Yale men suffer first loss of season at Colorado, 65-62

Colorado beat KenPom No. 3 Tennessee and Associated Press No. 24 Texas A&M earlier this month by a combined 40 points.

But it took the Buffaloes – including Yale graduate transfer and defensive stalwart Jalen Gabbidon – all they could muster to hold off Yale Sunday in Boulder.

The Bulldogs fell, 65-62, to Colorado, their first loss of the season.

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Harvard men’s second-half rally falls short in loss at Fordham

Something had to give on Sunday afternoon at Rose Hill Gymnasium, with both Harvard and Fordham riding four-game winning streaks.  Unfortunately for the Crimson, the Rams withstood a late second-half rally and emerged with the hard-fought 68-60 victory in the Bronx.

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Three takeaways from Penn men’s strong performance in home win over Colgatete

Junior guard Clark Slajchert exploded for a career-high 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting Saturday at the Palestra, lifting Penn past Colgate. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Penn turned in its best performance of the season on Saturday, and it paid off in the form of its first win over an opponent in the KenPom top 100 since a February 2020 triumph over Yale.

The Quakers used elite scoring performances from guards Clark Slajchert and Jordan Dingle to earn an 81-69 win over Colgate at the Palestra. The contest marked an unhappy homecoming for Raiders head coach Matt Langel and assistant coaches Camryn Crocker and Trey Montgomery, all of whom had played or coached for Penn.

Colgate, which had beaten Syracuse on the road by 12 earlier in the season, entered Saturday ranked 98th in KenPom.

Now 4-4, the Quakers have won three straight contests.

What can Penn fans take away from a particularly satisfying win?

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Princeton men overcome Northeastern to win London Basketball Classic

Ivy Hoops Online writer George “Toothless Tiger” Clark on how Princeton men’s basketball pulled off a great escape to nick Northeastern and win the London Basketball Classic:

Cornell men overcome early deficit to defeat Monmouth, notch fifth straight win

Eleven minutes into Friday’s post-Thanksgiving matinee, the Cornell men faced an 18-9 deficit to Monmouth — essentially the first time they trailed since opening night against Boston College.

But over the next 22 minutes, the Big Red hauled a 39-point swing, leading by as many as 30 and defeating the Hawks, 81-63.

Cornell (5-1) found many open looks in the opening minutes but failed to knock shots down. The Big Red were stuck on eight points for well over six minutes when a Greg Dolan three-pointer finally broke the drought after Nazir Williams split free throws.

From that point on, three-pointers rained down. Cornell connected on 14 throughout the afternoon and relied on the long ball to a 39-27 lead at the half. The Big Red opened the second half on a 9-2 run and continued to pull away, finally peaking at a 71-41 lead with 7:54 remaining.

Coach Brian Earl started to sub his starters and role players out for bench players, and Monmouth (0-6) cut the lead down to 18 in the final minutes.

Cornell, once again, played to its strengths — unselfish basketball. The team shot 52% from the field and 11 different players scored points. Keller Boothby led the way with 12 points off four three-pointers and Chris Manon, one of the team’s best pure scorers, scored 12 off the bench. Nazir Williams scored 11 points and Max Watson scored 10.

Five in a row

After losing to Boston College, Cornell has won straight games. Granted, two were against Division lll schools, but it still feels like a significant accomplishment.

Last year, the Big Red opened the season 8-1 before losing to Virginia Tech and Syracuse of the ACC. Regardless, a nonconference record well above .500 seems like something to celebrate, and that’s where Cornell is trending this year.

They do have several tough challenges ahead, though. They’ll play Delaware next, a team who made the NCAA Tournament in March and gave Villanova a game. They’ve got Miami, fresh off a trip to the Elite 8, and Syracuse, a team they haven’t beaten since 1968. Don’t forget Colgate, who has won the Patriot League three of the last four years, either.

Opportunities against Lafayette, Lehigh and Binghamton are where Cornell will need to take advantage of inferior opponents. Not to say they can’t beat anyone, because they’ve looked impressive early on.

But put this in perspective: Earl won eight games his first season. He won just seven games in 2019-20. Five wins in a row shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an important milestone for this up-and-coming program.

 

Princeton men outflank Army, 74-66, in London Basketball Classic

Ivy Hoops Online writer George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps how Princeton topped Army to advance to the title game of the London Basketball Classic in a Thanksgiving performance that Tiger fans can be grateful for:

Sawyer’s emergence provides silver lining for Penn women in Golden State losses

The Penn women will head home from California dreaming of better days, having dropped two games during their Thanksgiving break but having demonstrated the standout talent of a star freshman.
The trip was a coming-out party for 5-foot-11 guard Simone Sawyer, who is fulfilling her promise as an electric offensive threat. At San Francisco on Monday, Sawyer came off the bench early and started hitting threes, going 6-for-9, to account for her team-leading 18 points in 33 minutes. So coach Mike McLaughlin started her at Southern California, gave her 30 minutes on the floor and got another team-leading 18 points: 6 of 10 from the floor this time, including 4-for-7 from deep, with three assists and four steals.
It’s also good news that the Quakers (1-5) were competitive against two good teams, USF (3-2) and especially USC (5-0). But they’ll have to be better still to reclaim a spot in the top half of the Ivies.

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Yale men deliver second-half performance to remember in 76-44 rout of Vermont

It had been 77 years since Yale men’s basketball last started a season 6-0.

Until Tuesday night.

