Ivy hoops weekend takeaways – Jan. 18-19, 2019

Women’s

Brown’s offense is too potent to miss Ivy League Tournament again 

If Brown misses the Ivy League Tournament for a second straight season with as much offensive firepower as it has, it’ll really be a shame.

Brown senior guard Shayna Mehta’s career-high 37 points led the way, and the Bears’ elder Mehta has been one of the league’s standout scorers for a long time now, going back to her Ivy Rookie of the Year campaign in 2015-16.

But Mehta wasn’t alone in gouging a strong Yale defense in the Bears’ 86-71 win over the Bulldogs Friday. Seniors Erika Steeves and Taylor Will, who missed Ivy play last season due to injury, and junior Justine Gaziano combined for 43 points on 18-for-34 shooting. The Bears overwhelmed Yale inside and out, topping Yale by double digits at Pizzitola Sports Center while scoring 80-plus points for the second straight season.

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Matt Morgan becomes Cornell all-time leading scorer

Cornell’s first half en route to a thrilling 60-59 victory over Columbia offered more than just a 14-0 start; it featured Matt Morgan surpassing Ryan Wittman as Cornell’s all-time leading scorer and move into fourth place all-time in Ivy men’s scoring history.

Morgan has shown over the last four years that he is one of the premier scorers in mid-major basketball along with Fletcher Magee (Wofford) and Mike Daum (South Dakota State). Morgan is now one of just over 570 players who have scored more than 2,000 points all time. His streak of 68 games with double-figure points is now 23rd all-time. His three free throws on the night also put him 14th in conference history in made free-throws. His three steals put him 13th in program history and sits 15th in Cornell history in steals. He now sits just 114 points away from second all-time in conference scoring, a slot long held by Jim Barton of Dartmouth.

His fourth straight scoring title seems like a sure thing, as he is averaging at least 3.9 points more per game than any other Ivy player, with second place belonging to Princeton’s Devin Cannady, who has been suspended.

Morgan also hit a career-high nine threes in Cornell’s previous game (a win at Towson), tied for first in program history for a single game. Becoming Cornell’s all-time leading scorer may now be his greatest accomplishment, but that may change once he becomes second in conference history. Unless he averaged 35.3 points per game the rest of Ivy play, Morgan won’t break Bill Bradley’s record of 2,503 points, unless Cornell finds itself in the postseason.

Cornell hangs on to top Columbia, 60-59

The Cornell Big Red entertained the Columbia Lions in the Ivy opener for both schools in frigid and snowy Ithaca. The tip-off was moved up to 1:30 p.m. in anticipation of the first big winter storm of the season.

Matt Morgan, the Ivy’s leading scorer, was honored in a pregame ceremony upon entering the league’s 2,000-point club in his last outing. Entering the game needing six points to surpass the legendary Ryan Wittman as Cornell’s career leader, Morgan needed only five minutes to set the new mark. His 21 points for the game vaulted him into fourth place on the Ivy career scoring list. He is on a pace to move up to the No. 2 spot, trailing only Bill Bradley.

Morgan’s early flourish jump started Cornell to a 14-0 lead. At the break, the Big Red held a commanding 39-25 lead, thanks to nine three-pointers against only two for the Lions. Morgan’s 19 first-half tallies more than tripled the output of any Lion.

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Inside Ivy Hoops – Jan. 10, 2019

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Columbia women’s basketball coach Megan Griffith and IHO writer George Clark.

Mike and George recap last weekend’s Penn-Princeton doubleheader, preview the rematch between the Ps at the Palestra Saturday and weigh in other action from around the league:

Coach Griffith reflects on Columbia’s big win at Mercer Sunday, her team’s relative youth and the importance of confidence, her thoughts on the Ivy League Tournament and much more:

Mike notes the payoff of continuity and experience for Ivy men’s and women’s hoops this season – and the few rookies who are breaking through so far:

Report: Columbia’s Mike Smith out for season with torn meniscus

According to an Associated Press report on Columbia’s 82-73 loss at Boston College Wednesday night, Lions coach Jim Engles announced that star point guard Mike Smith has a torn meniscus and will miss the remainder of the 2018-2019 season. Smith’s injury occurred in the first half of last Friday’s game against Bryant.  The junior point guard ends his season as one of the Ivy League’s top performers with 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

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What can Columbia build on after another tough loss?

As the great Renaissance humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam said: “Damn, Columbia just can’t buy a win.”

Columbia fell 87-86 in double overtime to Delaware Sunday at Levien Gym, leaving the Lions a frustrating 1-5 and the only team in the Ivy League under .500 and still searching for answers. The talent is there. The wins are not.

After an exceedingly comfortable win over St. Joseph’s (Brooklyn) of Division III, the Lions fought back multiple times against the 7-2 Blue Hens. Mike Smith scored five points late in regulation to force overtime. Gabe Stefanini hit a huge three to force a second overtime. Columbia earned the chance to win the game by getting a tie-up with 1.9 seconds to play. But the inbounds set remained unchanged despite a Delaware timeout; a lob to Patrick Tape, not corralled, and an off-balance Stefanini jumper, not converted, closed the books on a good start to December. Conference play, obviously, is the key, but Columbia is yet to prove a formula that might prove effective therein.

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Not-so-classic weekend for Columbia at Fordham

Can Columbia buy a win?

More importantly, can Columbia buy a stop?

In the first 10 games of last season, Columbia allowed just three teams — not even Villanova among them — to score 80-plus points. This year’s squad has thrice conceded opponent totals of at least four score and seven years ago. Seems about right for the last time the Lions won a game.

The team dropped three consecutive games at the Johnny Bach Classic at Fordham over the weekend. Kendale Hampton scored a career-best 32 points to lead Youngstown State to a 94-83 win in Columbia’s opener. FIU rode several double-doubles to an easy 98-87 win over Columbia on Saturday despite Gabe Stefanini’s 33 points. The denouement came Sunday, when Columbia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a 70-69 heartbreaker against host Fordham.

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Columbia comes up short on the Hudson Shore

The Columbia Lions men’s basketball team started the season with more of a whimper than a roar, dropping their opening game 82-76 to Marist Saturday night in Poughkeepsie.

To take a page out of Jason Lloyd of The Athletic’s book, here are seven thoughts for Mike Smith’s seven field goals, as well as a bonus two looking ahead to Columbia’s participation in the 2018 Johnny Bach Classic …

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Former Columbia forward Jeff Coby signs with New York Knicks

 

The New York Knicks announced Sunday night that they have signed former Columbia forward Jeff Coby, making Coby’s Knick status official.

Ian Begley of ESPN reported Sunday that Coby and the Knicks had reached a verbal agreement prior to training camp.

Coby averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game during his four seasons as a Lion, providing strong rebounding for Columbia’s 2015-16 CIT champion squad.

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Jaron Faulds and Myles Hanson leave Columbia men’s basketball

In case you missed it, the Columbia Spectator on Friday broke the news that first-year players Jaron Faulds and Myles Hanson have left the men’s basketball team and will pursue other opportunities. Ryan James of PrepHoops tweeted that Hanson will be looking to transfer for next fall.

Faulds played in 26 games this past season, averaging 4.5 points on 59.6 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds and 14.2 minutes per contest. The 6’10” forward from Holt, Mich. was a four-star recruit at ESPN. Hanson, a two-star 6’6” small forward from Chaska, Minn., saw action in 19 games, averaging 3.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 10.5 minutes per game. Both were members of coach Jim Engles’s first recruiting class at Columbia.

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