Katie Benzan leaves Harvard basketball

The calendar has not even turned to September and we have our first major development of the 2019-20 season.  The Harvard Crimson broke the news that rising senior Katie Benzan, a three-time first team All-Ivy guard, has decided to step away from the program and end her Ancient Eight career.

“Katie has been a remarkable player in our program for three years,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said in a statement emailed to the paper. “After much discussion with the coaching staff, she has decided to step away her senior year.”

Read moreKatie Benzan leaves Harvard basketball

Harvard women’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

The dean of Ivy coaches, Kathy Delaney-Smith, announced the 2019-20 schedule for the Harvard women on Wednesday.  The season, her 38th at Harvard, includes 13 nonconference games with five matchups against teams that made the postseason in 2019.

Four of these teams, California, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, and Maine, made it to March Madness, while Hartford earned a spot in the WNIT.

Following the Nov. 5 season opener at Northern Illinois, the Crimson will welcome Cal to Lavietes Pavilion on the 8th.  The Golden Bears, previously coached by former Brown guard and present Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb, will look for revenge after Harvard upset the then-No. 14 team, 85-79, last December.

Read moreHarvard women’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

Ivy hoops roundup – Apr. 20, 2019

Harvard men’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Bryce Aiken; Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Bassey
2019-2020 Captains – Seth Towns and Henry Welsh

Harvard women’s basketball post-season banquet:
Co-MVP – Katie Benzan and Madeline Raster; Defensive Player of the Year – Nani Redford; Most Improved Player – Rachel Levy

Brown women’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Shayna Mehta; Most Improved Player – Haley Green

Princeton women’s basketball names Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur co-captains for the 2019-2020 season.  Coach Courtney Banghart discussed the two athletes, as well as their goals of another Ivy title and a Sweet 16 run, in the season-ending episode of The Court Report.

Yale coach James Jones just missed out on the St. John’s coaching job, but he did win the 2019 Ben Jobe Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the top minority coach in Division I basketball.

Penn senior Princess Aghayere was named one of six recipients of the President’s Engagement Prize by university President Amy Gutmann.  Awarded annually, the Prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each Prize-winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Student recipients will spend the next year implementing their projects.

Aghayere was chosen for her work with Rebound Liberia, which uses basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia.

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – Apr. 20, 2019

WNIT recap: Big East foes sweep Harvard and Penn to end season

Georgetown (18-15) 70 at Harvard (17-13) 65

The Harvard women found themselves down 14 points midway through the second quarter and 11 at the half, before rallying to take the lead with 2:45 left in regulation.  Georgetown senior Dionna White would respond with a go-ahead coast-to-coast layup with 33 seconds left to put the Hoyas in the lead for good and clinched second round WNIT victory over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.

Read moreWNIT recap: Big East foes sweep Harvard and Penn to end season

WNIT previews: Penn vs. American, Harvard vs. Drexel

First Round (The Palestra, Philadelphia)
Penn (23-6, 12-2 Ivy, Regular Season Co-Champions) vs American (22-10, 16-2 Patriot, Regular Season Co-Champions)
Friday 7:00 p.m., Penn Athletics Facebook

Read moreWNIT previews: Penn vs. American, Harvard vs. Drexel

Ivy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn

No. 3 Harvard (16-11, 9-5 Ivy) vs. No. 2 Penn (22-5, 12-2) Sat., 8:30 p.m. (estimated) ESPN3

Season Series – Split 1-1
2/16/19 at Harvard; Harvard wins 80-72 2OT
3/1/19 at Penn; Penn wins 75-70

Streaks
Penn: won four in a row and 13 of its last 15
Harvard: won two in a row and five of its last seven

Read moreIvy League Women’s Tournament semifinal preview – No. 3 Harvard vs. No. 2 Penn

Ivy Friday women’s hoops recap: Harvard’s in; first, second and fourth seeds still undecided

Harvard (8-5 Ivy, 15-11) 80 vs Cornell (5-8 Ivy, 11-13) 38

Harvard clinched a spot in Ivy Madness and locked down the third seed for next Saturday’s semifinal with a dominant 80-34 win over Cornell. The win, in addition to securing the Crimson’s third straight appearance in the Ivy Tournament, was the 600th career victory for Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Delaney-Smith is now one of 19 active coaches to reach that impressive milestone.

Read moreIvy Friday women’s hoops recap: Harvard’s in; first, second and fourth seeds still undecided

Ivy women’s hoops Saturday review

Banghart earns win 250, Delaney Smith sticks at 599

In a matchup of two of the Ivy’s premier teams and coaches, the Tigers (18-9, 10-2 Ivy) came out on top of the Crimson (14-11, 7-5), 61-58, on Saturday night.  With the win, Princeton coach Courtney Banghart won the 250th game of her 12-year career.  Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 37th year there, will have to wait one more weekend to try and capture the 600th win of her storied tenure.

In a defensive battle where both teams shot under 36 percent from the field, the Tigers were able to use its inside presence (11-for-15 vs 2-for-2 in free throws; 36 to 28 points in the paint) to offset Harvard’s league-leading outside game.  The Crimson, which entered the game shooting more than 33 percent from three and averaging over nine treys a game, finished the night making only six baskets at a 23 percent accuracy.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops Saturday review

Ivy women’s hoops Saturday recap

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.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops Saturday recap

Ivy women’s hoops weekend review – Jan 26-27, 2019

Sat., Jan. 26

Yale (11-6; 1-1 Ivy) 84 vs Brown (9-9; 1-1 Ivy)

Eight days after being defeated by Brown, 86-71, in Providence, Yale turned the tables on their travel partners in New Haven.

Read moreIvy women’s hoops weekend review – Jan 26-27, 2019