It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means it’s time to take stock of what followers of each Ivy women’s team should be thankful for at this point of the season:
No Abby Meyers against Rider (#3 preseason MAAC) – no problem
No Meyers and Bella Alarie for the 4th quarter at GW – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for the entire game at Seton Hall (#3 preseason Big East) – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for three quarters and Carlie Littlefield for the second half against FGCU (#1 preseason ASUN) – no problem
Fri., Nov. 8
Cornell (1-0) 71 at Albany (1-1) 51
Cornell opened the 2019-20 season with a dominant road win against Albany, which beat Columbia by four points in overtime on Tuesday. As opposed to the run-and-gun game against the Lions, the Great Danes would be forced into a halfcourt contest by the defense-oriented Big Red.
A season after Columbia got crucial contributions from first-years Sienna Durr (eventual Ivy Rookie of the Year), Mikayla Markham (led the Ivy League in assists) and Madison Hardy (ranked eighth in the conference in three-pointers), the Lions are now getting Rookie of the Year-level contributions from another first-year whose resilience is already clear.
Rookie guard Abbey Hsu has had a terrific first two games at the collegiate level, posting 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting in 25 minutes in the Lions’ season-opening 82-78 loss in overtime at Albany and a team-high 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting and eight boards in a game-high 36 minutes in their 71-57 home defeat at the hands of St. Joseph’s.
While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.
For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.
Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena. Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.
The biggest story of the off-season was Miye Oni being selected in June’s NBA Draft. The Yale junior and reigning Ivy Player of the Year decided to leave school early and leave his name in the draft. Despite falling to the late second round, a perilous spot to making an NBA roster, Oni impressed in the Summer League and earned a guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz. He is playing just as well in the pre-season and looks to be a real steal for the Jazz.
The Columbia women’s basketball nonconference schedule was released on July 30 and the league potion of the schedule was finalized on Monday morning. Coach Megan Griffith’s Lions have a 13 game pre-Ivy schedule featuring seven home contests and four games against NCAA Tournament teams.
After starting the season on the road at Albany and opening up the home slate against St. Joseph’s, Columbia faces three straight NCAA teams in an eight day period. First up is Fordham on November 10. The Atlantic 10 champion Rams were 25-9 last season, including a 68-49 victory over the Lions.
Five days later, the Light Blue travel to upstate New York to take on defending MAC champion Buffalo. Two years ago, Felisha Legette-Jack’s Bulls, visited Levien Gymansium and escaped with a buzzer-beating 65-63 win. Buffalo would eventually go on to the Sweet 16 that season. The Lions close the streak at NEC champion Robert Morris on November 17.
- The Dartmouth men have completed its staff for the 2019-2020 season with the hiring of Steve Ongley as an assistant coach. Ongley spent last year on Jim Engles’ staff at Columbia, where he worked with the front court players. Prior to that, he was an assistant for four years at Colby College, the alma mater of Big Green head coach Dave McLaughlin.
Ongley replaces John Andrzejek, a Columbia graduate and one-time Lions student manager who joined former boss Kyle Smith’s staff at Washington State. There has been no announcement from Columbia for its replacement of Ongley.
- Princeton women’s coach Carla Berube finished the hiring of her new staff, with the announcement of Helen Tau as director of basketball operations. Tau, a 2014 graduate of the University of Texas who was a walk-on in her senior year, spent 2014-2016 as a graduate assistant for the Longhorns and then worked for Georgetown as director of video operations the last two seasons.
Tau replaces Jessica Imhof, who went to the University of North Carolina to join former Tigers coach Courtney Banghart.