The opening games of the second half of the Ivy slate ended with sweeps by Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown. The Ps did their traditional double wins from home, while the New Englanders were able to earn their victories on the road.
On Friday, the Tigers welcomed Cornell to Jadwin Gymnasium in a match between the league’s top two teams. Prior to the start of the contest, Princeton honored its championship teams from 1996 to 1998, which included Tigers head coach Mitch Henderson and Big Red coach Brian Earl. The Orange & Black overcame a 13-point second half deficit to claim sole possession of first place. The win gave Henderson his 200th career victory.
A day later, the Tigers gave Henderson win number 201 with a comfortable 22-point victory over Columbia, the last-place team in the Ancient Eight.
Yale showed it has completely rebounded from its opening losses to Columbia and Dartmouth by extending its winning streak to five.
The Bulldogs were hot on the offensive side in the first half at Harvard, opening up a 17-point halftime lead. The Crimson tightened the defense in the second half and cut the lead to five with 2:25 to go in regulation, but a 0-for-6 effort the rest of the way ultimately doomed Harvard. With the victory, the Bulldogs completed their second straight season sweep of their Boston rivals.
At Leede Arena, Yale used a 13-0 run to close out the first half and take an 11-point lead into the locker room. The visitors never let the Big Green get closer than 10 and cruised to a 19-point revenge win that gave them sole possession of second place.
Against Columbia on Friday night, Penn took an 18-point advantage at the 13:15 mark of the second half, but the Lions clawed their way back and made it a five-point contest with two minutes on the clock. Similar to Harvard against Yale, Columbia closed the game 1-for-6 and the Quakers came away winning by nine.
Saturday’s matchup between Penn and Cornell was an offensive slugfest with 10 lead changes over the first 30 minutes of action. The Quakers eventually opened up a nine-point lead with 7:19 to go and held on against the never-say-die Big Red. The win, which split the season series, gave Penn its fourth in a row and its 46th all-time sweep of the Empire Ivies.
The Big Red, meanwhile, dropped from the top of the leaderboard to a tie for third after the lost weekend.
In Friday’s game in Hanover, Brown tied a season high with 13-made three-pointers on their way to a season sweep of Dartmouth. Although limited to 24% shooting in the opening half, the Big Green got within seven points with 9:25 left in the contest. The Bears used a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to put the game away.
After four ties and five lead changes in a close contest between Brown and Harvard, Bruno used a 16-zero run to open up a 15-point lead almost halfway through the second half. For the second straight night, the Crimson battled back, eventually making it a two-point game with six seconds remaining. Brown made one of two free throws and the home team couldn’t convert the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
Bruno’s win was the 133rd victory of head coach Mike Martin’s career, tying him for the program lead with Stanley Ward. It also avenged a 70-68 overtime loss to Harvard at the Pizzitola Center on January 6 and put the team in a three-way tie for third place with Cornell and Penn.
By late Saturday night, Dartmouth dropped to sole possession of sixth place, while Harvard, losers of three straight was alone in seventh.