Yale men hold off Harvard to sweep season series again

Junior forward Matt Knowling led all scorers with 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting in 35 minutes in Yale’s win over Harvard Friday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Yale men’s basketball picked up where its scorching hot hands left off last Saturday against Princeton, building a 19-point second-half lead and surviving a late comeback rush from Harvard to notch a 68-57 win at Lavietes Pavilion.

Harvard (12-10, 3-5 Ivy) had trailed 48-29 with 16:25 remaining but in the next 14 minutes of game seized enough momentum to trail by just five points, 62-57. Yale salted away the game from the free-throw line in the final minute after a defensive clampdown.

Read more

Yale women escape Harvard with 71-70 overtime victory

Yale was traveling from Hanover to Harvard Friday night and coming off a 97-53 home thrashing by Columbia a week before against a Crimson squad that had taken down mighty Princeton the same day. It seemed like a recipe for defeat.

But first-year coach Dalila Eshe’s team delivered a Saturday night stunner by pulling out a 71-70 overtime win at Lavietes Pavilion.

Read more

Harvard women hand Princeton its first Ivy loss in 43 games in conference opener

Junior guard Lola Mullaney helped power Harvard to a win over Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday afternoon that marked the Tigers’ first loss in Ivy play since Feb. 8, 2019. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

1,423 days.

That’s how long it had been since Princeton women’s basketball lost a game to an Ivy opponent.

But Harvard snapped the Tigers’ winning streak spanning 42 games, three Ivy League championships and two head coaches at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday afternoon in the Ivy opener for both teams.

Read more

Carrie Moore returns to the Ivy League as Harvard’s new women’s basketball coach

Carrie Moore comes to Harvard after two stints at Princeton as assistant coach (2016-19) and director of basketball operations (2008-10) that yielded three Ivy League championships. (Harvard Athletics)

Carrie Moore, a long-time Princeton assistant for Courtney Banghart, was named the fourth coach in the history of Harvard women’s basketball on Tuesday afternoon.  The Western Michigan and Detroit Country Day alum takes over for legendary coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who presided over the Crimson team for the last 40 years.

“I am so incredibly humbled and excited to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Harvard University,” Moore told Harvard Athletics. “A very special thank you to Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith for building such a tremendous foundation here and for your long history of fighting for women. Congratulations on your retirement. I am absolutely thrilled to lead these incredible young women and move this program forward.”

Read more

Observations from Ivy Madness

Princeton enjoyed the largest contingent of fans at Lavietes Pavilion throughout Ivy Madness. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

From the notebook of IHO writer Richard Kent on the scene at Ivy Madness: 

Read more

Four takeaways from the super Saturday semifinals at the Ivy League Tournament

Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan came through in the clutch in Princeton’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Cornell, scoring 14 points in the final 10:14. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

After watching two scintillating semifinal games in the men’s basketball tournament at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday, here are four takeaways from the perspective of a diehard Princeton fan:

Read more

No. 2 Yale men push past No. 3 Penn, 67-61, to advance to Ivy League Tournament final

Webster’s defines “toughness” as the quality of being strong and not easily broken. The word and the definition define Yale men’s basketball.
Yale exhibited toughness throughout in defeating Penn, 67-61, to advance to the Ivy League championship game tomorrow at noon against Princeton, a winner in dramatic fashion over Cornell.
Both games were played at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion before 1,250 fans.
Yale held a 32-29 lead at the half off 50% shooting. The lead widened to 44-35 before Penn went on an extended run to take a 56-55 lead. After a timeout, the characteristic Yale toughness was apparent in a 7-1 run.
Penn cut the deficit to one, but a dominant Yale defense and a key bucket from Bez Mbeng closed out the win.
“It was another really good college basketball game,” Yale coach James Jones said. “We fought very hard.”
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” coach Steve Donahue said. “We had our open shots, I thought. It didn’t go in today.”
Penn shot 23-for-58 (39.7%) from the field and 11-for-33 (33.3%) when subtracting the shot output of sophomore guard Jordan Dingle, who notched a game-high 28 points on 12-for-25 shooting.
“Very disappointed that I couldn’t get it done this year with this group of guys,” Dingle said.
Azar Swain led Yale with 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including a 5-for-8 outing from three-point range. Captain Jalen Gabbidon was held to nine points, as Penn and Jelani Williams keyed on him. Gabbidon had a total of 53 points in the two earlier meetings between the teams. Swain had shot just 8-for-25 from the field in the teams’ previous two meetings, which they split.
“Azar’s been our guy, obviously, all year, but he was extremely efficient tonight,” Jones said.
Matt Knowling added 10 points for the Bulldogs with an efficient 5-for-9 shooting from the field.
Rookie forward/center Nick Spinoso scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting for Penn in just 22 minutes.
Yale committed only seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs improved to 18-11, and Penn finished its season at 12-16.
In attendance for the win were former Yale greats Butch Graves, 16-year NBA veteran Chris Dudley and Steve Leondis, who was recognized during the game and got to see a memorable win for their alma mater.

Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“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:

Read more

“We’re not done”: Columbia throttle Yale in Ivy League Tournament women’s semifinal

Columbia junior forward Hannah Pratt and the Lions savored their Ivy League Tournament semifinal romp over Yale at Lavietes Pavilion Friday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)
The time-honored expression that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season was debunked by Columbia Friday night in the second Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Lavietes Pavilion.
The high-flying Lions completed the season sweep with a 67-38 wire-to-wire win.
“I hope you all enjoyed watching Columbia play today,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said to open the Lions’ postgame press conference. “We’re not done.”

Read more

Princeton men look to put an exclamation point on an already triumphant season

Jaelin Llewellyn has been a key offensive conduit powering Princeton to its first share of an Ivy League title since 2017, registering three or more assists in six Ivy contests this season. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

The Princeton men’s basketball team has already notched the first big triumph of a wondrous season. 

Read more