2022-23 IHO Women’s Preseason Poll

It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.

But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.

Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.

Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.

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Columbia women bow out in WNIT Elite Eight loss to Seton Hall, 78-75, ending best season in program history

Columbia sophomore guard Abbey Hsu got off to a hot start in the WNIT Elite Eight after a cold shooting performance in the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 78-75 loss to Seton Hall Monday night. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

The best season in Columbia women’s basketball history is over.

Columbia came up on the low end of a see-saw showdown at Levien Gym Monday night, bowing out to Seton Hall, 78-75, in the Elite Eight round of the WNIT.

The Lions’ appearance in the WNIT national quarterfinals came after wins in each of the tournament’s first three rounds – the program’s first postseason wins since it joined Division I in 1986.

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Columbia women advance to WNIT Sweet 16 after outlasting Old Dominion, 62-59

 

Columbia’s historic season continues.

The Lions led the entire second half and hung on late to secure a 62-59 win at Old Dominion in the second round of the WNIT Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, Va.

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Abbey Hsu makes history as Columbia women shoot past Holy Cross, 80-69, in first round of WNIT

Abbey Hsu etched her name all over the record books in Columbia’s first-round WNIT win Wednesday night, setting the Ivy League record for three-pointers in a season and a program career record for threes. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

It was a historic night for Columbia women’s basketball.

The Lions won their first non-Ivy League Tournament postseason game since joining Division I in 1986 Wednesday night by topping Holy Cross at Levien Gym, 80-69, in the first round of the WNIT as All-Ivy first-teamer Abbey Hsu made a lot of history of her own.

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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Day 3

Princeton women’s basketball’s post-Ivy League Tournament final press conference was one of several revealing pressers during Ivy Madness. (photo by Rob Browne)

 

“This is the business we’ve chosen.” – Brian Earl and Hyman Roth

“We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight, but that’s not good enough against a good program.” – Columbia head coach Megan Griffith, following the Lions defeat to top-seeded Princeton

No matter what the coaches who did not earn victories on Saturday thought, I felt there were three really good games of college basketball on display at Lavietes Pavilion, including a fantastic opener that saw Princeton escape an upset big from Cornell, 77-73.  Hopefully, West Coast fans woke up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to catch it.

Here are some random thoughts and observations from the Ancient Eight’s Super Saturday:

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No. 1 Princeton women declaw No. 2 Columbia, 77-59, to win Ivy League Tournament and earn NCAA Tournament berth

Princeton celebrates its Ivy League Tournament title and automatic NCAA Tournament berth secured via a 77-59 win over Columbia at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday evening. (photo by Rob Browne)

The Princeton women showed off all the things that make them the cream of the Ivies Saturday as they declawed the No. 2 Columbia Lions, 77-59, in the Ivy Madness final.

The Tigers (24-4) head to the NCAA tournament undefeated in Ivy play, having won all but one league game — the dramatic semifinal against Harvard, this year’s tournament host — by double digits.

“The Tigers were just locked in to the game plan, to the scouting report, what we needed to do, what we thought would make us successful out there,” Princeton coach Carla Berube said. ”

Guard Kaitlyn Chen — in her first year of college play, like other Ivy sophomores — scored a career-high 30 points for the Tigers on 9-for-13 shooting plus 11 of 14 free throws and was named the tournament MVP.

Chen was just listening to her teammates.

“It definitely helps knowing my teammates have my back and they’re always there for me, and they keep telling me to shoot,” Chen said.

“I’m just glad, coach, thank you, that we got Kaitlyn Chen, because she’s an absolute baller at both ends of the court,” Ivy Player of the Year Abby Meyers said.

Meyers and Julia Cunningham had 16 points apiece, and Grace Stone had 12. The Tigers shot 48% from the field and collected 23 points on free throws as the Lions struggled to catch up.

Coach Megan Griffith’s Columbia team (22-6, 12-2 in the regular Ivy season) managed to come back twice. After facing an early deficit, they finished the first quarter tied at 16 and pushed to a three-point lead early in the second. And after Princeton built a 17-point lead in the third quarter, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu and Jaida Patrick combined for key baskets to make things interesting. Hsu finished with 16 points and Patrick with 13, and Columbia had a more than respectable 42% shooting night. That included 36% on threes — but the Tigers were more efficient there, too, at 46%.

What Columbia couldn’t do for any stretch of time was evade Princeton’s relentless defense, and frustration also seemed to contribute to the Lions’ 20 turnovers (to just eight for the Tigers). Princeton blocked six shots and committed nine steals.

“I’m not happy with that effort. They shouldn’t be either,” Griffith said of her players. “We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight. That’s not good enough against a good program. You’ve just got to want it more and you’ve got to show up, and we didn’t do that today.”

Meyers was the game’s only starter not expected to return next season, positioning Princeton and Columbia well for future matchups with more Ivy hardware on the line.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of great competitions between Columbia and Princeton in the future,
Griffith said. “I’m personally looking forward to that. I love a good rivalry … Penn and Princeton kind of had that in the last decade or so, but I do think that we are right there and you will see us in this rivalry for a long time to come.”

“They really have a great nucleus that [was] out there,” Berube said. ” … Yeah, I think it could be a really good rivalry for a lot of years.”

For now, though, the Tigers are top cats in the Ivy League, and they now turn their attention to the Big Dance.

“I’m just thinking about all these pieces that have been so monumental to get us at this place and it’s been such a great journey,” Berube said. “And I just don’t want it to end.”

 

Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.”  Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing.  The opposite is true.  It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this.  It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there.  There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go.  It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton

Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:

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“We’re not done”: Columbia throttle Yale in Ivy League Tournament women’s semifinal

Columbia junior forward Hannah Pratt and the Lions savored their Ivy League Tournament semifinal romp over Yale at Lavietes Pavilion Friday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)
The time-honored expression that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season was debunked by Columbia Friday night in the second Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Lavietes Pavilion.
The high-flying Lions completed the season sweep with a 67-38 wire-to-wire win.
“I hope you all enjoyed watching Columbia play today,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said to open the Lions’ postgame press conference. “We’re not done.”

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Ivy League Tournament: Women’s semifinals preview

 

“Is there even a clock in March?” – Yale head coach Allison Guth in response to a question about the possibility of playing two games against higher seeds in 26 hours

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