Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2019-20 Ivy Hoops Online All-Ivy Men’s honorees as selected by IHO contributors, which are quite bit different from the selections that the Ivy League released:
On Saturday, it will be exactly five years since one of the toughest nights in recent Yale men’s basketball history. Leading by five points in the final minute against a Dartmouth team that was playing just for pride, the Bulldogs lost in perhaps the most excruciating manner possible: a buzzer-beater by Gabas Maldunas off an inbound play. The Ivy League title trophy – set to be awarded to Yale – was quickly covered and hustled out of Leede Arena and Hanover.
After losing a tiebreaker to Harvard the following week, their NCAA Tournament drought reached 53 years, and – having graduated four contributing seniors – who knew when they would get another chance the way Harvard and Princeton were trending?
Whether it’s fair or not, we’re often defined in life by how we finish. How we finish relationships. How we finish jobs. How we finish thoughts.
For Penn at John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night, the finish wasn’t worthy of the start.
Penn appeared to deliver the coup de grâce to Yale when senior guard Devon Goodman hit a three-pointer, his sixth of the night on seven attempts, to put the Red & Blue up 73-63 with 2:52 remaining.
Then the long nightmare casting a longer shadow over Penn’s Ivy League Tournament hopes began.
Brian Earl has told me before that his Big Red squad has found every possible way to lose a game. Well, on Friday night at Newman Arena, they found yet another.
Cornell led for almost the entire ballgame and held a comfortable eight-point lead with just under three minutes to play in Ithaca. Eric Monroe drilled a three for the Bulldogs, and Jordan Bruner converted on a layup with just over two minutes in regulation, and then Azar Swain hit a tough three to tie things up with 61 seconds remaining.
The sides would then trade turnovers before a Terrance McBride halfcourt attempt to win the game fell short, sending the game to overtime.
No team in the Ivy is playing even close to the level of Yale and that was exemplified on Friday night before a huge throng at John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs played their patented suffocating defense and defeated a talented Brown squad, 70-56.
It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to take stock of what followers of each Ivy men’s team should be thankful for at this point of the season:
Jordan Dingle’s 24 points in Penn’s 81-80 win at Alabama marked the highest scoring total by a rookie in his debut in school history.
Steve Donahue’s system of interchangeable players on offense has allowed rookies to be major contributors in any given matchup, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of the offensive load Dingle carries going forward. But the fact that Dingle scored 16 points in the final 12:40, including the game-winning shot with six seconds left, is impressive. Freshmen often fade late, but in his first ever collegiate game, Dingle became dominant instead.
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.