Harvard bests California for second straight season

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.

Report: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

As the college basketball world gets ready to tip off on Tuesday night, the Ivy League has its eyes on its end-of-year tournament.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald reported late Monday morning that the conference has decided to move each of the women’s events up one day making Ivy Madness a four-day event.

Prior to the 2018 Ivy Tournament, the Harvard Magazine’s David Tannenwald wrote “A Gendered Schedule”, a piece that described the frustration that a number of Ivy women’s basketball coaches had with the schedule from the inaugural tournament in 2017.  That year, the women’s semifinals were played in the late morning and evening, book-ending the men’s semifinals. Despite the conference’s best intentions, the coaches and their teams felt like second-class citizens in an event that was supposed to reflect equality.

Read moreReport: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

Ivy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings

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:

Read moreIvy League women’s basketball preseason power rankings

Ivy 60 for 60: Jeremy Lin

Before “Linsanity,” Jeremy Lin was a two-time All-Ivy selection at Harvard.

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

One of the few Ivy League basketball standouts known more for their professional basketball exploits, Jeremy Lin is also one of its most grateful.

Lin has given Ivy hoops fans a lot to be grateful for too.

Read moreIvy 60 for 60: Jeremy Lin

Ivy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025

On Wednesday, the Ivy League office announced that Harvard will host the 2020 Ivy League Tournaments on Sat., Mar. 14 and Sun. Mar. 15. In addition, the league also scheduled the tournament locations through the 2024-25 season, with each of the conference’s schools that haven’t already hosted getting a turn.

After holding the first two Ivy tournaments at Penn’s Palestra (seating 8,722) and scheduling this year’s event at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,800), the league has elected to follow a southern-central-northern pattern for future sites.  After Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion (1,636), Ivy Madness will travel down south to Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) in 2021, followed by trips to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) in 2022 and Cornell’s Newman Arena (4,473) in 2023.  The event will move to the northern-most site at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena (2,100) in 2024, before finishing the rotation at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium (2,700) in the spring of 2025.

Read moreIvy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025

Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday women’s edition

Eight thoughts on the women’s side:

1. Dartmouth hanging in there 

Dartmouth did something it hadn’t done in a decade last night: defeat Yale at home. And the timing was pivotal as the Big Green notched its second win at the wire in the past four games courtesy of a Paula Lenart putback of a missed Isalys Quinones three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left, giving the Big Green a 56-54 victory to lift them to 4-5 in the Ivy standings – within a game of Yale with five outings to go. It was a gutsy win for the Big Green, whose savvy senior guard Cy Lippold suffered an injury versus Princeton last Saturday. Lenart and Quinones put Dartmouth over the top in a defensive battle, and Annie McKenna’s six steals helped stymie the Bulldogs. If Dartmouth can best Brown tonight and sweep Columbia and Cornell in the final weekend, it has a decent chance of tying Yale in the Ivy standings at 8-6, but the Bulldogs would still own the second tiebreaker: highest seed defeated (Yale has topped both Princeton and Harvard, while Dartmouth has beaten neither.) So the Big Green’s road slate at Penn and Princeton next weekend is a huge, if challenging, opportunity to neutralize or even claim the tiebreaker away from Yale.

Read moreAncient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday women’s edition

Brown blows past Princeton, 78-70

Princeton’s weekend road trip got off on a high note when the team learned that Devin Cannady was declared eligible to return to action on Friday. Even a loss at Yale could not diminish the significance of the good news. The trip ended on a sour note, however, as the Brown Bears overcame an early 12-point deficit to take total control of Saturday night’s contest in Providence, turning back the Tigers, 78-70.

Read moreBrown blows past Princeton, 78-70

Harvard shuts down Yale, 65-49, snaps Elis’ eight-game win streak

Ever have one of those really bad days at the office?
The copier is broken, the coffee is rancid, your client cancels an appointment and things get worse from there.
Well, Yale had that type of night at Lavietes Pavilion last night.
And Harvard didn’t.

Read moreHarvard shuts down Yale, 65-49, snaps Elis’ eight-game win streak

Harvard avoids sweep with 64-59 win over Dartmouth

After making an impressive runner at the buzzer, Christian Juzang jogged into the Lavietes Pavilion locker room. Despite the acrobatic bucket to end the first period, Harvard still trailed, 26-25.

At press time, coach Tommy Amaker commented on what he told his team at the half. He reminded them of the magnitude of the game, later suggesting that the next 20 minutes had the potential to “define our season.”

Read moreHarvard avoids sweep with 64-59 win over Dartmouth

What should we expect from Harvard this year?

Last year’s season was a mixed bag for the Crimson. The team emerged from spotty non-conference play to dominate the Ancient Eight, going 12-2 and sharing the conference title with the Quakers. Of course, Penn would go on to defeat Harvard in the conference tournament and earn the most coveted prize: a trip to March Madness.

The Quakers undoubtedly benefited from playing the conference tourney on their home floor, a built-in advantage that executive director Robin Harris has decided is worth the trade-off of hosting the Ivy League Tournament at the largest and most historic venue that the conference has to offer. However, while Crimson fans might be apt to cry foul, there is reasonable evidence that Penn was indeed the best team in the Ivy League.

Read moreWhat should we expect from Harvard this year?