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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Ivy women’s week five roundup: Ancient Eight’s Top 10

As the opening half of the conference schedule came to a close on Saturday, Columbia used a dominant performance over last-place Dartmouth to claim sole possession of first place.  Penn, which entered the weekend tied with the Lions, fell from the top slot after giving up a season-high 84 points during a lopsided 24-point defeat at Harvard.  Princeton, which started out tied with Harvard and Yale, used a masterful defensive performance to beat Yale by 49 points and keep pace with the Crimson.  In Saturday’s Ivy opening game, Cornell used a 10-1 run early in the fourth quarter to pull away from Brown and get the league’s only road win. 

Saturday results
Cornell over Brown, 66-61
Princeton over Yale, 79-30
Columbia over Dartmouth, 79-50
Harvard over Penn, 84-60

Standings 
Columbia 6-1 (17-3 overall)
Princeton 5-2 (14-5)
Penn 5-2 (13-7)
Harvard 5-2 (12-7)
Yale 4-3 (10-10)
Cornell 2-5 (9-11)
Brown 1-6 (8-11)
Dartmouth 0-7 (2-19)

As the second half of the Ivy schedule begins this weekend, all eyes will focus on Levien Gymnasium as Columbia welcomes the Ps to NYC.  The league leaders will look for payback on Friday night against the Quakers, who pulled away late in the fourth quarter at home against the Lions on January 7.  On Saturday, Columbia, which beat Princeton by three in an overtime thriller on January 6, will try to make it two in a row against four-time defending champs.  The Tigers haven’t been swept by an Ivy opponent since losing to Penn three times in 2017, but the dreaded Friday night bus trip from Ithaca to Manhattan and a start time 20 hours after finishing the game at Cornell will certainly pose added challenges.

Fri., Feb. 3
Princeton at Cornell, 6:00 p.m.
Harvard at Yale, 6:00 p.m.
Penn at Columbia, 6:00 p.m.
Dartmouth at Brown, 7:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 4
Penn at Cornell, 4:00 p.m.
Princeton at Columbia, 4:00 p.m.
Dartmouth at Yale, 4:00 p.m.
Harvard at Brown, 5:00 p.m.

Below are 10 of the top performances from the weekend:

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Ivy men’s week five roundup: Ancient Eight’s Top 10

After another exciting weekend of Ivy hoops that saw all the home teams holding serve, the league standings have a tie at the top, and seven teams are separated by only two games. 

Yale continued its dominance of Princeton, winning for the eighth time in their last nine matchups.  Meanwhile, Penn, losers of three straight league contests, won its third straight over Harvard in a must-win game at the Palestra. 

Cornell, missing Nazir Williams, took care of Brown, which was without Kalu Anya, Dan Friday and Malachi Ndur.  Dartmouth continued its strong league play with a victory over Columbia, its third league win it its last four contests and finds itself over .500 at the halfway point for the first time since 2009.

Saturday results
Yale over Princeton, 87-65
Penn over Harvard, 83-68
Cornell over Brown, 80-73
Dartmouth over Columbia, 83-73

Standings 
Cornell 5-2 (15-5, overall)
Princeton 5-2 (14-6)
Yale 4-3 (14-6)
Dartmouth 4-3 (8-13)
Harvard 3-4 (12-9)
Brown 3-4 (10-10)
Penn 3-4 (11-11)
Columbia 1-6 (6-16)

The second half of the schedule starts with a big back-to-back weekend, highlighted by a matchup between the league leaders at Jadwin Gymnasium and Yale looking for revenge against Dartmouth at Leede Arena.

Fri., Feb. 3
Yale at Harvard, 5:00 p.m.
Brown at Dartmouth, 6:00 p.m.
Columbia at Penn, 7:00 p.m.
Cornell at Princeton, 7:00 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 4
Yale at Dartmouth, 6:00 p.m.
Brown at Harvard, 6:00 p.m.
Columbia at Princeton, 6:00 p.m.
Cornell at Penn, 6:00 p.m.

Below are 10 of the top performances from the weekend: – 

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Yale men pull away with hot hands in 87-65 win over Princeton

Junior forward Matt Knowling delivered 12 points on 6-for-10 field-goal shooting, nine rebounds and two steals in Yale’s 87-65 win over Princeton at the John J. Lee Amphitheater Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online writers George “Toothless Tiger” Clark and Richard Kent deliver audio and written recaps, respectively, of Yale’s stunning second-half offensive outburst that secured a win over Princeton:   

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Harvard women wallop Penn, 84-60

Sophomore forward Elena Rodriguez led all scorers with a career-high 28 points to lead Harvard to an 84-60 win over Penn at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)
The Harvard women staked their claim to a top spot in the Ivies with an emphatic home win Saturday over Penn, 84-60.
Mike McLaughlin’s Quakers are known for a stingy defense — backcourt pressure to slow you down, traps and steals, a mix of zones and man-to-man to keep you off balance. Carrie Moore’s Crimson were ready, time after time getting the ball to the high post and finding players cutting to the basket behind the defense to take the pass for the easy score.
Sophomore Elena Rodriguez was often the beneficiary, and she led all scorers with a career-high 28 points on 11-for-14 shooting. The 6-foot-2 forward also scored from deep (3-for-4), collected 11 rebounds, handed out three assists and collected a pair of steals. On a team with the Ivies’ second-leading scorer in fellow sophomore Harmoni Turner (12 points against Penn to go with an astounding 12 assists and seven rebounds) and two others in the top 10, Rodriguez — a veteran of the Spanish national 16-and-under team — has made huge strides this season and helped make Harvard a power again.
Also in double figures for Harvard, as usual, were Lola Mullaney (19 points on 8-for-17 shooting) and McKenzie Forbes (10 points and seven rebounds). The Crimson, cheered on by a crowd of 1,385 at Lavietes Pavilion, shot 52.5% from the field for the afternoon.
Two players on the court that you’d expect to light up the scoreboard simply didn’t: Penn senior guard Kayla Padilla and junior forward Jordan Obi. Obi had nine points and five assists. Padilla picked up early fouls, played less than her usual 35 minutes and scored just 10 points, all in the second half after Harvard had built a double-digit lead. It was Penn’s other senior guard, Mandy McGurk, who had the hot hand: 27 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
We’ve seen enough of Penn this year to know that a 24-point loss is an anomaly. Seven days before the debacle at Harvard, Penn blew past Yale by 22 points. Most days, Padilla has 10 points before the half — sometimes before the fans have settled down after the Star-Spangled Banner. The last team that scored this many points against Penn in regulation was Tennessee, then ranked No. 4 nationally, in November 2014. (Columbia scored 84 in an overtime game in 2020 — but Penn scored 86.)
It may well be that Columbia and Princeton are the true powerhouses of Ivy women’s basketball this season, as expected; Saturday’s games left Columbia on top with the league season half over and put Princeton, Harvard and Penn into a tie one game back. But this Harvard team has beaten Princeton and now Penn, and no one who saw Saturday’s game would swear that it won’t do so again in the Ivy tournament.
The second half of the Ivy season starts with back-to-backs next weekend. Penn travels to Columbia and Cornell; Harvard hits the road to Yale and Brown.