Ivy women’s basketball week in review

1. Princeton (5-2)

Win – vs Delaware, 78-60
Win – at Lafayette, 53-45

After a close loss to #24 Villanova, the Tigers bounced back with two victories this week.  Tia Weledji had 22 points to lead Princeton over Delaware.  The Blue Hens kept within two early in the second quarter, but a 19-5 run to close out the frame gave the Tigers a 16-point halftime advantage.  Delaware cut the lead to seven late in the third quarter, but that would be as close as they would get.  In addition to Weledji’s career night, Carlie Littlefield scored 15 points and Leslie Robinson had a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).

Wednesday’s game at Lafayette was never in doubt, with Princeton jumping out to a 9-2 lead in the first 2:30 and expanding it to 10 at the half.  The Tigers increased the lead to a high of 16 with 7:30 left in the game before the Leopards cut the final deficit to eight.  Robinson had 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Bella Alarie had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.

Princeton will be back on the road next week for a Saturday afternoon match against Quinnipiac and a Wednesday game against in-state rival Rutgers.

2. Brown (8-1)

Win – at Providence, 64-59
Win – vs Bryant, 72-60 (at Providence)
Win – vs Sacred Heart, 102-77

The wins and milestones keep piling up for the Bears.  In the past week and a half, they beat Holy Cross for the first time in program history, captured its second straight Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament championship and hit the century mark for the first time against a D-1 opponent.  At 8-1, Brown has matched the 1973-74 and 2015-16 teams for the best start in program history.  Additionally, Justine Gaziano was the third straight Bear to be named Ivy Player of the Week, following the selections of Erika Steeves and Shayna Mehta.

On Saturday, Brown visited Providence for a tough cross-town rivalry game.  The Bears had a lead for most of the game, but could not expand it to double digits.  The Friars kept it a two-point game, 52-50, with 3:06 to go, but a 7-2 run gave them enough separation to make it into the tournament final against Bryant.  Gaziano led all scorers with 20 points and was one of four Bears to score more than 12 or more points.

The Bears faced Bryant for the second time this season.  On Nov. 12, Brown opened its season with a 85-62 win over the Bulldogs.  In this second meeting, Brown used a 14-0 run in the last six minutes of the second quarter to open up a 17-point halftime lead.  The Bears extended the lead to 22 in the third quarter before Bryant closed to gap to 12 at game’s end.  Gaziano scored 26 to lead all scorers and claim the Tournament MVP award.  Taylor Will, who totaled 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals for the weekend, was named to the All-Tournament team.

Returning home against Sacred Heart on Wednesday night, Brown was down 32-13 with 8:29 left in the second quarter.  The Bears then went on an 89-45 run the rest of the way to claim the 25 point victory.  For Brown, Steeves had 31 points, Mehta 25, Will 19 and Gaziano 17.  Of the team’s 15 three-pointers, Steeves had six and Mehta netted five.  The Bears outrebounded the Pioneers 56-32 and were led by Janie White’s 14, Steeves’s 13, and Will’s 10 boards.

Brown will visit Colgate on Sunday afternoon and then have a 12 day layoff before resuming its season against Boston University on the 22nd.

3. Penn (2-3)

Did Not Play

Penn has played the least number of games in the Ivy League and is still trying to adapt to the graduation of forward Sydney Stipanovich and point guard Kasey Chambers.  Last year, the Quakers scored 61.3 points a game, shooting 34 percent from three and 42 percent from two.  This season, they are scoring 61.2 points a game, but only shooting 28 percent from three and 38 percent from two.  Defensively, Penn is allowing opponents to shoot a league high 37 percent.  Inside the arc, these teams are making 3.2 more two pointers and 5.5 more free throws per game than last season.  While Penn has enough talent and experience to figure things out, it may not occur when No. 3 Notre Dame visits the Palestra on Saturday at 1 p.m.

4. Yale (5-3)

Win at Binghamton, 73-69 (OT)
Win at Stony Brook, 77-71 (2 OT)

Following two home defeats, a blowout loss to Army and a late game collapse against Providence, Yale rebounded with two extra-session wins on the road against member of the America East.  On Saturday, the Bulldogs traveled to Binghamton to face a Bearcats team that has beaten Penn two years running.  To increase its challenge, Yale played without its leading scorer and best defensive player, Tamara Simpson, who missed the game for a family commitment.

In overtime, Yale started on a 5-0 run, but Binghamton battled back to make it 70-69 with 1:29 left.  The Bulldogs shut them down the rest of the way, while making three of four free throws to finish the game.  Roxy Barahman had a career high of 24 points, while Megan Gorman added 13 and captain Mary Ann Santucci scored 12. For a team that is last in the Ivy League in free throws, Yale went 13-16 from the charity stripe for a decisive 81.3 percent.

On Wednesday’s match against Stony Brook, the Seawolves forced both overtimes with two last ditch shots.  With a one point lead with 1:12 to go in the second overtime, Yale held Stony Brook scoreless the rest of the way to claim the exhausting six-point win.  Jen Berkowitz led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Barahman added 17 points, five rebounds and five steals, while Simpson had 15 points and nine steals.

Yale will complete its four game road trip this week, when the team visits Central Connecticut State on Saturday and Saint Peter’s on Tuesday.

5. Harvard (5-4)

Loss – at Temple, 86-64
Win – at Northeastern, 79-69

The Crimson visited  Temple on Saturday and fell behind by 17 points in the first quarter.  The Owls extended the lead to 30 early in the fourth quarter before Harvard got it down to 22.  Jeannie Boehm led Harvard with 12 points, while Katie Benzan added nine points in the losing effort.

