Inside Ivy Hoops – Feb. 14, 2019

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Cornell coach Brian Earl and IHO writer Richard Kent.

Mike and Richard reflect on last weekend’s Ivy matchups, including another home sweep of the Ps for Yale and career scoring highs for Bryce Aiken, Miye Oni and Matt Morgan on the same night on the men’s side and several pivotal thrillers on the women’s side, while also looking ahead to another full slate of league games this weekend:

Cornell coach Brian Earl analyzes his team’s road sweep last weekend and defensive improvements throughout the season, Matt Morgan’s impact, whether Ivy back-to-back weekends are worth changing, where the Ivy League Tournaments should be held:

Mike takes note of how much the Ivy men’s side has gotten stronger this season relative to the 2017-18 campaign:

Morgan moves to second all-time in Ivy scoring history as Cornell comes back to stun Harvard

Saturday’s contest between Harvard and Cornell was the exact opposite of Friday’s games for both teams, in the sense that offense would come at a premium.

After the Crimson dropped 98 points Friday in triple overtime, they were held to just 61 points on Saturday as Cornell stormed back to erase a 15-point second-half deficit to win the game, 67-61. Despite struggling to get shots all game, Matt Morgan had 15 points, good enough to move into second-place in conference history in career points (2,162), a night after meeting Jim Barton, the man he just surpassed.

 

Cornell moved up to 12-10 (4-2 Ivy) and Harvard dropped to 11-8 (4-2). Cornell has already met last season’s win total, with eight games remaining on the schedule.

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Matt Morgan’s 41 points lead Cornell past Dartmouth, 83-80

Matt Morgan had 41 points on a very efficient 13-for-18 night with nine threes, and Josh Warren hit four clutch free-throws in the final 20 seconds and Cornell held on for an 83-80 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green, in Hanover. Cornell went to 11-10 (3-2 Ivy) with the win, and Dartmouth fell to 10-11 (1-4), losing its last four Ivy games after picking up a blowout win over Harvard in their opener.

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Cornell fights back but falls to Princeton in overtime

Despite a comparatively quiet night from Matt Morgan, the Cornell Big Red were able to overcome a 10-point second half hole to force overtime against the visiting Princeton Tigers.

But unlike last season at Newman Arena, Cornell couldn’t put the Tigers away in extra time, as Princeton won its seventh straight game to improve to 12-5 (4-0 Ivy) and remain first in the conference, while Cornell dropped back to .500 at 10-10 (2-2) and still very much in the Ivy Madness picture.

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Princeton notches huge Empire State sweep sans Cannady

The Tigers entered their annual three-week winter exam break riding an emotional wave. Five straight wins following the expected wipeout at Duke, including two stunning wins over Big 5 champion Penn, catapulted the Tigers to the top of the Ivy heap at 2-0. Princeton coach Mitch Henderson hoped that the layoff would not impact the Tigers’ momentum facing the first two back-to-backs on the road.

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Columbia women control the fourth quarter to defeat Cornell, 65-57

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, NY – In front of a boisterous 1,000-plus crowd at Levien Gymnasium, the Columbia women rode the outside shooting of Janiya Clemmons and inside play of Lillian Kennedy to a 65-57 victory over Cornell, their first of the Ivy season.

The Lions (5-10, 1-1 Ivy) jumped out to a 14-point halftime lead, but the Red (7-6; 1-1) dominated the third quarter to cut the lead to two. Clemmons and Kennedy then took over in the last 10 minutes, with the junior guard scoring 10 points and the first-year forward securing four points, three rebounds (two offensive) and one assist. With the win, the Light Blue picked up their third win in four games in 2019.

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Cornell can’t come all the way back in 73-70 loss to Columbia

Saturday’s rematch between Cornell and Columbia had a very similar flow as last week’s game in Ithaca. This time, though, it was Cornell tasked with making a comeback that ultimately fell just short.

The Big Red were down 11 points with 8:18 to go after a Patrick Tape post move, with all the momentum cutting against them. Columbia opened the second half shooting flawlessly, led by Gabe Stefanini and Quinton Adlesh, hitting 12 of its first 13 shots from the floor.

But down 67-57 with 6:14 to go, the dynamic duo of Matt Morgan and Jimmy Boeheim hit back-to-back threes, and it was quickly a four-point game.

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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.