With the season a few weeks away, the Ivy League hosted Women’s Basketball Media Day on Monday, the first of two media availabilities this week. The event was hosted over Zoom for media members and is available on the conference’s YouTube channel.
The preseason media poll was released last Thursday with Princeton earning all 16 first-place votes. Last year’s Ivy Tournament winner and regular season co-champions are the sixth unanimous pick in league history and the first since Penn in 2016-2017.
Harvard sophomore point guard Harmoni Turner posted a triple-double to lead the Crimson to a 103-63 victory over Towson in the first round of the WNIT Thursday night.
Turner’s 21 points on 8-for-17 field-goal shooting, 13 assists and 10 rebounds made her only the second Harvard player and sixth Ivy athlete ever to record the feat.
By the end of the joyous evening at Lavietes Pavilion, six different Crimson players scored in double figures, the team had a season-high 26 assists, and the program notched its first 100-plus-point game since February 2019.
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.
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.
It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.
But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.
Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.
Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.
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.
Down four with 2:40 to go in regulation, McKenzie Forbes and Lola Mullaney led the Crimson on a 7-2 run to pull out a 73-70 win over St. Joseph’s at Hagan Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
Harvard (6-6) was originally scheduled to take on Norfolk State in the opening round of the Hawk Classic, but COVID-19 issues within the Spartans’ program forced the cancellation of the four-team tournament. Despite the absence of Norfolk State and North Alabama, the Hawks (4-8) and Crimson decided to meet in the final nonconference game for both programs.
The Harvard women and men hosted a pair of cross-town rivals on Saturday. Things didn’t look so great for the home teams early, but strong second-half performances gave both teams big wins and sent the crowd home happy.