Ivy men’s week six roundup: Ancient Eight’s Top Ten

The opening games of the second half of the Ivy slate ended with sweeps by Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown.  The Ps did their traditional double wins from home, while the New Englanders were able to earn their victories on the road.

On Friday, the Tigers welcomed Cornell to Jadwin Gymnasium in a match between the league’s top two teams.  Prior to the start of the contest, Princeton honored its championship teams from 1996 to 1998, which included Tigers head coach Mitch Henderson and Big Red coach Brian Earl.   The Orange & Black overcame a 13-point second half deficit to claim sole possession of first place.  The win gave Henderson his 200th career victory. 

A day later, the Tigers gave Henderson win number 201 with a comfortable 22-point victory over Columbia, the last-place team in the Ancient Eight.

Yale showed it has completely rebounded from its opening losses to Columbia and Dartmouth by extending its winning streak to five. 

The Bulldogs were hot on the offensive side in the first half at Harvard, opening up a 17-point halftime lead.  The Crimson tightened the defense in the second half and cut the lead to five with 2:25 to go in regulation, but a 0-for-6 effort the rest of the way ultimately doomed Harvard.  With the victory, the Bulldogs completed their second straight season sweep of their Boston rivals.

At Leede Arena, Yale used a 13-0 run to close out the first half and take an 11-point lead into the locker room.  The visitors never let the Big Green get closer than 10 and cruised to a 19-point revenge win that gave them sole possession of second place.

Against Columbia on Friday night, Penn took an 18-point advantage at the 13:15 mark of the second half, but the Lions clawed their way back and made it a five-point contest with two minutes on the clock.  Similar to Harvard against Yale, Columbia closed the game 1-for-6 and the Quakers came away winning by nine.

Saturday’s matchup between Penn and Cornell was an offensive slugfest with 10 lead changes over the first 30 minutes of action.  The Quakers eventually opened up a nine-point lead with 7:19 to go and held on against the never-say-die Big Red.  The win, which split the season series, gave Penn its fourth in a row and its 46th all-time sweep of the Empire Ivies.

The Big Red, meanwhile, dropped from the top of the leaderboard to a tie for third after the lost weekend.

In Friday’s game in Hanover, Brown tied a season high with 13-made three-pointers on their way to a season sweep of Dartmouth.  Although limited to 24% shooting in the opening half, the Big Green got within seven points with 9:25 left in the contest.  The Bears used a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to put the game away.

After four ties and five lead changes in a close contest between Brown and Harvard, Bruno used a 16-zero run to open up a 15-point lead almost halfway through the second half.   For the second straight night, the Crimson battled back, eventually making it a two-point game with six seconds remaining.  Brown made one of two free throws and the home team couldn’t convert the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.

Bruno’s win was the 133rd victory of head coach Mike Martin’s career, tying him for the program lead with Stanley Ward.  It also avenged a 70-68 overtime loss to Harvard at the Pizzitola Center on January 6 and put the team in a three-way tie for third place with Cornell and Penn.

By late Saturday night, Dartmouth dropped to sole possession of sixth place, while Harvard, losers of three straight was alone in seventh.

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Three Quakeaways from Penn men outlasting Cornell in 92-86 shootout

Penn junior guard Clark Slajchert upped his offensive efficiency in his team’s shootout win over Cornell at the Palestra Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Penn picked up a potentially season-changing win on Saturday night.

By downing Cornell at the Palestra, 92-86, the Quakers (13-11, 5-4 Ivy) are now tied for third in the league and control their own destiny for an Ivy Madness berth. The win over the Big Red (15-7, 5-4) was also Penn’s first against a team considered a serious contender for the Ivy title.

The Quakers beat Cornell at its own game: a shootout. Penn hit 11 threes on 23 attempts, none bigger than the one sophomore guard George Smith hit off a feed from Lucas Monroe with 11:10 remaining to tie the game at 62.

After a few empty possessions for both teams, junior guard Clark Slajchert hit two free throws after he was fouled while shooting a three with 10:41 to play, which put the Quakers ahead for good.

Penn is now multiple games over .500 for the first time since the 2019-20 season. There will be plenty for the team’s fans to chew on before a Feb. 11 contest at Harvard, such as the fact that …

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Stingy defense powers Yale men to win at Dartmouth

Sophomore guard Bez Mbeng has stood out as an on-ball defender for Yale, whose defense stood tall in a 72-53 win at Dartmouth Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

The defense led the way.

