Ivy women’s basketball weekend in review – Feb. 1, 2018

Wed., Jan. 24
Penn 74 at Temple 59

Fri., Jan. 26
Harvard 97 vs Yale 73
Dartmouth 78 vs Brown 73

Sat., Jan. 27
Columbia 72 at Cornell 54
Harvard 87 vs Brown 85
Yale 57 at Dartmouth 39

Sun., Jan. 28
Penn 89 vs Gwynedd Mercy (Division III) 25


1. Princeton (3-0 Ivy; 13-3 Overall)

The Tigers completed their final exams and get back to Ivy competition for the first time since beating Columbia and Cornell on Jan. 12 and 13  Princeton, winners of seven straight, will travel to Yale on Friday and Brown on Sunday.

2. Harvard (3-1 Ivy; 11-6 Overall)

After sweeping Yale and Brown this weekend, Harvard increased its home record to 8-0 and now finds itself second in the league at 3-1.  The Crimson have improved its offense in league play, leading the Ivy League with 79.0 points and 10.3 made threes a game, while shooting 46.3 percent overall and 36.8 percent from three. They are also excelling on the glass, holding a plus-10.0 margin with an incredible 43.9 percent offensive rebounding rate and a 71.0 percent defensive rate.  Taylor Rooks, the Ivy League’s Co-Player of the Week, is leading the way with 18.8 points and 9.0 rebounds a game in conference games, while super-sub Sydney Skinner has 10 straight double-digit games and a 16.0 points per game average.

3. Penn (2-1 Ivy; 11-5 Overall)

The Quakers’ victory over Temple gave them a 3-1 record in the Big 5 and a share of the city championship for the first time since 2014-15 and only the second in program history.  Eleah Parker completed the week with 28 points, 23 rebounds, seven blocks and three steals, as well as her sixth Ivy League Rookie of the Week award in the last seven weeks. For the season, the first-year forward is averaging 13.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. While Parker is shooting 51.3 percent from two, the rest of the Quakers have a 38.3 percent from within the arc. The entire team is only hitting threes at a 33.2 percent rate. Fortunately, they are committing a league-low 12.2 turnovers and a conference-best 38.7 offensive rebounding rate. Defensively, the Red & Blue are limiting opponents to 57.2 points per game while securing 5.8 blocks per game and a 70.4 percent defensive rebounding rate.

4. Yale (2-2 Ivy; 9-8 Overall)

Although being blown out by Harvard,  Yale came away with a big road victory against Dartmouth on Saturday night.  The Bulldogs only managed 57 points on 41 percent shooting, but they held a 12 percent rebounding advantage over the Big Green and limited Dartmouth to 17 baskets on 32 percent two-point and 25 percent three-point shooting. The Elis continue to struggle offensively. In Ivy games, center Jen Berkowitz is averaging 16.8 points at a 60.0 percent rate, however, the rest of the team is shooting at 33.2 percent. From three, the entire team is shooting at a low 25.5 percent rate. Their high pressure defense, though, has often been able to keep Yale in the win column by disrupting their opponents’ shooting ability. When the Bulldogs have held teams to 43 percent or less from the field, they are 9-2, with one of those losses coming in overtime to Brown.

4. Dartmouth (2-2 Ivy; 10-7 Overall)

The Big Green were down by nine with 8:22 left in the fourth quarter against Brown, but closed out the game with a 21-7 advantage to beat the Bears for the second time in a row and the fifth time in their last six meetings. However, they could not bring the same determination the next evening, as they scored a season-low 39 points in the loss to Yale. One bright spot in Saturday’s game was the play of Isalys “Ice” Quinones. The junior forward appears to have fully recovered from a mid-December knee injury, leading the team with 13 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.  She anchored the front court this weekend, playing 69 of 80 minutes, totaling 16 rebounds and scoring 28 points.  She also improved her three-point shooting, going 4-for-8 after she was 2-for-19 in her previous 13 games.

6. Brown (1-3 Ivy; 13-4 Overall)

The Bears completed nonconference play at a program record 12-1, but two heartbreaking losses by a total of seven points leave the Bears at 1-3 in league play.  With Taylor Will in the lineup, Brown had four double-digit scorers, producing 83 percent of the team’s points.  Without her 17 points per game, the team’s top three scorers are now producing 68 percent of the offense.  Since Will went down with a season-ending knee injury, Coach Sarah Behn has used three different starters (Mary Butler, McKenna Dale, and Dominique Leonidas) in her place, but they have not been able to replicate her numbers, individually or collectively. Additionally, Shayna Mehta’s three-point numbers have dropped significantly. The former Rookie of the Year and second team All-Ivy guard was averaging 3.5 made threes a game at a 38.9 percent rate in nonconference play, but she is only getting 1.3 threes a game at a 15.2 percent rate in her first four Ancient Eight contests.

6. Columbia (1-3 Ivy; 7-12 Overall)

Imani Whittington set the tone for the Lions’ return match in Ithaca, scoring the team’s first seven points and frustrating a Cornell defense that controlled the interior against Columbia one week earlier.  After being held to one double-digit scorer, 32 percent shooting from the field and 22 points in the paint in the first game of the series, the Light Blue turned things around, ending up with 25 more points, five double-digit scorers, 34 points in the paint and 45 percent shooting on Saturday.  In addition to Whittington’s career high 11 points, Camille Zimmerman had 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block on her way to being named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week,  She ended the day with 1,791 points, moving her past Brown’s Donna Yaffe into 10th place in Ivy women’s basketball history.

6. Cornell (1-3 Ivy; 5-12 Overall)

Cornell failed to sweep the season series against Columbia and lost to the Lions in Ithaca for the first time since Jan. 2010.  Samantha Clement had 15 points, Danielle Jorgenson scored 14, and Samantha Widmann added 13 points in the defeat.  The rest of the team, however, could only combine for 12 additional points and the entire squad shot 32.1 percent from the field. The Big Red’s defense has been successful, this season, in averaging 9.4 steals and 18.5 turnovers a game, while securing a 70 percent of defensive rebounding rate. The offense, though, is at, or near, the bottom of the league averaging 56.8 points at a 36.2 percent rate and 5.6 made three pointers at 32.1 percent.

Upcoming Schedule

Fri., Feb. 2

Princeton at Yale, 6 p.m.

Penn at Brown, 6 p.m.

Columbia at Harvard, 6 p.m.

Cornell at Dartmouth, 7 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 3

Princeton at Brown, 4 p.m. (National Girls & Women in Sports Day)

Penn at Yale, 5 p.m.

Cornell at Harvard, 5 p.m.

Columbia at Dartmouth, 5 p.m. (Play 4 Kay game) 

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