Ivy women’s Saturday recap – Jan. 13, 2018

Princeton 75 vs Cornell 54

Cornell (4-11; 0-2 Ivy) challenged the Tigers (13-3; 3-0 Ivy) in the first half, finishing the second quarter down 36-34.  Princeton came out of the break on a 17-0 run in the first five minutes, completed the quarter up 22 and coasted in the fourth stanza for a convincing 21-point victory over the Big Red.

Leslie Robinson had 16 points and Bella Alarie scored 13, while Gabrielle Rush continued her hot hand in league play with 75 percent three point shooting and 11 points.  Cornell’s Samantha Widmann, from nearby Lawrenceville, led the Big Red with 17 points and seven rebounds.

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Q&A with Princeton assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Brett MacConnell

Ivy Hoops Online’s Richard Kent caught up with Brett MacConnell, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Princeton. He is a Rutgers graduate and a long-time New Jersey resident.

Ivy Hoops Online: Tell us your thoughts about this most recent Princeton-Penn game?
Brett MacConnell: Penn was tougher. They dominated the paint. (Ryan) Betley wasn’t a surprise. We couldn’t get big stops at the end. We are a young team with some new guys.

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Ivy women’s hoops Friday in review – Jan. 12, 2018

Yale 77 vs Brown 63

Yale (8-6; 1-0 Ivy) opened up its march to Ivy Madness with a double digit victory over Brown (12-2; 0-1 Ivy) in a Friday matinee contest at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  After a poor shooting first quarter from both teams, Yale entered the second frame up 3 and stretched it to six at halftime.  The Bears came out hot at the beginning of the third quarter, going on an 8-0 run over the first 1:36 to take a 39-37 lead.  From there, the teams stayed close and were tied at 58 with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter. Two Tamara Simpson steals and layups in nine seconds sparked Yale to a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach.

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Thoughts on Ivy League openers – men’s basketball

Harvard 61 vs Dartmouth 51

An ugly win is still a win. Harvard fans can take comfort in that fact after the Crimson’s home win over the Big Green, a game that was very much up for grabs until Harvard pulled away with 4-for-4 three-point shooting in a 3:54 span late in the game during which Dartmouth was held scoreless, turning a 45-45 tie into a 54-45 cushion. Harvard notched the win despite Bryce Aiken missing nearly the entire game in a brief return from injury after missing the last four games with a knee injury. Harvard committed 19 turnovers, not a particularly good sign. But the Crimson were led by a career-high 12 points from Christian Juzang and 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting from Seth Towns. Harvard entered the game as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country but lit Dartmouth up from deep, going 12-for-25 (48 percent), easily besting Dartmouth’s paltry 5-for-19 (26.3 percent) clip.

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Thoughts on Ivy League openers – women’s basketball

Princeton 70 at Penn 55

The Princeton Tigers improve to 11-3 overall and, more importantly, 1-0 in the Ivy League, as they beat the two time defending champion Penn Quakers (6-5, 0-1 Ivy) for the first time in over 1,000 days.  The Orange & Black looked as if they would run away from the Red & Blue when they opened up a 10-point lead with 3:36 left in the first half, but Penn went on a 7-0 run to go into the break down 31-28.  

In the second half, the Tigers upped the defensive effort, frustrating the Quakers time and time again as they created another 10-point lead with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter.  Unlike the first half, Princeton would not let Penn shift the game’s momentum and cruised to a 15-point victory on their rival’s home court.

Some quick thoughts:

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Princeton’s 12-day road trip ends on a high note

The Tigers capped off a hugely successful 12-day swing to the West Coast and beyond with a workmanlike 77-63 victory over the host Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Monday to conclude their their three games in the Diamond Head Classic. Only a two-point loss to Middle Tennessee State  in the tourney opener marred the Tigers road trip record of 4-1. Princeton finished its out-of-conference schedule at 7-7.

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Princeton splits two nail-biters in first two games of Diamond Head Classic

The Tigers came into the opener of this Christmas tournament hosted by the University of Hawaii as slight underdogs to the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State, winners of games in the last two NCAA tournaments, including a monumental upset over Michigan State in 2016.

In a game the Tigers led by as many as seven and never trailed by more than four, it took a big-time play by the Raiders’ great guard, Giddy Potts, to break the last tie with two seconds to go. The final: Middle Tennessee State 69, Princeton 67.

Once again the Tigers played quite well from the outset, leading 28-23 at the break. This was perhaps as good as the defense has shown over a 20-minute stretch all season. The Raiders are very well-coached, boasting a deep, talented roster, featuring size, strength and speed. They fully expect to make another deep run for Conference USA laurels.

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Fresh off USC win, Princeton to square off in Diamond Head Classic

The Tigers take Hawaii … and are slated to face Middle Tennessee State at 5:30 p.m. EST on Friday in the Diamond Head Classic.
(Princeton Men’s Basketball Facebook page)

On Friday, the Tigers open play in the Diamond Head Classic on the beautiful island of Oahu in the 50th state. Their first foe in a “three games in four days” format is the very strong Conference USA representative, Middle Tennessee State, a frequent Big Dance contestant.

Coming in with a record of 7-2, including wins over SEC teams Mississippi and Vanderbilt, the Raiders have their own version of the big three, Nick King, Giddy Potts and big man Brandon Walters. These three play a lot of minutes and score a ton of points. Middle Tennessee State is currently ranked 67th by the esteemed Ken Pomeroy, high enough to warrant a 65 percent chance to beat the Tigers (128th) on a neutral court.

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