Some Ivy updates before heading into Final Four weekends in Tampa and Minneapolis:
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.
Harvard (8-5 Ivy, 15-11) 80 vs Cornell (5-8 Ivy, 11-13) 38
Harvard clinched a spot in Ivy Madness and locked down the third seed for next Saturday’s semifinal with a dominant 80-34 win over Cornell. The win, in addition to securing the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the Ivy Tournament, was the 600th career victory for Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith is now one of 19 active coaches to reach that impressive milestone.
In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Dartmouth coach Belle Koclanes and IHO writer George Clark.
Mike and George sound off on the Ivy League’s announcement this week of the conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025, analyze the Princeton women’s huge win at Penn Tuesday night, look back at the past weekend of Ivy action and ahead to the penultimate weekend of league play:
Eight thoughts on the women’s side:
1. Dartmouth hanging in there
Dartmouth did something it hadn’t done in a decade last night: defeat Yale at home. And the timing was pivotal as the Big Green notched its second win at the wire in the past four games courtesy of a Paula Lenart putback of a missed Isalys Quinones three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left, giving the Big Green a 56-54 victory to lift them to 4-5 in the Ivy standings – within a game of Yale with five outings to go. It was a gutsy win for the Big Green, whose savvy senior guard Cy Lippold suffered an injury versus Princeton last Saturday. Lenart and Quinones put Dartmouth over the top in a defensive battle, and Annie McKenna’s six steals helped stymie the Bulldogs. If Dartmouth can best Brown tonight and sweep Columbia and Cornell in the final weekend, it has a decent chance of tying Yale in the Ivy standings at 8-6, but the Bulldogs would still own the second tiebreaker: highest seed defeated (Yale has topped both Princeton and Harvard, while Dartmouth has beaten neither.) So the Big Green’s road slate at Penn and Princeton next weekend is a huge, if challenging, opportunity to neutralize or even claim the tiebreaker away from Yale.
Columbia (7-14, 3-5 Ivy) 83 at Brown (9-15, 1-7) 81
Columbia’s Madison Hardy sank two three-pointers in the last minute to push the Lions over Brown, 83-81, at the Pittzitola Sports Center. The victory was Columbia’s first conference road win and brought the Light Blue into a three-way tie for fifth place. The Bears, which lost their seventh straight contest, ended the night in sole possession of last place.
Princeton (11-9, 3-2 Ivy) 93 vs Brown (9-13, 1-5) 74
The Tigers rebounded from Friday night’s overtime loss to Yale by beating the Bears by 19 on Saturday night. In front of the team’s alumnae, including the ’14-’15 team that went 30-0 in the regular season, Princeton jumped out to a nine point lead after one quarter and eleven at the half. The Bears cut the lead to six, two and a half minutes into the third quarter, but that would be as close as the they would get.
Dartmouth (9-9, 2-3 Ivy) 63 at Cornell (7-9, 1-4 Ivy) 56
Cy Lippold scored 21 and Isalys Quinones added 19 to lead the Big Green to a 63-56 victory over Cornell, its first win in Ithaca in nine years. The two captains shot a combined 10-for-17 from beyond the arc with each making five three-pointers. As a team, Dartmouth ended up hitting 11 shots from three at a 50 percent rate.
The teams were close throughout with Dartmouth holding a 32-30 lead at the half and a 50-45 advantage after three. Cornell tied it at 50 on an old-fashioned three by Caitlin Smith with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter. With the Big Green up 53-52 at the seven-minute mark, Cornell shot 1-for-9 over the next 6:30 as Dartmouth went on a 10-2 run to put the game away.
Harvard (10-7, 3-1 Ivy) 100 at Brown (9-11, 1-3 Ivy) 83
With Brown holding a 51-50 lead one minute into the third quarter, Harvard used two separate runs of 10-0 and 15-3 over the next ten minutes to take a 78-59 advantage. The Bears battled back, going on their own 21-7 run over the next five minutes to make it a 85-80 with four minutes left in regulation. A Justine Gaziano three 30 seconds later made it a 87-83 contest, but the Crimson scored the game’s last 13 points to win going away.