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
No. 3 Harvard (16-11, 9-5 Ivy) vs. No. 2 Penn (22-5, 12-2) Sat., 8:30 p.m. (estimated) ESPN3
Season Series – Split 1-1
2/16/19 at Harvard; Harvard wins 80-72 2OT
3/1/19 at Penn; Penn wins 75-70
Penn: won four in a row and 13 of its last 15
Harvard: won two in a row and five of its last seven
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.
Banghart earns win 250, Delaney Smith sticks at 599
In a matchup of two of the Ivy’s premier teams and coaches, the Tigers (18-9, 10-2 Ivy) came out on top of the Crimson (14-11, 7-5), 61-58, on Saturday night. With the win, Princeton coach Courtney Banghart won the 250th game of her 12-year career. Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 37th year there, will have to wait one more weekend to try and capture the 600th win of her storied tenure.
In a defensive battle where both teams shot under 36 percent from the field, the Tigers were able to use its inside presence (11-for-15 vs 2-for-2 in free throws; 36 to 28 points in the paint) to offset Harvard’s league-leading outside game. The Crimson, which entered the game shooting more than 33 percent from three and averaging over nine treys a game, finished the night making only six baskets at a 23 percent accuracy.
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.