As this Ivy non-season progresses, we thought it’d make sense for us to do an Ivy Hoops Online contributors’ roundtable looking ahead to next season, assuming there is one:
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.
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:
On Saturday night, the Ivy League regular season ended with a co-championship, another dominant night from the third-place team and a surprise fourth-place team heading to Ivy Madness.
Eight thoughts on the women’s side:
1. Aghayere on a rebounding spree
There was a whopping 77 points scored in the first half in Penn’s battle with visiting Cornell, featuring the Big Red’s No. 2 Ivy scoring defense vs. the Red & Blue’s No. 1 Ivy scoring defense. No. 1 eventually got the best of No. 2 as the game eventually settled into more of a grind-it-out struggle. Princess Aghayere posted a career-high 23 points and 10 boards, the fourth double-double of her senior campaign. Aghayere grabbed seven of Penn’s offensive rebounds, fueling a 15-6 scoring edge for Penn in second-chance points. Aghayere is one of three Quakers to rank in the Ivy’s top nine in offensive rebounding (fifth behind league-leading Eleah Parker and ahead of Ashley Russell in ninth place). If Penn goes to another 2-3 zone variation against Princeton tomorrow night, Aghayere will have to come up big on the boards as she did in Penn’s win at Princeton last month, when she snared a team-high 12 boards, limiting a Tigers squad that crashed the boards against the zone well that day.
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.
The Dartmouth women’s basketball team rebounded from a disappointing ‘16-’17 season (8-19 overall, 3-11 Ivy) to go 15-12 overall and 7-7 in the conference in ‘17-’18, missing the Ivy Tournament by one game. The Big Green lose three important players to graduation, guard Kate Letkiewicz, forward Andi Norman, and center Olivia Smith. Letkiewicz, a second team All-Ivy selection, started all 27 games, averaging 14.0 points, 2.7 three pointers, 6.0 rebounds, and 36.9 minutes per contest. Norman started 25 games with 5.8 points, 1.6 made threes, and 2.9 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game. Smith, who averaged 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game, started 8 of 21 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Princeton on Feb. 10.
On Thursday, Coach Belle Koclanes announced the program’s five new members of the Class of 2022, who will attempt to help the team replenish its losses, build upon last year’s successes and, hopefully, move into the Ivy League’s upper division throughout the next several years.