Now’s the time of year that an Ivy League hoops slate would be revving up, and since there’s no Ivy hoops action to come this spring, here’s an IHO contributors’ roundtable pondering what might have happened in the 2020-21 Ivy season on the men’s and or women’s sides if there had been one instead of an exodus of much of the league’s top talent via the transfer portal. Behold the one-year Ivy hoops universes we created:
Penn senior forward AJ Brodeur set three program records in his final game at the Palestra as the Quakers easily dispatched Columbia, 85-65, on a historic night at the Palestra to earn the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.
The Red & Blue (16-11, 8-6 Ivy) nabbed their fourth straight Ivy League Tournament berth, knocking Brown (also 8-6 in Ivy play) on the strength of a Brodeur triple-double: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Penn split the season series with Brown but held the second tiebreaker, a better record against league top seed Yale.
Brodeur’s triple-double was the first in program history, a feat that followed two more records from the Northborough, Mass. native.
With the game well in hand in the second half, the focus became whether Brodeur would pass Ernie Beck ’53 to become the all-time leading scorer.
After four months and 26 games, Penn’s chance at making its fourth straight Ivy Madness appearance now comes down to one final contest.
Following a closely matched 24 minutes, the Quakers used a 12-4 run, punctuated by back-to-back threes from Ryan Betley and Jordan Dingle, to create separation from Cornell and cruise to a 78-64 victory on Friday night.
Another wild night on the roller coaster that is Penn men’s basketball, so what else is new?
One night after losing a 10-point lead lead over the last 98 seconds at Yale, the Red & Blue faced a similar situation up nine at the 2:39 mark in a win-or-go home showdown against Brown. On this night, the Quakers would hold the line and defeat Brown, 73-68, to get back in the battle for the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.
Senior guards Brandon Anderson and Zach Hunsaker combined for 51 points, including 39 in the second half, to lead Brown over Penn, 75-63, at the Palestra on Friday night.
Despite playing without All-Ivy wing Ryan Betley, who is weekend-to-weekend with a sprained left ankle, the Quakers (12-8, 4-3 Ivy) ran out to an 21-10 lead over the first 10:30 of the contest. The Red & Blue maintained an 11 point advantage, following a Max Martz layup with a minute to go, but a Hunsaker three and Anderson layup cut the Penn lead to 35-29 at the half.
The Bears (12-8, 5-2) came out of the locker room a different team.
ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell was unable to slow Penn down on offense in a rare Sunday afternoon game at Newman Arena, falling to the visitors, 79-73 in a game that tipped off 20 hours than it was supposed to because of a postponement due to inclement weather.
“We needed a couple more stops and a couple more plays made,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “They fought a hard game last night, and us, so these games are always difficult.”
The Big Red (5-14, 2-4 Ivy) opened the game on an 8-2 run, but the Quakers (12-7, 4-2) came back and led by as many as eight in the first half. Terrance McBride connected on a nifty post move with two seconds left to cut the Penn lead to three at the halftime buzzer. He wound up with 15 points.
Fran Dunphy’s teams always seemed to play great defense, whether at Penn or Temple.
Dunphy was honored with a standing ovation prior to the game, the first meeting between the two without either being coached by Dunphy in 31 seasons Saturday at the Palestra, and defense was fittingly the order of the day.
The Big 5 rivals held each other under a point per possession, but it was Penn that made enough shots for a 66-59 win.
Penn may have been the host of its matchup with Princeton Saturday, but it was the Tigers who made themselves at home at the Palestra.
The Tigers, fueled by Ryan Schweiger’s career-high 27 points, defeated the Quakers 78-64 in their first meeting of the year. The two teams will meet again on Friday at Jadwin Gym. The Quakers will need to make several adjustments to walk away victorious. Here are the keys to victory for both teams.
Princeton shot just 2-for-11 from deep, got outscored by double-digits in second-chance and fastbreak points and didn’t score a field goal in the game’s final 6:37.
And yet the Tigers never trailed en route to a surprisingly easy 78-64 win over Penn at the Palestra Saturday night, their sixth win there against Penn in six seasons (including their 2017 Ivy League Tournament quarterfinal victory).
So what did Penn (7-5, 0-1 Ivy) do wrong against Princeton (5-8, 1-0) this time?