Turns out it takes more than potential to beat Princeton.
1. Princeton (5-2)
Win – vs Delaware, 78-60
Win – at Lafayette, 53-45
After a close loss to #24 Villanova, the Tigers bounced back with two victories this week. Tia Weledji had 22 points to lead Princeton over Delaware. The Blue Hens kept within two early in the second quarter, but a 19-5 run to close out the frame gave the Tigers a 16-point halftime advantage. Delaware cut the lead to seven late in the third quarter, but that would be as close as they would get. In addition to Weledji’s career night, Carlie Littlefield scored 15 points and Leslie Robinson had a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).
4. Brown Bears (‘16-’17 record: 17-13, 7-7 Ivy; tied for fourth; Ivy Tournament semifinalist; lost in second Round of WBI)
Coach Sarah Behn (fourth season; 19th season overall)
Captains: Megan Reilly (senior guard) and Erika Steeves (junior forward)
Key Returning Players:
Justine Gaziano (sophomore guard) – 22 starts, 16.5 ppg, 47.5 percent field-goal percentage, 80 percent free-throw percentage, 35 made three-pointers
Shayna Mehta (junior guard) – 30 starts, 15.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 39.2 percent three-point percentage, 62 made three-pointers, 58 steals
Abby O’Keefe (Guard) – five starts, 17.7 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 19 made three-pointers
McKenna Dale (guard) – Connecticut Gatorade POY; 1,792 points, 747 rebounds, 264 steals, 162 blocks in career
Dominique Leonidas (Guard) – first team all-state (Ga.); 1,000-plus career points
IHO Brown schedule breakdown here
Gaziano and Mehta were both in the top five in scoring and named members of the All-Ivy second team. In her rookie season, Gaziano was in the top 10 of five offensive categories, while Mehta, the 2015-16 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was in the top 15 for eight offensive and defensive statistics. Steeves, the league’s top total rebounder, was in the conference’s top 15 for six offensive and defensive categories. Will was in the top 10 for five statistics.
With 8:59 to go in the fourth quarter of its first-round NCAA Tournament game against fifth-seeded Texas A&M, the Penn women’s basketball team found itself up 21 points, heading for its first-ever March Madness victory and a second-round matchup with UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
What happened next was the biggest collapse in NCAA Tournament history, as the Quakers succumbed to the Aggies’ full-court pressure, were outscored 26-3 and lost the game 63-61. With the Hollywood heartache fresh in their minds, the two-time defending Ivy champs will attempt to to claim their third straight title, second straight postseason Ivy Tournament championship and fourth appearance in five years in the NCAA Tournament.
On Monday night, the Penn women’s basketball team (22-7, 13-1 Ivy) was selected to play Texas A&M (21-11, 9-7 SEC) in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. While the Quakers last two tournament appearances were in College Park, Md., Penn will travel out to Los Angeles for a Saturday 6 p.m. (9 p.m. EST) start.
Many bracketologists had listed Penn as a No. 13 or 14 seed, but the committee noted the team’s experience, conference strength (eighth in the nation), league record, Ivy Tournament win and strong out-of-conference schedule to move them up to a more favorable No. 12 seed. The Aggies, the No. 5 seed in the Bridgeport Regional were the No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament and made it to the semifinals, before losing 66-50 to Mississippi State (No. 2 in the SEC; No. 6 in the nation). While this is Penn’s fifth overall appearance, it is the Aggies’ 12th straight trip to the Big Dance.
Prior to the Ivy League Tournament, Ivy Hoops Online is recapping the seasons of each of the four women’s seeds. Next up is No. 1 seed Penn. We previously covered No. 2 Princeton, No. 3 Harvard and No. 4 Brown.