On Friday night, league-leading Columbia continued its “Revenge Tour” by dominating Penn by 22 points at Levien Gymnasium, avenging a surprise four-point loss to the Quakers on January 7. The Crimson also had payback on their minds, as they traveled down to New Haven to take on a Yale team that defeated them 71-70 in overtime on that same January day. Harvard’s defense took control over the opening 20 minutes, limiting the Elis to 19% (0% from three) from the field and opening up a 33-13 halftime lead that the visitors could not overcome.
Meanwhile, Princeton, which entered the weekend tied for second with Penn and Harvard, rattled off a 17-5 run over a six-minute stretch of the third quarter to ring up a double-digit victory over Cornell. In the night’s remaining contest, Brown swept the season series over Dartmouth on the strength of 10 three-pointers.
The Big Red suffered another big third-quarter run, giving up 17 straight points to the Quakers on Saturday, as Penn took the second half of their Empire State weekend. Harvard methodically built a 26-point fourth-quarter lead and ended up winning by 13 at Brown. The victory gave the Crimson a season sweep over the Bears and was the team’s fifth in a row.
Down three at the half, Yale outscored Dartmouth 28-17 in the third quarter to lead the Bulldogs to a 13-point win. While Yale’s season sweep of the Big Green and weekend split keeps it in the hunt for a slot in the Ivy Tournament, Dartmouth’s 14th straight loss keeps them winless in Ivy action and eliminates it from postseason play.
Like last February, the Lions and Tigers faced off in front of a boisterous capacity crowd at Levien Gymnasium with first place on the line. And just like a year ago, Princeton controlled the game from the very beginning, quickly taking the students out of the contest and running away with a commanding 18-point victory.
The Tigers’ eighth win in a row was the first their first taste of Ivy revenge in the Carla Berube era, rebounding from an 58-55 defeat at home in early January.
With nine league games in the book, Princeton, Columbia and Harvard sit atop the standings, while Penn is one game back in fourth and Yale is two games behind.
While the preseason favorite Tigers and Lions split their season series, the commanding nature of Princeton’s road win, the reemergence of the team’s offense and the presence of the Ivy League Tournament at Jadwin Gymnasium seems to put the Orange & Black in the driver’s seat for the league’s automatic bid.