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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Ivy women’s weekend: Saturday separation

The Ivy League’s most prolific three-point shooter, Columbia sophomore guard Abbey Hsu ranks second in the Ivy League in scoring and third in minutes and is likely to play a pivotal role in Columbia’s tilt against Princeton Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

As the calendar moves into February, we have reached the midpoint of the Ivy season.  While this weekend brings the first back-to-back games of the season, Saturday night looks to be the more pivotal evening for the women’s division.  Each game pits teams from the four tiers of the conference against one another.

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Columbia women outlast Cornell, 57-46, for best start to Ivy play in program history

After running out to a 24-point lead over the first 7:30 of the game, the Columbia women surprisingly found themselves in a battle with Cornell on Thursday night.  In a typically intense physical battle between the Empire State rivals, the Lions used the offense of Kitty Henderson and the rebounding of Kaitlyn Davis to come away with a 57-46 victory at Levien Gymnasium.

With the win, the Light Blue are 3-0 in league play (12-0 overall) for the first time in program history and remain tied with Princeton for first place.  For the Red, the defeat was their first of the year when holding an opponent to 60 points or less and they are now 1-3 in the conference (6-9 overall).

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Columbia women win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness

Columbia rode its stingy second half defense, Abbey Hsu’s hot fourth quarter shooting and its deep bench to beat Harvard, 62-57, notching its fifth straight win and moving within a game of its first-ever birth in the Ivy Tournament.

Harvard (14-10, 5-6 Ivy) entered Friday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, including an 89-64 defeat at Columbia (16-8, 7-4) two weeks ago. The Crimson hoped a return to Lavietes Pavilion, where the team was 8-2 on the season, would help turn the tide and return team back to the league’s upper division.

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Columbia defeats Yale, 74-65, moves into third-place tie as Sienna Durr leads the way

After Yale cut a 16-point third-quarter deficit to two early in the fourth quarter, Columbia got four three-pointers from four different players to pull away and grab a 74-65 win over the Bulldogs at the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Saturday evening.

The two teams battled evenly through most of the first quarter, when Tori Andrew hit a driving left side layup to put Yale (16-7, 6-4 Ivy) up 13-11. The Lions (15-8, 6-4) responded with a 21-2 run between the last two minutes of the first quarter and the first 3:15 of the second frame to open up a 17-point lead.

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Yale women use dominant second half to defeat Columbia for seventh straight win

Leading by only three at the half, Yale used a 50-point effort over the last 20 minutes to convincingly beat Columbia, 85-60, taking the first leg of its Empire State weekend.

A battle between two of the Ivy’s up-and-coming programs started with the visitors jumping out to a quick 10-0 start.  The Lions (10-6, 1-2 Ivy) battled back to tie the game at 15 by the end of the first quarter, with 12 of those points being scored by Ivy rookies Abbey Hsu, Hannah Pratt (a sophomore who missed all last year), Kaitlyn Davis and Carly Rivera.

The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair with four lead changes and four ties, leaving the game knotted at 32 after Rivera nailed a jumper from the right baseline with just under a minute to go.  Yale senior Roxy Barahman calmly sank a shot from the top of the key, beyond the men’s line, to put the Bulldogs up 35-32 to finish the half.

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What each Ivy women’s team’s fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving season

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, which means it’s time to take stock of what followers of each Ivy women’s team should be thankful for at this point of the season:

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Ivy women’s hoops roundup – Nov. 20, 2019

Princeton (4-0)

No Abby Meyers against Rider (#3 preseason MAAC) – no problem
No Meyers and Bella Alarie for the 4th quarter at GW – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for the entire game at Seton Hall (#3 preseason Big East) – no problem
No Meyers and Alarie for three quarters and Carlie Littlefield for the second half against FGCU (#1 preseason ASUN) – no problem

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Ivy women’s hoops weekend roundup – Nov. 8-10, 2019

Fri., Nov. 8

Harvard (2-0) 56 vs California (0-1) 53

Cornell (1-0) 71 at Albany (1-1) 51

Cornell opened the 2019-20 season with a dominant road win against Albany, which beat Columbia by four points in overtime on Tuesday.  As opposed to the run-and-gun game against the Lions, the Great Danes would be forced into a halfcourt contest by the defense-oriented Big Red.

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Ivy women go 3-2 with a no-decision on opening day

While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.

For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.

Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena.  Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.

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