Wednesday evening, Harvard had a Beantown showdown with the Huskies and were able to move their record over .500 for the season.  Down 20-15 with 2:01 left in the first quarter, the Crimson went on a 22-0 run over the next 8:13 to take control of the game.  Northeastern made a late run to cut the lead to seven with 1:09 remaining, but Harvard went 6-6 from the free throw line to secure the victory.  Benzan had a career night, scoring 27 points and hitting seven of nine threes.  The Crimson, who entered the game with a three-point shooting rate of 29 percent and a defensive rebounding rate of 63 percent, went 14-for-29 from beyond the arc and secured 77% of available defensive rebounds.

Harvard will take a break for finals and will return to action at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament on Dec. 20 and 21.

6. Dartmouth (6-1)

Win – at Marist, 60-51
Win – vs New Hampshire, 57-49

After suffering its first loss of the season on the road to Army, the Patriot League favorites, the Big Green bounced back to earn a road win against Marist, the MAAC’s #2 preseason team, and a come from behind home victory against the America East’s top team.

In its second straight Hudson Valley contest, Dartmouth opened with a 5 point lead at the end of the first quarter, but found themselves down one at the half and five after three quarters.  The Big Green reclaimed the lead for good with 1:29 remaining.  Cy Lippold had 17 points, while Katie Letkewicz had 12 points and 10 rebounds.  As a team, Dartmouth shot 18 of 19 from the free throw line.

In a sluggish Wednesday morning Kid’s Day game in Hanover, Dartmouth came back from a 10 point halftime deficit to outscore the Wildcats 40-22 in the last two quarters.  Isalys Quinones led the Big Green with 17 points and seven rebounds. Lippold added 11 points, five assists and four steals.  With the win, Dartmouth moved its home record to 5-0 and defeated New Hampshire for the first time since January 2010.

Offensively, Dartmouth is leading the league in field goal (43.2 percent) and three-point percentages (37.5 percent).  On defense, the Big Green is tops in the conference for points allowed (55.4), shooting percentage (37.1 percent), three-point shooting percentage (22.6 percent) and defensive rebounding rate (70.1 percent).

The Big Green will look to keep the momentum going as it enters a more challenging phase of its schedule.  They will start with a Saturday matchup against a Maine team that defeated Harvard in the season’s opening weekend.  Afterwards, they will head to the west to take on Colorado, followed by a matchup with Ohio State, the preseason Big 10 favorite.

7. Columbia (5-5)

Win – at UMBC, 60-44
Win – vs St. Francis (NY), 94-81

Against UMBC, Columbia scored the first seven points on its way to a 10-point first-quarter lead.  The Lions extended the advantage to 14 in the second period, but the Greyhounds cut it to seven early in the third quarter.  That would be as close as UMBC got, with the Lions extending its lead to a high of 18 late in the final stanza.  After only scoring two points in the first half, Camille Zimmerman ended up with 12 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists.  First-year guard Riley Casey added 10 points.  For her efforts against BC and UMBC, Casey was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week.

The Lions returned to Levien on Wednesday and won its third straight contest, bringing the team back to .500 for the year.  After a back and forth first quarter, Columbia took a five point lead to the locker rooms.  The Lions widened the lead to 17 after three quarters and cruised the rest of the way.  Six different players scored in double digits, led by Zimmerman’s 25 and Janiya Clemmons’s 15.  On the night,the team recorded season highs in points (94), overall field goal percentage (54 percent), three-pointers (11) and three-point shooting (58 percent).

Columbia looks to extend its winning streak and move above .500, as it competes a three-game homestand against Buffalo and Hofstra before taking a 17-day break for exams.

8. Cornell (2-5)

Win – vs Stony Brook, 48-40

Last Friday, Stony Brook visited Newman Arena with a perfect 5-0 mark and left Ithaca with its first loss of the season.  On an evening where both teams had trouble shooting, Cornell scored the first 8 points on its way to a 19-point advantage with 7:56 remaining in the final quarter.  The Seawolves had a late run, but could only reduce the deficit to 8 by game’s end.  Samantha Widmann scored 14 point and Samantha Clement added 11.  First-year forward Elodie Furey had nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in the victory.

Cornell is off for Finals and will return to action against Oakland on Dec. 16.

Ancient Eight’s Top Eight:

Bella Alarie (sophomore forward, Princeton)
9 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks vs Delaware
14 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 blocks, 2 steals vs Lafayette

Roxy Barahman (sophomore guard, Yale)
24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 steals vs Binghamton
17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals vs Stony Brook

Katie Benzan (sophomore guard, Harvard)
9 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 steals vs Temple
27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal vs Northeastern

Justine Gaziano (sophomore guard, Brown)
20 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal vs Providence
26 points, 3 rebounds vs Bryant
17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal vs Sacred Heart

Cy Lippold (junior guard, Dartmouth)
17 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals vs Marist
11 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals vs New Hampshire

Leslie Robinson (senior forward, Princeton)
14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block vs Delaware
15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals vs Lafayette

Taylor Will (junior guard, Brown)
12 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals vs Providence
16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals vs Bryant
19 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals vs Sacred Heart

Camille Zimmerman (senior guard/forward, Columbia)
12 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists vs UMBC
25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal vs St.Francis (NY)

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