ITHACA, N.Y . – The Crimson and Red are on divergent paths.
Cornell never led against Harvard Friday at Newman Arena, losing 73-58 after digging a hole too deep in the first half to drop its fourth straight game as Harvard notched a third straight win.
The Crimson (14-6, 5-2 Ivy) started off scorching the nets, leading 23-15 after the first quarter. They hit eight of 10 shots in the first 10 minutes, and first-year guard Lola Mullaney hit three of them, all from downtown.
“They switch a lot, and it created some mismatches,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith. “We didn’t take care of the basketball on the perimeter against those mismatches … A couple of people early on were too focused on the Harvard players instead of what we needed to be doing.”
Princeton used its inside strength to outrebound Harvard by 15 and score 18 more points in the paint to cruise past Harvard, 60-46, Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion.
With the game tied after the first five minutes, the Tigers (15-1, 3-0 Ivy) closed out the frame on an 8-0 run to finish with a 17-9 advantage. Princeton stretched the lead to 14 at the three-minute mark of the second quarter before Jeannie Boehm, Maggie McCarthy and Maddie Stuhlreyer led the Crimson (11-6, 2-2) on a 7-0 run. With one possession left in the half, Carlie Littlefield got the ball to an open Bella Alarie, who calmly hit a three from the top of the key to make it 32-22.
The Dartmouth women entered Saturday’s rematch at Harvard looking to for its first series sweep since 2009, but a strong defensive effort and solid late-quarter three point shooting allowed the Crimson to keep its streak intact in front of a boisterous Alumnae Day crowd.
Dartmouth’s Katie Douglas forced Harvard’s Mackenzie Barta into a late turnover and Annie McKenna took the loose ball in for the layup to give the Green a conference-opening 63-62 upset of the Crimson on Saturday afternoon.
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.