With the Yale men and the Princeton women winning their respective divisions on Sunday, another Ivy League Tournament is in the books. Here are a few of my personal highlights that were not found on the television or the box scores:
No. 1 Princeton 68 vs No. 4 Cornell 47
No. 2 Penn 91 vs No. 3 Harvard 62
Tommy Amaker, Harvard men’s coach, on what he and his team have learned from their first two experiences in the Ivy League Tournament: “We’ve learned how hard it is (to win). We learned how hard it is to play in tournament atmospheres, tournament environments. We’ve played well, but haven’t been able to win the championship. You need to be a little bit lucky as well as playing well. We’re hopeful for both this weekend.”
On Saturday night, the Ivy League regular season ended with a co-championship, another dominant night from the third-place team and a surprise fourth-place team heading to Ivy Madness.
Eight thoughts on the women’s side:
1. Aghayere on a rebounding spree
There was a whopping 77 points scored in the first half in Penn’s battle with visiting Cornell, featuring the Big Red’s No. 2 Ivy scoring defense vs. the Red & Blue’s No. 1 Ivy scoring defense. No. 1 eventually got the best of No. 2 as the game eventually settled into more of a grind-it-out struggle. Princess Aghayere posted a career-high 23 points and 10 boards, the fourth double-double of her senior campaign. Aghayere grabbed seven of Penn’s offensive rebounds, fueling a 15-6 scoring edge for Penn in second-chance points. Aghayere is one of three Quakers to rank in the Ivy’s top nine in offensive rebounding (fifth behind league-leading Eleah Parker and ahead of Ashley Russell in ninth place). If Penn goes to another 2-3 zone variation against Princeton tomorrow night, Aghayere will have to come up big on the boards as she did in Penn’s win at Princeton last month, when she snared a team-high 12 boards, limiting a Tigers squad that crashed the boards against the zone well that day.
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – While the Cornell men took their yearly trip up I-81 to take on Syracuse, the women traveled south to Long Island to complete their four game road trip at Stony Brook. Despite overcoming a seven-point deficit at the start of the final frame, the Big Red could not hold onto a late one-point lead and ended up on the losing end of the 63-61 contest. Cornell now sits at 2-5 on the season.
The 2017-2018 season was expected to be a major rebuild for the Cornell women’s basketball team, following the graduation of all five starters, as well as seven of the top eight players, from a 2016-2017 team that came in fourth place and missed the first Ivy Tournament by a tiebreak. The Big Red’s conference record of 3-11 (7-20 overall) landed the team in sixth place, where they were predicted in the preseason poll. With a roster that has a years worth of game experience and a solid group of new players, Coach Dayna Smith is hoping for improved results in her 17th year in Ithaca and the second year of her program’s rebuild.
Statistically, Cornell has room for significant growth, since the team found itself at, or near, the bottom of the conference in nearly all offensive categories. The exception was offensive rebounding percentage, where the team was third in the league with a 35.7 percent rate. They fared better on the defensive side, as they were second in forced turnovers (17.6), second in steals (9.1) and third in fewest points allowed (63.9).
Going Inside Ivy Hoops with Jill Glessner and Brett Franklin this week are Cornell women’s basketball head coach Dayna Smith and Dartmouth men’s head coach David McLaughlin.
During Brett and Jill’s look at the Ivy men’s hoops scene, Jill praises the Brown men for overcoming the Inside Ivy Hoops jinx, the duo breaks down Harvard’s defensive prowess and offensive struggles, Jill explains why Harvard men should have beaten Dartmouth by double-digits, why Dartmouth is like the Philadelphia Eagles, why she’s going with Yale over Harvard and much more:
During Jill and Brett’s look at the Ivy women’s hoops scene, they note why this weekend is particularly pivotal for the #RoadToIvyMadness, Dominique Leonidas making a name for herself for Brown, Jill explains why she likes Columbia to avenge itself at Cornell, the duo the doubly uptempo matchup of Brown at Dartmouth, how Dartmouth’s guard play will fare against Yale and 2016-17 Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Tamara Simpson and much more:
1. Princeton (2-1)
Win – at Seton Hall, 85-83
Loss – vs Georgia Tech, 67-56
Bella Alarie had double-doubles in both games, this week, and is leading the Tigers with 15.3 points and 10.3 boards a game. Tia Weledji is averaging 14.7 points a contest and had her first career double-double against the Pirates. Carlie Littlefield has been named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the first two weeks of the season. Starting wing Sydney Jordan left the Seton Hall game after four minutes with an injury and did not play against Georgia Tech. Her absence from the lineup will, most likely, increase the playing time for the highly rated first-year, Abby Meyers.