“This is the business we’ve chosen.” – Brian Earl and Hyman Roth
“We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight, but that’s not good enough against a good program.” – Columbia head coach Megan Griffith, following the Lions defeat to top-seeded Princeton
No matter what the coaches who did not earn victories on Saturday thought, I felt there were three really good games of college basketball on display at Lavietes Pavilion, including a fantastic opener that saw Princeton escape an upset big from Cornell, 77-73. Hopefully, West Coast fans woke up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to catch it.
Here are some random thoughts and observations from the Ancient Eight’s Super Saturday:
“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.” Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing. The opposite is true. It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this. It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there. There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go. It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton
Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:
“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic). There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson
In front of fans and family celebrating Senior Day, Dartmouth’s traditional seniors, fifth-year senior and graduate student led the way in an 84-70 defeat of Penn, keeping the Big Green’s Ivy League Tournament hopes alive.
Aaryn Rai, finishing up his fifth year in Hanover, paced Dartmouth (8-16, 5-8 Ivy) with a career-high 27 points, as well as a game-high 11 rebounds. Graduate student Brendan Barry, along with four-year seniors Taurus Samuels, Garrison Wade and Wes Slajchert, helped the Big Green’s cause with a combined 44 points.
The Quakers (12-14, 9-4), trotting out their 12th starting lineup this season due to the absence of co-captain Jelani Williams and league-leading scorer Jordan Dingle, couldn’t keep up with the Big Green’s elder statesmen and missed a chance to get back into title contention.
Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.
Down 12-2, starting power forward Michael Moshkovitz off the court with two quick fouls and a boisterous sellout Lavietes Pavilion crowd on top of them, things looked bleak for the Penn men as they made it to their bench for the first media timeout in Friday night’s nationally televised game at Harvard.
Fortunately, Steve Donahue settled his team and the Quakers bounced back for an important 78-74 road victory that has the Red & Blue at 5-2 (8-12 overall) halfway through the Ivy League schedule.
Tommy Amaker’s Crimson, meanwhile, left the court with their third loss in five league contests (10-7 overall).
In front of an enthusiastic yet sparse Saturday matinee crowd at the Palestra, the Penn men bounced back from last Saturday’s loss to Columbia to defeat Dartmouth, 78-68, and move to 3-1 in Ivy League play.