Ivy women’s hoops in review: Dec. 13-22

Princeton (7-7)
12/15 vs Marist (#14 Mid-Major Top 25) 60-57
12/19 at St. Francis (Brooklyn) 83-64
12/21 at Hartford 75-38

The Tigers are on a six game win streak, including all five games that Bella Alarie has played since returning from a broken right wrist.  The reigning Ivy Player of the Year, who has been named Player of the Week in each of her first two weeks back, is absolutely crushing the competition with 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.  Alarie’s presence in the middle has helped the defense limit its opponents to 48.6 points per game, while opening up the team’s transition offense and improving its production to 70.2 points per contest.

The Tigers will look to extend its dominance next Saturday when they travel to New Hampshire (3-9) in the team’s last non-conference game before stating league play at home against Penn on Jan. 5.

Penn (7-2)
12/21 at Drexel 55-39

In a battle between two of the nation’s stingiest defenses, the Quakers came out with a comfortable victory over Drexel, the #8 team in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25.  The victory was the first road win over their 33rd Street neighbors since 1977 and the first ever at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.  Penn, ranked #19 in the most recent College Insider poll, have now held four straight opponents to 47 points or less, including #15 Maine.

The defense is leading the league and is now third in the country in points allowed (48.6 ppg), fifth in two point defense (34.5 percent) and tenth in three point defense (24.4 percent).  The offense, meanwhile, is seventh in the Ivy League in points scored (62.2 ppg; #203 nationally), fourth in two point shooting (46.4 percent; #98 nationally) and sixth in three point shooting (28.8 percent; #236 nationally).

The Red & Blue travel to Florida to take on Stetson (4-8) on the 31st before visiting Jadwin and the defending champion Tigers on January 5th.

Harvard (5-6)
12/21 vs Boston University 67-47

The Crimson used the three pointer to end its three game losing streak (overall and at home) against its cross-town rivals from the Patriot League.  On the offensive side, Harvard tied its season high with 13 made threes with a season best 44.8 shooting percentage.  Defensively, they had their best performance of the year holding the Terriers to one made three on 11 percent shooting.

As a team, Harvard continues to lead the conference in three point shooting and ball movement with 34.1 percent shooting (#82 nationally), 9.1 made threes per game (#25 nationally) and 16.1 assists per contest (#46 nationally).  Junior Katie Benzan, who went 6 for 11 from three against BU, is leading the Ivies and 11th in the country with 3.6 made threes a game.  She and Syndey Skinner are also the league’s leading play-making duo with a combined 8.0 assists per game.  Even with last week’s improved performance, the Crimson are still seventh in the league in three point defense at 31.2 percent.  However, after limiting BU to 34.1 percent shooting from inside the arc, Harvard is second in the Ivies and 27th nationally in two point shooting at 37.8 percent.

Harvard hits the road for its last two contests of 2018,  a short trip to Rhode Island (5-6) on the 28th and a cross country excursion to take on California on the 30th.  The Golden Bears are 9-1 on the season with its only loss a 10 point defeat to UConn at home on December 22nd.  Afterward, the Crimson will rest up until they face Dartmouth in their Ivy League opener on Jan. 19.

Yale (8-5)
12/20 vs Central Connecticut State 58-46

The pack-line defense had another solid performance, holding CCSU to 46 points, 29 percent shooting from two and 22 percent from three.  For the season, they are now limiting teams to 59 points per game (#4 Ivy; #68 nationally), 38.4 percent from two (#3 Ivy; #38 nationally) and 29.8 percent from three (#4 Ivy; #124 nationally).  On the boards, they have improved their league leading defensive rebounding rate to 76.1 percent, which is up to #6 in the country.

Last week’s 51 percent two-point effort against the Blue Devils raised their yearly rate to 46.2 percent (#5 Ivy; #105 nationally). Their 26 percent three-point shooting last week did raise their conference-low number to 25.2 percent (#314 nationally).  However, their 57 percent free throw shooting against CCSU dropped their season rate to 62.7 percent (#7 Ivy; #285 nationally).

The Bulldogs head down to Boca Raton for New Year’s as the team participates in the FAU Holiday Classic on the 28th and 29th.  Yale will face Saint Louis (4-7) for the first game, before taking on FAU (3-8) or North Carolina A&T (2-9) in the second game of the bracketed event.  Then, Yale will have just under three weeks to prepare to take on Brown in Providence on the morning of Jan. 18.

Dartmouth (6-5)
12/18 vs Buffalo (#14 Mid-Major Top 25) 69-75
12/21 at New Hampshire 62-42

Despite losing for the first time at home this season, Dartmouth more than held their own with a Buffalo team that made it to last year’s NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The contest featured eight lead changes and ten ties before the Bulls took control in the game’s last six minutes. On Friday afternoon, the Big Green bounced back to win their fourth game in the last five outings, defeating New Hampshire on the road for the first time in six years to win the unofficial Granite State championship for the second consecutive season.

