PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard Crimson put an abrupt end to anticipation of a rubber match between regular-season co-champions Princeton and Columbia by defeating the latter in the second of two Ivy League Tournament semifinal games played at Jadwin Gym in an overtime thriller, 72-65.
The No. 3 Crimson advance to face No. 1 Princeton, which defeated Penn earlier Friday, 60-47. The tournament final will be played Saturday at 5 p.m. at Jadwin Gym.
Heading into the last two days of the regular season, Columbia and Princeton were tied for first, while Penn held a one-game lead over Harvard for third place. After the Lions, Tigers and Crimson each grabbed a win, the Ivy League Tournament semifinal matchups of Columbia against Harvard and Princeton versus Penn had been set. What needed to be determined was the seeding of the four teams and the timing of the two matchups.
When the updated NCAA NET rankings were posted on Sunday morning, Princeton’s convincing road victory over upper division Penn combined with Columbia’s narrow escape at home against seventh-place Cornell resulted in the Tigers overcoming an 11-position difference from last week and taking the No. 1 seed away from the Lions.
A month after suffering their only Ivy defeat, Columbia’s women exacted sweet revenge on Penn, 72-50, in front of a jubilant home crowd of 2,100 at Levien Gym Friday.
The win keeps the Lions (18-3, 7-1 Ivy) in first place ahead of a Saturday afternoon game hosting Princeton’s Tigers (15-5, 6-2), who will be seeking revenge of their own for their last loss, an overtime thriller at Jadwin.
A career-first triple-double performance from senior forward Kaitlyn Davis helped ensure Columbia never trailed in a dominant 79-50 victory against Dartmouth Saturday at Levien Gym.
The Lions (17-3, 6-1 Ivy) entered the game as one of three teams in the country to use the same starting lineup all season. That changed against Dartmouth (2-19, 0-7) as coach Megan Griffith decided to rest sophomore guard Kitty Henderson due to a minor injury. Senior guard Carly Rivera made her first start of the season.
“Going into this week not knowing if she [Kitty] was going to be in or not, we just made sure everybody understood who’s going to take those points, who’s going to take those rebounds, who’s going to take those assists,” Griffith said. “And so them understanding the total team buy-in of, one of us falls down, we all pick it up as a group.”
In its first Ivy play at Levien Gym this season, Columbia pulled off a happy homecoming by hamstringing Harvard in an 82-56 romp.
Coming off a heartbreaking loss at Penn last Saturday that followed a triumphant overtime victory at Princeton, Columbia (14-3, 3-1 Ivy) was hunting for a bounceback win. The Lions got off to a rocky start, turning the ball over nine times in the first quarter alone but got out of the quarter with an 18-13 lead over Harvard (9-7, 2-2).
Harvard senior guard McKenzie Forbes’ quarter-ending layup started an 8-2 Harvard run that included a three from junior guard Lola Mullaney early in the second which gave the Crimson a 21-20 lead – their last of the game.
Despite a five three-pointer performance from Mullaney, it wasn’t enough, as the Lions would go on to outscore the Crimson 18-8 to close out the second quarter going into halftime with a 38-29 lead. Columbia’s offense came alive in the third quarter, including a 10-0 run that gave the Lions a 17-point lead. Columbia outscored Harvard 26-9 in the quarter to take a commanding 26-point lead entering the fourth. The Lions opened up the fourth with a layup from senior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis, giving them a 28-point lead, their largest of the afternoon.
Senior guard Jaida Patrick and junior guard Abbey Hsu led the way for the Lions, each totaling 15 points and Hsu knocking down three triples. But the Lions got everyone involved, posting 23 assists with four players scoring in double digits and 10 registering buckets. Senior guard Carly Rivera led the team with five dimes.
The Lions also owned the boards, outrebounding Harvard 56 -20, including 23-6 on the offensive glass. Davis led the team with a game-high 11 boards while sophomore guard Kitty Henderson recorded nine, tying her season-high and bringing her one rebound short of a double-double.
On the other end, Harvard found itself in foul trouble for most of the game, committing 21 fouls. Forbes fouled out in the fourth quarter, while senior guard Maggie McCarthy and first-year guard Saniyah Glenn-Bello each committed four fouls.
2021-22 Ivy Rookie of the Year Harmoni Turner came off the bench for Harvard, logging 25 minutes, Turner tied a season scoring low with just five points on 2-for-8 field-goal shooting.
Columbia will look to keep the momentum going as it travels to Ithaca on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a battle with Cornell (8-8, 1-2) at 2 p.m.
Columbia women’s basketball bested Princeton at Jadwin Gym Friday night to secure the Lions’ first win over the Tigers in the Megan Griffith era, dealing the home team its first Ivy home loss under Carla Berube. Ivy Hoops Online reporter George “Toothless Tiger” Clark breaks down how Columbia (13-2, 2-0 Ivy) pulled off the major victory over Princeton (8-5, 0-2):
Coming off its first Ivy loss of the Carla Berube era, the Princeton women (8-4, 0-1 Ivy) hope to bounce back at Jadwin Gym against a Columbia squad (12-2, 1-0) looking to prove it has surpassed the Tigers. Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark previews the marquee matchup slated for Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU in this audio report:
On the strength of 14 three-pointers and a 30-point third quarter, the Columbia women soundly defeated UMass at the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon, their second straight takedown of an opponent that defeated them in New York City last year.
“This is huge. We called it revenge week,” Abbey Hsu told Columbia Athletics following the win. “This was to prove that we are a better team than we were last year. We want to be a team that competes with teams in the post-season and we proved that tonight.”