As we enter the July 4th holiday weekend, we at Ivy Hoops Online wanted to round up some postseason updates:
Despite another stupefying second-half collapse, the Princeton men’s basketball team somehow hung on to defeat the Harvard Crimson at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday, 58-56. With the win, the Tigers retained a share of first place in the conference standings and guaranteed themselves an opportunity to earn at least a share of the Ivy League title with a win on senior night at Jadwin Gym next Saturday against the Penn Quakers in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Tigers gutted out this hugely important road win despite a harrowing stretch of offensive futility that echoed Princeton’s epic second-half collapse against Yale last weekend.
Senior guard Ryan Langborg led the Tigers with 18 points and six rebounds while Evan Nelson led Harvard in scoring with 19 points in a losing cause. Chris Ledlum, playing his final game at Lavietes, was held to 14 points (five below his average), but muscled his way to a game-high 11 rebounds for the Crimson, who were eliminated from Ivy Madness on Senior Night by Princeton for the second year in a row.
Week seven for the Ancient Eight saw Yale avenge its shocking opening day loss at Columbia and move into a tie at the top of the conference leaderboard. After a close half that saw the Bulldogs holding onto a slim 31-26 lead, the Bulldogs outscored the last-place Lions 58-32 for the dominant 31-point win. Yale, winners of six straight, had 13 different players in the scoring column and shot 65% from the field.
The Achilles heel of the Cornell men finally felled them Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion.
The Big Red allowed the Harvard Crimson to shoot 60% from the field as they fell 95-89 for their first Ivy League road loss of the season.
Cornell (14-5, 4-2 Ivy) showed its typical full-court pressure, but it didn’t faze Harvard (12-8, 3-3). The Crimson attacked the rim, scoring 42 points in the paint and 10 off the fastbreak.
Senior standout Chris Ledlum showed why he’s one of the best in the Ivy League, scoring 24 points and hauling down nine boards to lead the way. Senior guard Idan Tretout tallied 17, junior guard Sam Silverstein notched 16, junior forward Justice Ajogbor pitched in 12 and senior guard Luka Sakota added 10.
Despite having its double-digit second half lead methodically erased by Harvard, Dartmouth prevented the Crimson from getting off a last-possession shot and came away with a 60-59 victory at Lavietes Pavilion on Monday afternoon.
In the opening weeks of Ivy play, the Big Green (7-12, 3-2 Ivy) are the conference’s most pleasant surprise. Picked seventh in the preseason media poll, Dartmouth now has wins against the No. 1 (Penn), No. 2 (Yale) and No. 4 (Harvard) ranked teams.
While the Ivy League is known for its close games, Saturday afternoon’s matchup at Lavietes Pavilion was an exception as Harvard cruised to a 73-51 victory over Columbia.
The win moves the Crimson (11-7, 2-2 Ivy) into a four-way tie for second place, while the defeat sends the Lions (6-13, 1-3) into a two-way tie with Yale for the bottom slot in the conference.
“It’s Yale-Harvard. There is no other game like it.”
That quote from Yale men’s senior forward EJ Jarvis was spot on, and so was another:
“This was a must-win game.”
Something had to give on Sunday afternoon at Rose Hill Gymnasium, with both Harvard and Fordham riding four-game winning streaks. Unfortunately for the Crimson, the Rams withstood a late second-half rally and emerged with the hard-fought 68-60 victory in the Bronx.
When Denham Wojcik hit his first basket of the night to put Harvard up 11 with 6:50 remaining, the Crimson looked well on their way to beating Dartmouth and securing their second straight Ivy victory. Unfortunately, their travel partner got a second wind and cut the lead to one with the ball in Aaryn Rai’s hands for one last shot.