Dartmouth continues to lead the Ancient Eight in shooting at 41.9 percent (#100 nationally), while being second in two and three point shooting with 46.7 percent (#89 nationally ) and 33.3 percent, respectively (#97 nationally).  Isalys Quinones is fifth in the league, hitting 53.3 percent of her two pointers, while Cy Lippold is leading the conference with 40.6 percent accuracy from outside the arc.  On the other side of the ball, the Big Green allow only 56.5 points per game (2nd  Ivy; #39 nationally) on the strength of its opponents hitting only 29.8 percent from three (#3 Ivy; #121 nationally) and 62.3 percent from the charity stripe (#2 Ivy; #38 nationally).

The Big Green finish the 2018 calendar with a visit to Boston College next Saturday and a home match up against Binghamton on New Year’s Eve. Then, they have a 19-day layoff before traveling to Harvard for the start of Ivy play.

Brown (6-6)
12/22 vs Howard, Cancelled

The Bears offense is still at or near the top of the Ivy League with 72.8 points, 7.8 made threes, 14.8 assists and 14.7 turnovers per game, along with 231 made two and 93 made threes pointers for the season.  While they are averaging 9.1 steals and 16.9 forced turnovers per contest, they are allowing opponents to average 73.6 points, 6.7 made threes, 12.9 free throws and 16.5 assists per game.  In addition, Bruno is being outrebounded by 4.3 percent.

Brown continues its makeshift six game road trip with a visit to the mid-west to take on Chicago State (0-11) on the 30th and Northern Illinois (7-4, including 89-80 win over Yale on Nov. 8) on the 31st.  Then, the Bears travel to the New York metropolitan area for a game against Division II Adelphi (6-5) on Jan. 2 and Rutgers (7-3, including a 60-49 win at Harvard on Dec. 8) on the 4th.

Cornell (4-5)
12/15 vs Delaware State 94-59
12/20 at Lafayette 62-59

Cornell returned from its break to pick up two wins, including its first road victory of the season.  Against Delaware State, the Big Red’s 94 points was the most in regulation since putting up 92 against Tennessee State in 2009.  In the 35-point win, Cornell had season highs with seven made three pointers and 47 percent shooting from beyond the arc, while holding the Hornets to one made three on 8 percent shooting.  When facing the Leopards, Cornell found itself down two with 20 seconds left before an old-fashioned three-point play by Samantha Widmann and two forced turnovers ended the Big Red’s nine game road losing streak.

The Big Red are limiting teams to 58.8 points per game (3rd Ivy; #67 nationally) on 28.1 percent shooting from three (#2 Ivy; #76 nationally) and 42.5 percent from two (#4 Ivy; #115 nationally).   After last week’s offensive performances, the Red’s 53 percent two point shooting raised their season number to a league-leading 47.1 percent (#87 nationally), while they raised their lower numbers in points per game (up to 60.1 and #239 nationally from 55 and #331 nationally) and three point shooting (27.6 percent and #271 nationally from 24.5 percent and #320 nationally).

Cornell will start a four game home stand with games against Hampton (4-5) on the 29th and St. Bonaventure (3-9) on the afternoon of the 31st. The Red will start the year by welcoming Vermont Technical College (8-6) to Newman Arena on Jan. 7 before hosting Columbia for the league opener on the 19th.

Columbia (2-8)
Did not play

Columbia’s metrics are in the lower half of most categories, but their offense is in the upper part of the league with 64 points a game (4th Ivy; #169 nationally) with seven made threes (4th Ivy) and 46.1 percent two point production (6th Ivy; 107th nationally), while their opponents are only shooting 61.4 percent from the free throw line (#1 Ivy; #24 nationally).

The Lions will welcome Albany (2-10), which lost at Cornell 48-34 on November 12th, to Levien Gymnasium on the 29th. The team will then start the year with another home game against Hampton (4-5) on Jan. 2 before heading down to Georgia to play Mercer (7-5) on the 6th.  The Lions will then have a two-week break before visiting Cornell for the start of the conference schedule.

Ancient Eight’s Top Eight

Bella Alarie  – Princeton (junior, guard/forward)
vs Marist: 24 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
vs St. F(Br): 18 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks
vs Hartford: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 blocks

Lauren Bagwell-Katalanich – Cornell (junior, forward)
vs Del State: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
vs Lafayette: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal

Roxy Barahman – Yale (junior, guard)
vs CCSU: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks

Katie Benzan – Harvard (junior, guard)
vs BU: 18 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal

Cy Lippold – Dartmouth (senior, guard)
vs Buffalo: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals
vs UNH: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block

Eleah Parker – Penn (sophomore, center)
vs La Salle: 17 points, 13 rebounds, 1 steal, 7 blocks

Gabrielle Rush – Princeton (senior, guard)
vs Marist: 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
vs St. F(Br): 18 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
vs Hartford: 5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists

Samantha Widmann – Cornell (junior, guard/forward)
vs Del State: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals
vs Lafayette: 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

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