That was Yale coach James Jones’ observation about how his Bulldogs engineered a 72-53 win at Dartmouth Saturday to even the season series and stay within a game of Princeton in the Ivy League title chase.

“[W]e were able to put some stops together to end the first half, which gave us momentum coming out of halftime,” Jones said. “Outside of a five-minute stretch offensively in the first half, we played perfectly.”

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Princeton women pull even in season series and at top of Ivy standings with Columbia in 74-56 clinic

Princeton senior guard Julia Cunningham reached the 1,000-point career scoring mark in her team’s 74-56 victory at Columbia Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Ivy Hoops Online reporter George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps an emphatic win for Princeton women’s basketball at Columbia to even up the season series and tie Columbia atop the Ivy League standings – along with Harvard – at 7-2:

Three Quakeaways from Penn men pushing past Columbia

In addition to grabbing seven rebounds in just 20 minutes, senior guard Lucas Monroe made key plays the box score of Penn’s win over Columbia Friday at the Palestra doesn’t do justice. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Penn’s Friday night contest against Columbia at the Palestra likely won’t be featured much in the team’s end-of-season highlight reel, but the Quakers got the job done with a 74-65 win that was a bit closer than the final score indicated.

Though the Lions (6-17, 1-7 Ivy) never led past the 17:43 mark of the first half, they managed to close a deficit that swelled to as much as 18 points to five at multiple instances late in the second half.

But Columbia could get no farther. Junior guard Jordan Dingle twice quelled Lions rallies, once through an and-one to push Penn’s lead from 60-54 to 63-54 with 3:41 to play, and a second time through a three-pointer from the left wing to turn a 65-60 advantage into 68-60 with 2:20 to play.

With six games left to play in the Ivy season, Penn (12-11, 4-4) has a clear — though far from automatic — path to Ivy Madness, one of a small handful of Quakeaways from the Red and Blue’s third consecutive win.

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Columbia women take revenge on Penn in 72-50 win

Senior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis notched 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals in just 23 minutes in Columbia’s win over Penn at Levien Gym Friday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)
A month after suffering their only Ivy defeat, Columbia’s women exacted sweet revenge on Penn, 72-50, in front of a jubilant home crowd of 2,100 at Levien Gym Friday.
The win keeps the Lions (18-3, 7-1 Ivy) in first place ahead of a Saturday afternoon game hosting Princeton’s Tigers (15-5, 6-2), who will be seeking revenge of their own for their last loss, an overtime thriller at Jadwin.

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Yale men hold off Harvard to sweep season series again

Junior forward Matt Knowling led all scorers with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting in 35 minutes in Yale’s win over Harvard Friday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Yale men’s basketball picked up where its scorching hot hands left off last Saturday against Princeton, building a 19-point second-half lead and surviving a late comeback rush from Harvard to notch a 68-57 win at Lavietes Pavilion.

Harvard (12-10, 3-5 Ivy) had trailed 48-29 with 16:25 remaining but in the next 14 minutes of game seized enough momentum to trail by just five points, 62-57. Yale salted away the game from the free-throw line in the final minute after a defensive clampdown.

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Princeton men’s second-half shooting propels Tigers past Cornell

Reigning Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan led Princeton to a comeback win over Cornell Friday at Jadwin Gym. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Editor’s note: IHO reporter George “Toothless Tiger” Clark delivers an in-depth audio dispatch on the Princeton men’s and women’s clashes with Cornell while IHO reporter Nathan Solomon gives us the written rundown of the pivotal men’s game in the Ivy title race: 

In the second consecutive game without sophomore guard Nazir Williams, the Cornell men capitalized on a hot start to lead by 10 at the half.

But Princeton flipped the switch in the second half, scoring 54 points and connecting on 66% of its shots to fend off the Big Red, 89-82, Friday at Jadwin Gymnasium.

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Is Princeton men’s basketball poised to repeat as Ivy League champions?

Having reigning Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan should help Princeton down the stretch of the Ivy League title race. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

At the midpoint of the Ivy League season, the Princeton men’s basketball team sits in a familiar position:  tied for first place in a crowded field of evenly matched teams. At 5-2 in conference play, the Tigers are tied atop the league standings with their new rival, the Cornell Big Red. Lurking not far behind is an upsurging Dartmouth team and resurging Yale squad each at 4-3, while three other teams – Brown, Harvard and Penn – remain within striking distance with a record of 3-4.  Only one team in the Ancient Eight – Columbia – appears to be out of the running with a conference record of 1-6.  

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