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.

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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.

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Ivy Friday night women’s hoops review

After Friday’s action, two teams (Princeton, Penn) clinched spots in Ivy Madness and one team (Brown) was eliminated, while the other five teams continue to battle it out for the last two tickets to IT-3.

Princeton 64 vs Dartmouth 47
Penn 75 vs Harvard 70
Cornell 66 vs Yale 56
Columbia 93 vs Brown 62

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Ivy women’s hoops Saturday recap

Princeton (11-9, 3-2 Ivy) 93 vs Brown (9-13, 1-5) 74

The Tigers rebounded from Friday night’s overtime loss to Yale by beating the Bears by 19 on Saturday night.  In front of the team’s alumnae, including the ’14-’15 team that went 30-0 in the regular season, Princeton jumped out to a nine point lead after one quarter and eleven at the half.  The Bears cut the lead to six, two and a half minutes into the third quarter, but that would be as close as the they would get.

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Ivy women’s hoops Friday recap

Dartmouth (9-9, 2-3 Ivy) 63 at Cornell (7-9, 1-4 Ivy) 56

Cy Lippold scored 21 and Isalys Quinones added 19 to lead the Big Green to a 63-56 victory over Cornell, its first win in Ithaca in nine years.  The two captains shot a combined 10-for-17 from beyond the arc with each making five three-pointers.  As a team, Dartmouth ended up hitting 11 shots from three at a 50 percent rate.

The teams were close throughout with Dartmouth holding a 32-30 lead at the half and a 50-45 advantage after three.  Cornell tied it at 50 on an old-fashioned three by Caitlin Smith with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter. With the Big Green up 53-52 at the seven-minute mark, Cornell shot 1-for-9 over the next 6:30 as Dartmouth went on a 10-2 run to put the game away.

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Yale women’s basketball follows record-setting season with high-profile incoming class

While missing out on the first Ivy Tournament in 2017, the Yale women’s team completed the season on a roll, winning four of its last five games, including victories against third place Harvard and league champion Penn. Entering her third year as head coach, Allison Guth hoped to use that momentum to catapult her Bulldogs into the conference’s upper division in 2018. On the strength of its senior stars, the tenacious Elis (19-13, 8-6 Ivy) earned the fourth spot in last season’s Ivy Madness, as well as an invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) Tournament.

After strong wins in the first two rounds of the WBI, Yale defeated South Alabama in the semifinals, coming back from an 11 point deficit with two minutes remaining in regulation. A 54-50 victory at Central Arkansas gave the Bulldogs its record setting 19th win and the WBI championship, the first postseason title of any kind for an Ivy League women’s program. Coach Guth will need to find a way to replace the production and leadership from its recently graduated class, if the Elis want to get back to the postseason and secure home court advantage in the third Ivy Tournament.

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Yale defeats Central Arkansas, 54-50, to take WBI championship

After spending most of Wednesday traveling 1,500 miles from New Haven to Atlanta to Little Rock to Conway, Ark., the Yale women’s basketball team had enough energy left in the tank to take down the University of Central Arkansas, 54-50, for the 2018 Women’s Basketball Invitational championship.

In a defensive contest that came down to the wire, first team All-Ivy senior forward Jen Berkowitz scored the final four points for the Bulldogs (19-13) in the final minute to seal the record setting victory in front of a jammed packed 3,500-plus partisan Farris Center crowd.

The Bulldogs struggled offensively for the second straight game, hitting only three of their first 11 shots in the opening 10 minutes.  The Sugar Bears (25-10), meanwhile, shot 7-for-14, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, to take a 18-11 lead after the first quarter. Yale fared slightly better in the second quarter, shooting 38 percent from the field, but its defense began to lock down Central Arkansas, holding the home team to 31 percent shooting.  After 20 minutes of action, the Elis found themselves down only 27-24.

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Yale outlasts South Alabama in WBI semifinal instant classic

The Yale women’s basketball team somehow survived and advanced in an instant classic in the WBI semifinal against visiting South Alabama, roaring back from 11 points down with under two minutes to go to pull off a stunning comeback 76-74 win in overtime.

found itself home for the first time in twenty eight days, but could not find its shooting touch until the game’s sixteenth minute. By that time, the Bulldogs (18-13) were 1 for their first 25 and down 19 to the visiting Jaguars of South Alabama from the Sun Belt conference (21-13).  The Elis then went on a 11-2 run to close out the first half down only 29-19.

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Yale women’s basketball hopes to build on late-season momentum for ‘17-’18

After loses to Harvard and Princeton, the Yale women’s basketball team found itself at 2-7 in league play, one game ahead of last place.  With upcoming games against undefeated Penn and third-place Harvard, it would have been easy to give up and play out the season.  

But the Elis won four of their last five games, including back-to-back victories over the Quakers and Crimson, to end up one game out of the Ivy Tournament.  The Bulldogs will look to build on this late-season success to move into the conference’s upper division for 2017-18.

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