against N.C. State or Elon.  Unfortunately for the Orange & Black, the No. 5-seeded Terrapins (No. 16 nationally) had other ideas, ending the Tigers’ season for the second time in four years with a convincing 77-57 victory.

The Tigers could not control the tempo or the boards against the Terrapins, especially in the early parts of both halves.  In the opening 10 minutes, Maryland only shot 27 percent from two and 38 percent from three, but the Terrapins outrebounded Princeton by 52 percent and got seven more attempts in the quarter to open a 17-11 lead.  The Tigers, who got pushed away from the basket through most of the first half, finally broke through in the second quarter, hitting five of 10 two-pointers while their defense held the Terrapins without a three to go into the locker room only down 31-26.

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Inside Ivy Hoops – Mar. 15, 2018

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Brett Franklin and Jill Glessner recap a wild and crazy 2017-18 reflect back on this season’s Ivy League Tournament and look ahead to next season’s tourney, with Columbia Athletic Director Peter Pilling and Ivy League Associate Executive Director for Strategic Communications and External Relations Matt Panto.

Jill recounts her Ivy League Tournament experience, and she and Brett weigh in on where the tournament should and could be held in the future, also recapping the highlights of the men’s and women’s league tourneys and why the Penn men still won even while losing as a No. 16 seed to No. 1 Kansas. Jill also explains why she thinks the Princeton women have the edge in their NCAA Tournament matchup with Maryland, the keys to the Tigers toppling the Terrapins, and whether she thinks the Ivy tourney will be back at the Palestra next season:

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Women’s Ivy Tournament teams continue onward in postseason

For the second consecutive year, all four participants in the women’s Ivy Tournament have earned postseason bids.  Following top seeded Princeton’s championship victory over second place Penn early Sunday evening, the Tigers clinched the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and Penn claimed the conference’s automatic qualifying spot in the Women’s NIT.  On Monday night, Harvard received an at-large bid to the WNIT and Yale was selected for the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).

The Tigers were chosen as the No. 12 seed in the Kansas City regional, where they will face No. 5 Maryland in Raleigh on Friday at noon on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.  For Princeton, this is their ninth straight postseason appearance and seventh trip to the Big Dance.  The Quakers will be going up against Albany at the Palestra on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. on the Ivy League Network.  Penn is competing in its sixth straight postseason tournament and its second trip to the WNIT.  The Crimson will travel to the Bronx on Friday night at 7:00 pm to take on Fordham on the A-10 Network, as they make their 14th overall postseason tournament, eighth all-time WNIT showing and sixth WNIT appearance in the last seven seasons.  The Bulldogs will visit Northeastern on Thursday night at 7:00 pm on Northeastern’s NUxtreme.  This is the team’s first postseason play under third-year head coach Allison Guth, and the first of any kind since a 2011 WNIT bid.

Here is a short primer on the Ivy representatives’ opponents for this week’s action:

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No. 16 Penn vs. No. 1 Kansas: Keys to making history

My range of emotions on Sunday swung from unadulterated joy as I rushed the Palestra floor to celebrate Penn’s 68-65 win over Harvard to mouth-agape shock as I stood in the back of Houston Hall at Penn’s selection show watch party and saw the Quakers on the 16 line against Kansas.

As fellow IHO contributor Steven Tydings and I rode the bus home to New York, I started to think of a plan for the Quakers to do the impossible and topple a No. 1 seed for the first time in men’s NCAA Tournament history.

The basic points of that plan, some of which you’ve probably already heard, are below:

Penn will win if …

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No. 12 Princeton to face No. 5 Maryland in NCAA Tournament

After stymieing Penn in the Ivy League Tournament final Sunday, Princeton (24-5) was assigned a No. 12 seed Monday and a matchup with No. 5 Maryland (25-7) at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers and Terrapins will tango Friday at noon.

Princeton returns to the Big Dance after a one-year absence, having become the first at-large Ivy to nab a NCAA bid in 2016.

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No. 16 Penn to face No. 1 Kansas in NCAA Tournament

After winning the Ivy League Tournament Sunday and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, Penn got assigned a No. 16 seed by the NCAA Selection Committee and a matchup with No. 1 Kansas at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita Thursday at 2 p.m. on TBS.

It’s the first No. 16 seed for an Ivy League men’s team since 1989, when No. 16 Princeton pushed No. 1 Georgetown to the brink but not past it in a 50-49 loss to the Hoyas hailed as “The Game That Saved March Madness” in a memorable Sports Illustrated feature by Princeton alumni Sean Gregory and Alexander Wolff titled as such. 1989 is also the last year that a fourth different Ivy squad in as many years got to the NCAA Tournament, when Princeton made it after Cornell (1988), Penn (1987) and Brown (1986).

Penn is the highest-ranked No. 16 seed by KenPom in the past six seasons, per Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star.

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