IHO 2019-20 Men’s All-Ivy Awards

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2019-20 Ivy Hoops Online All-Ivy Men’s honorees as selected by IHO contributors, which are quite bit different from the selections that the Ivy League released:

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Yale men roll to another Ivy League title

On Saturday, it will be exactly five years since one of the toughest nights in recent Yale men’s basketball history. Leading by five points in the final minute against a Dartmouth team that was playing just for pride, the Bulldogs lost in perhaps the most excruciating manner possible: a buzzer-beater by Gabas Maldunas off an inbound play. The Ivy League title trophy – set to be awarded to Yale – was quickly covered and hustled out of Leede Arena and Hanover. 

After losing a tiebreaker to Harvard the following week, their NCAA Tournament drought reached 53 years, and – having graduated four contributing seniors – who knew when they would get another chance the way Harvard and Princeton were trending?

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Harvard men win at Columbia but lose Christian Juzang

The Crimson kept pace with Yale and Princeton by winning against a pesky Columbia team in Manhattan Friday night. When stalwart point guard Christian Juzang went down with a serious-looking ankle injury, Rio Haskett rose to the occasion as the next man up and personally put Columbia away with a late-game scoring flurry. Mike Smith once again performed heroically, with 34 points against a stout Harvard defense, but the rest of his teammates failed to hold up their end of the bargain. Haskett was one of four Harvard players who scored in double figures, including a double-double from Justin Bassey and a 6-for-6 free throw performance from Chris Lewis. Harvard came very close to sharing the Ivy league lead with arch-rival Yale, but Penn’s late-game meltdown kept Harvard firmly in second place with Princeton.

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Yale avoids letdown at Columbia in 83-65 win

 It had all the makings of a perfect storm.
The almost five-hour drive from Cornell to Columbia at 10 p.m. The double overtime expenditure of energy in Newman Arena that preceded it. Yale was ripe for the taking.
Until it wasn’t.

Read moreYale avoids letdown at Columbia in 83-65 win

Cornell blows eight-point lead with three minutes left to fall to first-place Yale in double overtime

Brian Earl has told me before that his Big Red squad has found every possible way to lose a game. Well, on Friday night at Newman Arena, they found yet another.

Cornell led for almost the entire ballgame and held a comfortable eight-point lead with just under three minutes to play in Ithaca. Eric Monroe drilled a three for the Bulldogs, and Jordan Bruner converted on a layup with just over two minutes in regulation, and then Azar Swain hit a tough three to tie things up with 61 seconds remaining.

The sides would then trade turnovers before a Terrance McBride halfcourt attempt to win the game fell short, sending the game to overtime.

Read moreCornell blows eight-point lead with three minutes left to fall to first-place Yale in double overtime

Penn bests Yale at the Palestra

No one has ever pretended that the Princeton-Penn road trip is an easy one. Not even for the Ivy League leader.
Yale fell victim to a noisy and boisterous Palestra and too much AJ Brodeur and Eddie Scott, as the Quakers upset the Elis, 69-61, Saturday night.

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Yale thrashes Princeton at Jadwin, 88-64

The Princeton-Yale series has, more often than not, at least in this century, featured consequential contests. Adding to the mystique of the H-Y-P rivalries, basketball games among these three usually match teams contending for the Ivy League championship.
Last night’s visit to Jadwin by the Bulldogs fit the bill perfectly, bringing together two teams tied atop the standings with 5-1 records in this week’s “Game Of The Year.” I remember writing about a Yale game at Jadwin Gym a few years ago described as “the most intense game I had witnessed in many years.”
The larger than usual crowd filing into the arena last night expected more of that intensity. Adding to the aura of excitement was the much anticipated annual halftime appearance of Red Panda, the San Francisco-based performer who uses her foot to flip cups onto a saucer placed on the top of her head while balanced on an 8-foot unicycle. You have to see it to appreciate it.

