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:
No Abby Meyers against Rider (#3 preseason MAAC) – no problem
No Meyers and Bella Alarie for the 4th quarter at GW – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for the entire game at Seton Hall (#3 preseason Big East) – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for three quarters and Carlie Littlefield for the second half against FGCU (#1 preseason ASUN) – no problem
Powered by a second-half comeback, Harvard defeated California for the second straight season Friday night, scoring a 56-53 triumph over the Golden Bears in its home opener.
The Crimson (2-0) trailed 29-19 at halftime but cut the Cal (0-1) lead to 41-39 entering the fourth quarter after an eight-point third quarter from first-year Lola Mullaney, who after exploding for 25 points in her collegiate debut at Northern Illinois notched another 14 points in 27 minutes before exiting midway through the fourth quarter due to injury, having been helped off the floor.
Three other Crimson players joined Mullaney in double figures: senior Mackenzie Barta, who also grabbed 12 boards and made two clutch free throws to extend Harvard’s lead to five with 25 seconds left, sophomore Tess Sussman, who after Mullaney exited scored nine points in the final 6:42 to help secure the win, and senior Jeannie Boehm, who pitched in 10 points in 29 minutes.
Harvard upset No. 14 California 85-79 at Haas Pavilion last season.
While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.
For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.
Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena. Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.
Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:
The calendar has not even turned to September and we have our first major development of the 2019-20 season. The Harvard Crimson broke the news that rising senior Katie Benzan, a three-time first team All-Ivy guard, has decided to step away from the program and end her Ancient Eight career.
“Katie has been a remarkable player in our program for three years,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said in a statement emailed to the paper. “After much discussion with the coaching staff, she has decided to step away her senior year.”
The dean of Ivy coaches, Kathy Delaney-Smith, announced the 2019-20 schedule for the Harvard women on Wednesday. The season, her 38th at Harvard, includes 13 nonconference games with five matchups against teams that made the postseason in 2019.
Four of these teams, California, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, and Maine, made it to March Madness, while Hartford earned a spot in the WNIT.
Following the Nov. 5 season opener at Northern Illinois, the Crimson will welcome Cal to Lavietes Pavilion on the 8th. The Golden Bears, previously coached by former Brown guard and present Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb, will look for revenge after Harvard upset the then-No. 14 team, 85-79, last December.
Georgetown (18-15) 70 at Harvard (17-13) 65
The Harvard women found themselves down 14 points midway through the second quarter and 11 at the half, before rallying to take the lead with 2:45 left in regulation. Georgetown senior Dionna White would respond with a go-ahead coast-to-coast layup with 33 seconds left to put the Hoyas in the lead for good and clinched second round WNIT victory over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
First Round (The Palestra, Philadelphia)
Penn (23-6, 12-2 Ivy, Regular Season Co-Champions) vs American (22-10, 16-2 Patriot, Regular Season Co-Champions)
Friday 7:00 p.m., Penn Athletics Facebook