Ivy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:

We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:

  • As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
  • When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
  • Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
  • We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
  • Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.

This is just the beginning.

Read moreIvy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

Theresa Grace Mbanefo fights for racial equality at Cornell

Theresa Grace Mbanefo is a rising Cornell women’s basketball junior. (Cornell Athletics)

As the country continues to grapple with a deadly pandemic and a growing protest movement against police brutality and centuries-old racial inequalities, Cornell women’s basketball rising junior Theresa Grace Mbanefo and her organization, Women of Color Cornell Athletics (WOCCA) are looking to make structural changes on the East Hill of Ithaca.

On June 1, WOCCA initiated the “Hear Us Now” photo campaign to “demand informed allyship from the Cornell athletic community and beyond.”

The posts of the various female and male student-athletes of color show each holding up a sign describing times when they heard the crowds cheering for them.  The last shows all of the athletes holding posters with “But do you see us? #BLM”.

Read moreTheresa Grace Mbanefo fights for racial equality at Cornell

Ivy hoops roundup – May 11, 2020

Yale women’s incoming class announced

Yale women’s basketball announced its three-member Class of 2024 Monday. The class consists of:

  • Brenna McDonald, a 6-foot-2 forward from Natick, Mass. who was named to the Boston Globe Dream Team her senior year
  • Haley Sabol, a 6-foot-2 forward from Pittsburgh who was a first-team all-state selection her junior and senior years for Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va.
  • Elles van der Maas, a 6-foot-2 guard from Sydney who made the 2018 All-Australian team

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – May 11, 2020

Cornell women put up good fight but fall to No. 21/No. 17 Princeton

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell Big Red put up a good fight, but the Princeton Tigers pulled away in the second half for a 69-50 victory, marking their 26th win of the season.

“I’m proud of them,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith about her team. “I’m proud of the effort we played with today. We talked about worrying about us and what we can accomplish and execute, and we did that. Princeton is a phenomenal team. They’re going to do some great things down the stretch here.”

The Big Red (10-16, 3-11 Ivy) starting five consisted of all starters, and a sixth senior, Laura Bagwell-Katalinich, came off the bench. The six seniors combined for 48 of Cornell’s 50 points, as they got the majority of the minutes.

Read moreCornell women put up good fight but fall to No. 21/No. 17 Princeton

Cornell women can’t handle Penn defense in 67-46 loss

ITHACA – The Penn defense was too much to handle for Cornell women’s basketball Friday night at Newman Arena.

The Big Red fell, 67-46, to the Quakers, their ninth loss in the last 10 games.

“They denied passing lanes, our ballhandlers, our guards [and] our perimeter play was really hesitant and passive,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith. “They put the press on because they were scoring. That really negated a lot of things.”

Read moreCornell women can’t handle Penn defense in 67-46 loss

Cornell falls at home to hot-shooting Harvard, 73-58

ITHACA, N.Y . – The Crimson and Red are on divergent paths.

Cornell never led against Harvard Friday at Newman Arena, losing 73-58 after digging a hole too deep in the first half to drop its fourth straight game as Harvard notched a third straight win.

The Crimson (14-6, 5-2 Ivy) started off scorching the nets, leading 23-15 after the first quarter. They hit eight of 10 shots in the first 10 minutes, and first-year guard Lola Mullaney hit three of them, all from downtown.

“They switch a lot, and it created some mismatches,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith. “We didn’t take care of the basketball on the perimeter against those mismatches … A couple of people early on were too focused on the Harvard players instead of what we needed to be doing.”

Read moreCornell falls at home to hot-shooting Harvard, 73-58

Cornell women’s defense powers them to win over Brown

Cornell used a gritty defensive effort to take down Brown at Newman Arena Friday, 74-63.

“We grinded out the win,” said coach Dayna Smith. “We found a way to make key baskets at key times and get some big stops.”

The Big Red (9-6, 2-1 Ivy) took the lead just 98 seconds into the game and held onto it for good. They held a 38-31 halftime lead over the Bears (6-10, 0-3) behind 23 first-stanza points from senior Samantha Widmann, who was honored before the game for surpassing 1,000 career points against Columbia last time out.

Read moreCornell women’s defense powers them to win over Brown

Cornell women left with plenty to work on, including shooting, after loss to Duquesne

ITHACA – The Cornell women’s basketball team dropped its second straight game Tuesday, this time falling 82-72 to Duquesne, a team that has now won eight straight.

The Big Red (5-4) got off on an 8-2 run with senior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich scoring all eight points. After that run, she only scored nine more points on the night.

“She got tired. She was exerting a ton of energy,” coach Dayna Smith said. “They didn’t really make a change on her, they weren’t doubling her. [Duquesne was] playing behind her a lot in the post, making her work and do some combo move.”

Read moreCornell women left with plenty to work on, including shooting, after loss to Duquesne

What each Ivy women’s team’s fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving season

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:

Read moreWhat each Ivy women’s team’s fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving season

Cornell bests Niagara wire to wire, 82-59

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell never trailed on Thursday as they took down the Niagara Purple Eagles 82-59, ending a three-game homestand and winning their second game in a row.

The Big Red took a 20-13 lead after the first quarter and led 43-32 at halftime. They limited the Purple Eagles to just nine in the third quarter and led 63-41 with 10 minutes remaining.

The Purple Eagles did get off to a quick 8-0 run to begin the quarter, but the Big Red quickly regained control and won the game with ease.

Read moreCornell bests Niagara wire to wire, 82-59