Read moreYale thrashes Princeton at Jadwin, 88-64

Yale rebounds against Dartmouth, 75-57

It would have made sense if Yale had come out with a hangover Saturday night against Dartmouth at John J. Lee Amphitheater.
It would have made even more sense if Azar Swain missed his first few shots after missing a would-be game-tying free throw against Harvard and having 24 hours to think about it.
Neither happened as Yale raced out to a 23-9 lead. James Jones is strong-willed, and Swain also shares this attribute. Swain came out hot and Yale beat the Big Green, 75-57.

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Cardiac Crimson suffer last-second loss at Brown

Live by the opponent’s last-second free throw, die by the opponent’s last-second free throw.

Harvard concluded a wild four-game road stretch with a 72-71 loss when Brown’s Tamenang Choh finished an “and-one” in the waning seconds, a night after Yale’s Azar Swain failed to convert a similar opportunity. On the back of Choh’s heroics and a dominant performance from Brandon Anderson, the Bears (11-8, 4-2 Ivy) picked up a crucial home win against the rival Crimson (14-7, 3-3) and proved that they can play with the best of the Ivy. The Crimson go home disappointed after four straight tight contests with surviving optimism about their ceiling but with urgent questions about their ability to finish games. The thrilling conclusion lent some excitement to a game that was otherwise difficult to watch, thanks to overzealous refereeing and occasional difficulties with clock management.

Tamenang Choh and Zach Hunsaker walk off the Pizzitola Sports Center court victorious after Choh completed a three-point play at the foul line with 0.5 seconds remaining. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

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Yale comeback falls just short versus Harvard

It was an ending that even the great Steven Spielberg could not have scripted.

Harvard traveled to John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night in desperate need of a win after losing to Penn and Princeton on the road last weekend. The Ivy schedule makers dealt the Crimson a very tough early-season hand.

Harvard eked out a dramatic 78-77 win after Azar Swain hit a clutch three with one second left, was fouled by Rio Haskett and after a seemingly endless wait on the free throw line due to an official review of the time remaining, missed the free throw.

Harvard’s Rio Haskett after being called for what could have been a game-changing foul on Azar Swain as Swain hit a three with Yale trailing 78-74 with 0.9 seconds left at Yale Friday. But Azar Swain couldn’t complete the four-point play after a four-minute-long official review resulted in the addition of 2.1 seconds to the game clock, and the Crimson left New Haven with a victory by the slimmest of margins. | Photo by Erica Denhoff
Swain was brilliant in the second half ,scoring 27 of his game-high 33 points in that stanza. He almost single-handedly brought Yale back from a 13-point deficit in the last five minutes of the game resulting from a 9-0 run in a game played before a boisterous and student-laden sellout crowd of 2,706.
Harvard led 45-32 at the half, fueled by 19-for-33 (57.6%) shooting from the field, including 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three en route to an 8-for-19 (42.1%) showing from long range on the night. Yale finished the game just 7-for-22 (31.8%) from deep.
Harvard standout big man Chris Lewis (0) s scored just four points Friday at Yale, but Robert Baker scored 10 points and was one of five different Crimson players to hit at least one three-pointer in Harvard’s 78-77 win. Harvard shot 42.1% from outside, besting Yale’s clip of 31.8%. | Photo by Erica Denhoff
Noah Kirkwood had 18 points and Danilo Djuricic posted a pivotal 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
Paul Atkinson had a career-high 28 points on an efficient 11-for-16 from the field predicated upon fleet footwork which consistently befuddled numerous Harvard defenders.
Jordan Bruner was held to three points.
Harvard outrebounded Yale, 35-30, a feat almost never accomplished at JLA. The Elis trailed 71-59 with 5:42 to play but clawed back with 11 points from Swain the rest of the way, including three triples in the final 2:25. Yale had just dug too deep a hole.
“We need to get contributions from everyone,” Yale coach James Jones said.
 “It was hard-fought,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “We were fortunate to win.”
Yale now sits at 16-5 and 4-1 in the Ivy and Harvard at 14-6 and 3-2.
Noah Kirkwood celebrates after Harvard completed a 78-77 victory at Yale Friday. Kirkwood notched a team-high 18 points for the Crimson. | Photo by Erica Denhoff