Ivy hoops roundup – May 27, 2020

Cornell University has announced several 2020-21 calendar options given the threat of COVID-19, though nothing has been decided and the university said the likely course of action will be a mix of these options:

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Penn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Penn senior forward AJ Brodeur set three program records in his final game at the Palestra as the Quakers easily dispatched Columbia, 85-65, on a historic night at the Palestra to earn the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.

The Red & Blue (16-11, 8-6 Ivy) nabbed their fourth straight Ivy League Tournament berth, knocking Brown (also 8-6 in Ivy play) on the strength of a Brodeur triple-double: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Penn split the season series with Brown but held the second tiebreaker, a better record against league top seed Yale.

Brodeur’s triple-double was the first in program history, a feat that followed two more records from the Northborough, Mass. native.

With the game well in hand in the second half, the focus became whether Brodeur would pass Ernie Beck ’53 to become the all-time leading scorer.

Read morePenn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Brown finishes strong in 72-66 win versus Columbia

Brown needed to sweep Cornell and Columbia at home this weekend to shore up its standing for an Ivy League Tournament run.

Although it wasn’t easy, the Bears completed that sweep Saturday against Columbia, holding the Lions to four points over the final 5:04 to erase a four-point deficit at the start of that stretch and walk away with a 72-66 win.

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Cornell stifles Columbia for first Division I win in nearly three months

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell limited Columbia guards Jack Forrest and Mike Smith to a combined 7-for-32 shooting night as the Big Red took down the Lions, 62-50, at Newman Arena to pick up their first Ivy League win and first Division I win since Nov. 5.

The Big Red (4-11, 1-1 Ivy) were led by a balanced attack on offense while limiting the Lions (6-11, 1-1) to 32% shooting on defense. That was mainly due to Bryan Knapp’s all-around effort for the Big Red. He was tasked with guarding Mike Smith, who scored just 15 points on 5-for-23 shooting.

“We were just forcing him left, [isolating] him as much as we could, just team defense,” said Knapp. “We knew if we could shut him down, that was it. The last five minutes, the gameplan was ‘Bryan, don’t let him get the ball.'”

Read moreCornell stifles Columbia for first Division I win in nearly three months

Columbia men cruise past Cornell, 75-61

Columbia built an early lead and avoided a late-game collapse, as the Lions opened the Ivy schedule with a convincing 75-61 victory over Cornell Saturday at Levien Gym.

The Big Red (3-11, 0-1 Ivy) started out strong, shooting 57% by the first media timeout, to take a quick 12-9 lead.  Unfortunately for the visitors, the Lions (6-11 overall, 1-0) limited Cornell to 14% shooting over the next 14-plus minutes.  The Columbia offense, meanwhile, was clicking on all cylinders, shooting 67% from two, 50% from three and 71% from the free throw line to take a commanding 48-29 halftime lead.

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Columbia can’t slow down red hot Raiders, lose 89-71 in pre-Christmas matinee

HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Columbia Lions struggled to piece together stops and allowed the Colgate Raiders to shoot 53% from the field in an 89-71 matinee loss to the reigning Patriot League champs Sunday.

“We mixed and messed up some coverages, [and] they passed the ball really well so they picked on us when we messed up a coverage,” said Columbia head coach Jim Engles.

Read moreColumbia can’t slow down red hot Raiders, lose 89-71 in pre-Christmas matinee

Mike Smith carries Lions as they adjust to new normal

Mike Smith put Columbia on his 5-foot-11 frame and carried it to a much needed 68-64 victory over Lehigh Saturday afternoon at Levien Gym. The senior leader had 30 points, six assists (with only two turnovers), and drew 10 Lehigh fouls, five in each half.

“I just kind of mixed it up, I shot the three, got to the rim, hit a couple of pull-ups,” Smith said. “I just tried to change up the game, if I can score at all three levels, it’s kind of hard to stop it.”

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Columbia nabs first win of season versus Binghamton, continuing its competitive start

Columbia sits 1-2 after its first three games, notching its first win of the season in the home opener against Binghamton. A tumultuous preseason saw the team lose Gabe Stefanini (foot) for several months and Patrick Tapé (intention to graduate transfer) for the season. At Wake Forest, Columbia saw a late four-point lead dissipate and disappear for the team’s second consecutive 65-63 loss. In the home opener, however, the Lions comfortably topped Binghamton 75-63 for their first tally of the season in the win column.

What’s been driving Columbia’s competitive start to the season?

Read moreColumbia nabs first win of season versus Binghamton, continuing its competitive start

The rundown on Columbia men’s basketball

A respectable .500 winning percentage in the Ivy League, buoyed overall by solid nonconference wins. A close game at Harvard in early March, in the thick of the title race. Yale, conference champions, with Harvard the runner-up and Columbia not far behind. Sound plausible?

It was more than plausible in 1901-02, the Ivy League’s first basketball season, which began shortly after Harvard topped Yale for the year’s football title (a “fitting climax to a season of surprizes,” as the Daily Princetonian put it). Only 10 years after James Naismith cast a ball into the first stationary peach basket, Columbia began its varsity intercollegiate basketball competition. The Lions are still going strong even after the addition of three “new” teams to the conference since its inception.

Going into year 119, here’s everything you need to know about the Columbia Lions men’s basketball team heading into the season.

Read moreThe rundown on Columbia men’s basketball