Dartmouth’s Katie Douglas forced Harvard’s Mackenzie Barta into a late turnover and Annie McKenna took the loose ball in for the layup to give the Green a conference-opening 63-62 upset of the Crimson on Saturday afternoon.
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
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.
Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:
Seventh-year head coach Belle Koclanes announced the upcoming schedule for the Dartmouth women’s team on Tuesday. Preparing to earn its first-ever appearance in the Ivy Tournament, the team’s 13-game nonconference slate is heavy on regional opponents, but light on teams from last year’s postseason.
The Big Green will take on fellow New Englanders Vermont, Merrimack, Fairfield, Maine, UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire and Boston University. While most are familiar foes, this year’s contest with Merrimack will be a first, as the Warriors make the jump to Division I.
Dartmouth will visit Loyola (Chicago) and Northwestern in early December, as a homecoming trip for senior guard Annie McKenna of nearby Elmwood Park. The Wildcats, coming off a successful season that ended as runner-up in the 2019 WNIT, are one of three non-Ivy teams that played in the postseason. The other two are MAC champion Buffalo and America East title-holder Maine, both making it into the NCAA Tournament.
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.
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.
Sat., Jan. 26
Yale (11-6; 1-1 Ivy) 84 vs Brown (9-9; 1-1 Ivy)
Eight days after being defeated by Brown, 86-71, in Providence, Yale turned the tables on their travel partners in New Haven.
Brown (9-8, 1-0 Ivy) 86 vs Yale (10-6, 0-1 Ivy) 71
The Bears starters used a fast paced offense and defense to pave the way for a 86-71 victory in front of a boisterous Education Day crowd at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Shayna Mehta led the way for Brown, scoring a career high 37 points on 10 for 19 shooting from the field and 14 of 15 from the free throw line. In all, Brown had four players in double figures with Justine Gaziano adding 19, Taylor Will scoring 13 and Erika Steeves putting in 11. Bruno shot 52 percent from the field, including 8 three pointers at 44 percent, and hit 76 percent (16-21) from the charity stripe. On defense, Yale was held to 29 percent shooting from three and 50 percent (8-16) from the line, while Roxy Barahman, who entered the day as the league’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per game, was limited to eight points on 23 percent shooting. The Bears full court pressure stymied the Bulldogs to the tune of 18 steals and 20 forced turnovers that led to 29 points.
Princeton (1-1 This week; 1-1 Overall)
The Tigers did not miss Leslie Robinson (graduation), Bella Alarie (injury), Abby Meyers (academic suspension), and Qalea Ismail (injury) on Tuesday, beating the Broncs 89-65 at Jadwin. The Orange & Black, led by 25 points from Gabrielle Rush, 16 from Carlie Littlefield and 10 from Taylor Baur, shot 47 percent from three and 59 percent from two.
Things were completely different at George Washington, when Princeton arrived with Baur added to the injured list. The Tigers, who beat the Colonials by 20 one year ago, could not get anything going offensively, eventually falling by a score of 64-49. For the afternoon, the Tigers only shot 18 percent from beyond the arc and 42 percent from two. Sophomore McKenna Haire came off the bench to lead the Tigers with 13 points, followed by 12 from first-year starter Julia Cunningham.