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.
Senior Mia Lakstigala is a dependable, versatile Penn player — a 6-footer who collects rebounds but also handles the ball and sinks threes. And she did it all well Saturday night for a career-high 21 points plus seven rebounds as the Quakers beat Brown, 67-53, in her second-to-last game at the Palestra.
The opening 10 minutes Sunday afternoon at Brown may have had Penn fans worried and Brown fans jubilant: Not only were the Quakers again missing top-scoring guard Kayla Padilla, but the game was moving at the Bears’ frenetic pace, and Penn’s shots just weren’t falling.
You weren’t expecting a close game, were you? If so, you were expecting the Penn women to travel to Morgan State for their first game in 20 days. But with the coronavirus shuffling and scuttling schedules, the Quakers instead were playing host to Division III Ursinus, and the result was an emphatic 89-29 Penn win.
Half a team, half a team, half a team onward! So rode the Penn women into Bucknell, and like the Light Brigade before them, they lost convincingly Friday night, 62-46.
This was the Quakers’ eighth game of the season, and it completed the rolling four-game suspensions that each of the juniors and seniors on the squad had to serve for violating an unspecified university rule. Sitting out this time were five women who have started multiple games this season: Sydnei Caldwell, Mia Lakstigala, Mandy McGurk, Kayla Padilla and Kennedy Suttle. They watched from the bench, and their absence on the floor was obvious.
The eight Quakers who took on a capable Bucknell team struggled in some key ways: shooting just 30% from the floor, including a hopeless 3-for-17 from three-point range; committing 18 turnovers that yielded Bucknell 23 points (while getting just two points from Bucknell turnovers); and failing to stop backdoor passes and drives that gave Bucknell 32 points in the paint.
For much of Tuesday night’s game at the Palestra, neither team deserved to win, as Penn and La Salle traded turnovers and sloppy play. But after a successful third quarter, the Quakers put on a clinic in futility and watched the Explorers run away with a 63-49 victory.
How bad was it? Let’s say you were watching online, less than a minute into the fourth quarter, when a Penn miss bounced to Mandy McGurk to the left of the lane and she scored on the putback. Then, let’s say, your power went out, or the toilet overflowed, or your narcolepsy kicked in — and when you saw the game on the screen again, Penn freshman Lizzy Groetsch was driving the lane for another basket.
That happened with 50 seconds left on the clock, and in the intervening eight-plus minutes of game time, Penn had not sunk a single bucket.