Yale defeated Vermont 73-44, performing a 46-14 demolition of the Catamounts in the second half at John J. Lee Amphitheater to improve to 6-0 and move forward as the Ivy League’s only undefeated team.

The Bulldogs were down 30-27 at the half. They came out in the second stanza with a renewed intensity on both ends.

”I have a really good staff. Everyone made good suggestions (at halftime),” coach James Jones said. “We cut off the post.”

Yale sank seven of 11 field goals to start the second half on a 20-5 run, building a 47-35 lead with 11:58 remaining. Vermont answered with a three, but Yale topped that with seven straight subsequent points to lead 54-38 with 10:32 left.

Yale shot 61.3% in the second half while holding Vermont to a paltry 21.7%.

Junior forward Matt Knowling once again led Yale with 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting. Sophomore guard John Poulakidas and senior forward EJ Jarvis each pitched in 10 points.

Vermont fell to an uncharacteristic 1-5.

Quincy Jones, son of James Jones, hit a half-court shot to win a TV during a game timeout.

Yale’s KenPom ranking is No. 105 after the win. Princeton is the closest Ivy to Yale at No. 136.

The Bulldogs’ next action comes at Colorado on Sunday. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Jalen Gabbidon, who captained Yale last season and now starts for the Buffaloes.

Three takeaways from Penn men’s overtime win at Lafayette

Penn junior guard Jordan Dingle gave his team a pivotal lift early in the extra frame of the Quakers’ 74-68 win in overtime at Lafayette Tuesday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Penn needed to work overtime to pick up its second win of the season on Tuesday, downing Lafayette 74-68 after an extra five-minute frame.

The end result was probably far closer than the Quakers (2-4) would have liked. Penn had a 10-point lead with five minutes left to play but stalled out on offense at the worst possible time, letting Mike Jordan’s Leopards (1-5) back into the game as the former Penn Ivy Player of the Year sought his first home win as their new coach.

Once in overtime, Jordan Dingle took over for Penn. The junior guard swiped the ball from Lafayette’s CJ Fulton in the first possession of overtime for a breakaway layup, and the Quakers never looked back.

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Cornell men spread wealth, hold off Canisius late, 79-70

ITHACA, N.Y. — After an uptempo first half saw the Cornell men score 45 points and shoot 53% from the field, Canisius managed to slow the Big Red down and claw back into the game. Jordan Henderson hit four consecutive three-pointers for the Golden Griffins and Tahj Staveskie hit two to cut their deficit down to five with 1:46 remaining, but the Big Red came up with timely stops in the final 90 seconds to defeat Canisius, 79-70.

“We pulled away a bit in the beginning and just couldn’t finish the job,” said Cornell coach Brian Earl. “We got a little bit nervous, especially in the beginning of the second half just not taking what we had in front of us.

“We’ve got to take a look at where some of the errors were. [Henderson and Staveskie] are good players, and we were sort of hoping they wouldn’t get open and they did and they made it.”

Nazir Williams notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, pacing a balanced scoring output for the Big Red. Guy Ragland Jr. also scored 12 off 3-for-5 perimeter shooting and Greg Dolan had 11 points and five assists. Isaiah Gray, Keller Boothby and Chris Manon each had 10.

“Tonight was a little different night, I really couldn’t make any shots,” said Williams, who went 5-for-9. “Just trying to find out what else I can do on the court if I’m not scoring – rebounding, passing and everything turned out fine.

Williams noted that playing defense can generate more energy on offense.

“Even though I’m not hitting shots, I can still always get to the rim to find my teammates, and my teammates hit shots,” Williams said.

Williams hit a contested runner with 1:13 left to put the game away after Canisius trimmed the lead to single-digits.

“We really needed that shot,” Williams said. “Down the stretch, we wanted to get good shots and I felt like I had an advantage that play.”

Cornell led by as many as 15 points in the second half. The Big Red opened the second half shooting 3-for-13 from the field, which prevented them from putting away the Golden Griffins, who went 3-for-15.

Buying into the system

Earl introduced an uptempo version of the Princeton offense last season after the Ivy League did not participate in athletics in the 2020-21 season. The Princeton offense is typically slower, not a 10-second-style system.

Earl spent the off year creating and implementing the system to prepare for the return of Ivy basketball. But he needed the team to buy into it and believe in him.

“Coach implemented a system last year – we fully bought in,” Williams said. “You’re really starting to see the great lengths we can take this, just everybody feeding off each other and sharing the ball, making shots.

“Most of us are sophomores and juniors now, it’s like we were all freshmen last year because the sophomores didn’t get to play [during 2020-21]. Just getting that experience [last year], a lot of guys averaging double-digit minutes. We just lean off our leaders if we need them, Greg [Dolan], Marcus [Filien], Sean [Hansen] — they’ve all been here before.

Cornell lost Sarju Patel, Kobe Dickson and Dean Noll to the transfer portal after their senior seasons last year. Jordan Jones entered the portal after his junior year but isn’t playing collegiately this year.

Earl added six newcomers ahead of this season, five of which are freshmen. The lone transfer, Max Watson, from Salt Lake Community College, is the only newcomer regularly playing in Earl’s system. The rest of the core this season played valuable minutes in 2021-22, which is an advantage under Earl’s unique system.

“Experience is always a thing that gets you to understand how what you want to do and what you want to stay away from,” Earl said. “It was good to get some help last year. A lot of teams have been able to scout us a little bit, too, so it’s been a little bit harder in that way.

“[Watson] has hit the ground running and we have some younger guys who are still learning stuff.”

Cornell returns to action on Saturday, when it faces Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on FloHoops.