Navy 65, Penn 59
So very close. Sophomore guard Antonio Woods missed three free throws and a long two-point jumper in the final 26 seconds, helping Navy end the game on a 6-0 run after Penn climbed back from a nine-point deficit with 5:07 remaining to force a 59-59 tie at the 1:03 mark. Of course, Woods’ 16 points – 13 in the second stanza – allowed the Quakers to stick around that much in the first place since Penn got little production from its bench (10 points to Navy’s 29), or its defense (two points off turnovers to Navy’s 22). Penn struggled for much of the game with senior center Darien Nelson-Henry in foul trouble, as the Quakers committed 18 turnovers. Now’s a good time to remember that Penn is 4-3 despite ranking last in the conference in three-point shooting even in coach Steve Donahue’s three-heavy system, with a bunch of players that Donahue didn’t recruit suddenly slotted into his system. Check out Steven Tydings” analysis of Navy-Penn, which featured a comeback with a twist.
Northeastern 80, Harvard 71
I guess we have to get used to Harvard games with final scores beyond the forties. Our Robert Crawford pointed out on Twitter that Northeastern took nine more shots from the floor than Harvard and nine more free throws, which has indeed been a trend for the Crimson. That’s because the Crimson guards don’t get to the line enough, settling for deep shots instead of driving, while Harvard continues to struggle with turnovers (15 tonight). Freshman forward Weisner Perez and senior guard Patrick Steeves combined for 26 points off the bench, though, and Steeves – who posted 12 rebounds and seven assists in Sunday’s loss to Holy Cross – looks like he’s going to figure into the Crimson rotation throughout the season, an unexpected boost. Harvard’s casino not going to shoot 62 percent in too many more halves this season like it did in the first stanza tonight, but at least it can get more varied production from its backcourt.
Vermont 68, Dartmouth 63
The Big Green just didn’t have the depth to pull this one out, though they fought the Catamounts tooth and nail pretty much the whole game. Still, Dartmouth’s starting lineup is something to behold. Sophomore guard Miles Wright notched 18 points and 10 boards, while likely Rookie of the Year Evan Boudreaux posted 18 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Connor Boehm is a solid two-way player in the frontcourt, and senior guard Malik Gill provides outstanding on-the-ball defense. This team has leaders and weapons. It just needs to stay out of foul trouble (which it didn’t vs. Vermont – 23 fouls) so it doesn’t put undue pressure on its young bench, which should improve gradually as the season progresses.
Brown 82, Central Connecticut State 64
Congratulations to senior center Cedric Kuakumensah for tying the Ivy League record for career blocked shots during a 21-point, 16-rebound performance, tying Brian Gilpin (Dartmouth ’97) with 252 swats. CCSU is a soft foe, but Brown’s high-tempo offensive approach is starting to pay dividends. Anytime you make 30 field goals while turning the ball over just six times, you’re doing something right.
Columbia 72, Bucknell 61
— Sam (@simmonsclass) December 3, 2015
Where’s Maodo Lo been, Columbia fans? Well he never went anywhere (except to the German national team). More importantly, he’s been waiting to unleash hell on Butt-nell. Lo notched a game-high 23 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Lions won comfortably despite shooting 37 percent from the floor. That senior guard Isaac Cohen could miss up to a month due to injury, starting with the Bucknell game, should weigh on Lions fans more than it probably will since he’s one of Columbia’s best defenders along with Lo, but at least against the Bison Columbia finally got some results on that end of the floor, largely because Bucknell shot like Butt-nell from the perimeter.
Yale 79, Bryant 40
Even reigning Ivy Players of the Year get sinus infections, and Justin Sears is no exception. His illness kept him out of Yale’s 88-54 loss to Albany Sunday, and he came off the bench against Bryant. The most promising aspect of this back-to-business rout was Yale getting major production from junior forward Sam Downey and senior guard Nick Victor, who combined for 30 points and 15 boards. Whether Yale can develop backcourt depth behind Makai Mason will be crucial to the Elis’ Ivy title hopes, and now’s the time for coach James Jones to experiment and find out what he has, particularly from sophomore guard Eric Anderson, who posted five points, a rebound and an assist in 15 minutes in this win.
Now that teams” strengths and weaknesses are starting to emerge, stay tuned this coming Monday for the return of our Ivy Power Rankings, which will analyze what we”re seeing from each Ivy going forward.