Layoff, Shmayoff: A solid start for Ivy League hoops

Announcers and writers around the nation focused a lot of attention to the 600-plus days between games for the Ivy League.  While many expected the teams to be a bit rusty out of the gates, the Ancient Eight acquitted itself quite well in the season’s first week.

Thirteen of the league’s 16 teams had at least one win, with the Princeton and Columbia women notching three victories each.  The Brown men almost upset No. 19 UNC without their top player, and the Princeton men just missed out on winning the Asheville Championship.

Check out some of the highlights from a very successful and welcome week of Ivy hoops:


Brown (2-1)

Beat Salve Regina by 30 and used a 32-4 second half run to beat Central Connecticut State by 18
Went toe-to-toe against #19 UNC, without Tamenang Choh, before losing 94-87
Five turnovers was the second fewest by a Tar Heel opponent since opening the Dean Smith Center in 1986
Kino Lilly, Jr., the Rookie of the Week, is leading the way for the Bears with 14.3 ppg and 4.3 apg in 25.3 minutes a night
Dan Friday has 13.7 ppg and 3.3 apg, including 21 points and five assists against UNC
Paxson Wojcik and Nana Owusu-Anane are the team’s other two double-digit scorers with averages of 12.7 and 11.3 points, respectively.  Both are helping out on the boards with Wojcik grabbing 5.7 and Owusu-Anane getting 5.3

Cornell (2-0)
Two road wins against Binghamton, 76-69, and Lafayette, 90-85 (a win over Colgate in the home opener on Tuesday would give the Big Red its first 3-0 start since 1996-1997 and second since 1964-1965)
Junior forward Jordan Jones is averaging 19.5 ppg, while sophomore guard Chris Manon added 18 ppg and 6.5 rpg

Dartmouth (1-1)
Big Green won at Georgetown, 69-60, on Saturday
The win over the 2021 Big East Tournament champions was the program’s first over a major conference opponent since beating Texas A&M in December 1989
Taurus Samuels is averaging 16.5 ppg and Brendan Barry is scoring 14.5 ppg, with both players making six three-pointers in Saturday’s victory

Harvard (1-1)
While the Crimson beat D-III Morehouse by 16 on opening night, their better performance may have been in a 90-87 overtime loss at MAAC favorite Iona on Saturday afternoon
With a depleted frontline, Noah Kirkwood and Chris Ledlum combined for 80 minutes, 51 points, 58% FG, 79% FT and seven steals against Rick Pitino’s Gaels

Penn (1-2)
The Quakers got in the win column with a 73-68 win at Bucknell on Sunday afternoon
Jordan Dingle, the 2020 Rookie of the Year, is leading the way with 22.3 ppg, including 23 points and five made threes against No. 20 Florida State on opening night
After five years and three season-ending knee surgeries, Jelani Williams finally made his Penn debut.  On Sunday, he had 17 points on 50% shooting and eight rebounds

Princeton (2-1)
The Tigers held D-III Rutgers-Camden to only 28 points in a 66-point victory
In the Asheville Championship, the Orange & Black beat South Carolina by four, 66-62, in the opening round and came up just short in a double OT loss to Minnesota
Jaelin Llwellyn, who earned his second career Player of the Week honor, averaged 17.5 points and five rebounds as he made the All-Tournament team.  Tosan Evbuomwan added 14 ppg, seven rpg and 5.5 apg in this weekend’s action

Yale (2-1)
Following a 46-point victory over D-III Vassar, the Elis beat UMass, 91-71
Matthue Cotton led the way against the Minutemen with 23 points and seven rebounds
After three games, Cotton is averaging 15.0 ppg, Azar Swain has 14.3 ppg and 2.3 apg, while Jalen Gabbidon has 12.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 2.3 spg


Columbia (3-0)
The Lions beat Hampton, 78-56, before taking two on the road at Davidson and Clemson
In the Megan Griffith coaching era, this is the team’s first 3-0 start (fourth overall since 1986-1987), second win over an ACC opponent and first on the road
Abbey Hsu, the conference’s Player of the Week, is averaging 20.7 points (43% FG, 412% 3pt FG and 91% FT) and 4.3 rebounds
Sienna Durr is averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest, while Rookie of the Week Kitty Henderson has 12.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg in 19 minutes a game.

Cornell (1-2)
Despite dealing with campus bomb threats on Sunday and an active shooter near the school on Tuesday that canceled the season opener, the Big Red beat Colgate, 53-34, for coach Dayna Smith’s 199th career victory
Theresa Grace Mbanefo had a career high 15 points and 14 rebounds, along with three blocks and three assists in the win
After three games, the Red are being paced by Mbanefo (10.7 ppg, eight rpg, 2.3 bpg) and Georgetown transfer Olivia Snyder (10 ppg, 5.7 rpg, one bpg)

Harvard (1-2)
The Crimson won their home opener against Northern Illinois on Sunday, 70-53
After missing the season opener, Mackenzie Forbes has been the hot hand for Harvard with 17.5 ppg, five rpg and two apg.  Lola Mullaney is following up a successful 2019-2020 with 13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg and one stg
Harvard is continuing its attention to the long ball, leading the conference with 10.6 made three per contest

Penn (1-0)
The Quakers had to wait until Sunday, but they a dominant 85-42 victory at Hartford
Kayla Padilla had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Mia Lakstigala scored 18 points and Jordan Obi put up 10 points and six boards
The win was the 200th in Mike McLaughlin’s 12-year tenure at Penn

Princeton (3-0)
The Tigers beat Villanova and Delaware on the road by 17 and 20, respectively, before beating Boston University by 29 at the home opener
The Orange & Black extended the nation’s longest win streak to 25, dating back to the 2019-2020 season
Abbey Meyers had a career high 21 against the Wildcats, while Julia Cunningham had a career best 26 points against the Blue Hens, a 2021 WNIT Final Four participant. Cunningham followed that with her first ever double-double (20 points and 11 rebounds) against the Terriers
Defense continues to be the Tigers’ calling card, holding opponents to 46 ppg, 31% FG, and 18% 3pt FG

Yale (2-0)
Connecticut’s Cardiac Kids opened the season with two straight overtime victories, beating Providence on the road, 63-57, and Northeastern at home, 63-60
Camilla Emsbo is averaging a double-double with 11.5 ppg and 10 rpg, as well as a league-leading 2.3 bpg
Jenna Clark is pacing the offense with 15 ppg to go along with six rpg and two apg, while Alex Cade has 11.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg
While the Bulldogs’ pack line defense is holding opponents to 36% from the field, they outside defense is limiting teams to 16%


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