Ivy Sunday roundup

Holy Cross 50, Harvard 49
It’s weird to see Harvard to lose these low-scoring battles that go down to the wire, which have always seemed to go the Crimson’s way in recent years with guys like Wesley Saunders, Siyani Chambers and Kyle Casey in tow. Harvard’s first-half defense gave up 21 points and has been solid all season, but the Crusaders found their footing as the second half wore on, with junior forward Malachi Alexander posting a game-high 17 points. As our Robert Crawford pointed out on Twitter, Harvard’s offensive turnover percentage is 339th in the country, and its defensive turnover percentage is 302nd. Its offensive free throw percentage is 345th and defensive free throw percentage is 351st, dead last in the nation. This is a team that struggles mightily with turnovers and at the free throw line at both ends of the floor, and it can at least improve in the former category by quickening tempo, relying less on isolation and attacking earlier in the shot clock.

Dartmouth 79, LIU Brooklyn 56 The Big Green notched their first win of the year with sophomore guard Miles Wright exploding for 39 points, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes. Wright scored nine points in Dartmouth’s first two games of the season combined as freshman forward Evan Boudreaux took center stage, so it was hard to see Wright’s career day coming. Wright converted seven of nine three-pointers, providing the blueprint for how he can continue to light it up for the Big Green going forward, with Boudreaux and senior forward Connor Boehm – who posted 11 points and boards each – comprising a frontcourt that will put up big numbers.

UMass Lowell 80, Cornell 77
UMass Lowell has the 24th-worst adjusted offensive efficiency, but that didn’t stop it from posting 80 points on Cornell, which continues to struggle mightily on defense, allowing the River Hawks to shoot 10-for-22 from three-point range and outrebound the Big Red 46-27. Cornell also got a paltry 10 points from its frontcourt on 4-for-13 shooting. This team really can’t stop anybody. Coach Bill Courtney should really think about slowing games down and attacking inside more with its guards. Cornell ranks 54th in the nation in adjusted tempo, and that’s not working.

Lafayette 92, Penn 86 At some point, Penn is going to happen to shore up its interior defense. Just four days after losing at Princeton in shocking fashion, 104-52, the Leopards held serve at home by shooting 52.2 percent from the floor, carving up the Quakers in a battle of former assistants under Fran Dunphy (Lafayette’s Fran O’Hanlon vs. Penn’s Steve Donahue). Even though the Quakers scored 86, they only notched 10 assists on 31 field goals, not a percentage that Donahue would like. Quakers other than sophomore forward Sam Jones struggled from three all night. There will be games like this that fail to adhere to Donahue’s formula of win inside and from three. That’s fine. The Quakers have to make like the 76ers and trust the process.

Albany 88, Yale 54
Reigning Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears sat out with an apparently nasty sinus infection, and so things got even nastier. The game was every bit as ugly as the final score, with Albany, Yale coach James Jones’ alma mater, shooting 56.4 percent from the floor and the Elis finishing with just seven assists on the day. Sophomore guard Makai Mason couldn’t carry the load in Sears’ absence, finishing with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting. Yale’s depth, particularly in the backcourt, continues to be an issue. We’ve seen that Yale can win without Sears before as recently as this season’s opener, but this is still a troubling result that will hurt Yale’s NCAA Tournament seeding if it manages to make it that far. In the meantime, maybe all Yale really needs is some Mucinex.

No. 25 SMU 77, Brown 69 A week after outlasting Yale, 71-69, SMU didn’t need suspended coach Larry Brown to best Brown, outrebounding the Bears 42-27 and withstanding a sharpshooting attack from the Bears to the tune of 15-for-32 from beyond the arc. Brown did hold the Mustangs to 29 points in the second half, which is very promising. The game was a Dallas homecoming for junior guard Steven Spieth, who shot 4-for-7 from three (and 0-for-6 everywhere else). In other business, Spieth got to shake hands with former President George W. Bush.

3 thoughts on “Ivy Sunday roundup”

  1. Maybe the Tigers were lucky they had the day off. Nice win for Bill Carmody, tough homecoming for James Jones. Fran O’Hanlon has been around long enough to get past his team’s underwhelming showing last week. The Leopards restored their pride a little against the Quakers. When you put up 86 and lose you don’t panic, you figure out what you need to do on defense. Donahue and his club will compete most nights, a relief to the AQ I am sure.

  2. FWIW Dept. Tigers, at #72, only Ivy team in Ken Pomeroy’s in the top 100. Yale has slipped to #108 and Columbia to #119. Ivy League now 16th in the nation, slipping somewhat from the last couple seasons.


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