As we enter the July 4th holiday weekend, we at Ivy Hoops Online wanted to round up some postseason updates:
PRINCETON, N.J. — Penn and its fans will be replaying the final two minutes of Saturday’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal against Princeton for a long time.
What was setting up to be a thrilling finish ended only in deflation and disappointment, as a late series of critical 50-50 situations all broke the wrong way in a 77-70 loss to the hated Tigers.
Penn had the ball down 71-70 with 90 seconds left when junior guard Jordan Dingle made a pass out of a double team to sophomore forward Nick Spinoso at the top of the key.
Spinoso faked a pass to a cutting Dingle, then tried to spin off Princeton senior forward Keeshawn Kellman in the lane. Kellman flew backwards as if he had been hit by sniper fire, and the officials obliged with a charge call that mystified even the ESPN broadcast team. Penn never had the ball with a chance to take the lead again.
One call, of course, does not define a game. Penn had plenty of self-inflicted wounds on Saturday, one of many dispiriting Quakeaways:
Ivy League Tournament – at Jadwin Gymnasium (Princeton)
Game #1, 1/16/23: Princeton over Penn (home), 72-60
Game #2, 3/4/23: Princeton (home) over Penn, 77-69 (OT)
PRINCETON, N.J. — It is hard to envision a more disheartening end to an Ivy League regular season than the collapse Penn orchestrated on Saturday at Jadwin Gymnasium.
The Quakers (17-12, 9-5 Ivy) squandered a 17-point second-half lead before falling in overtime to Princeton (19-8, 10-4), 77-69, handing a share of the Ivy regular season title to their most bitter rivals.
Penn’s undoing was an offensive outage when it mattered most. After sophomore guard George Smith hit a contested layup to extend the Quakers’ edge to 66-58 with 4:16 to go, the team did not make a shot from the field for the remainder of regulation or overtime, a 9:16 stretch.
The Quakers are now locked into the No. 3 seed for next Saturday’s Ivy League Tournament, which will also be held at Jadwin. They will either get a third crack at Princeton or a rubber match against Yale, depending on the result of Yale’s Saturday night road game against Brown.
All the good feelings from Penn’s eight-game winning streak have disappeared in a flash, replaced by a handful of mostly painful Quakeaways:
Penn picked a good time to turn in its best performance of the season.
The Quakers (16-11, 8-4 Ivy) pummeled Brown on Saturday at the Palestra, 90-69, and vaulted themselves into a three-way tie for first place in the Ivy League standings.
Though neither Penn nor the league have provided official confirmation, analytics expert Luke Benz said postgame that the Red and Blue have now clinched a trip to the Ivy League tournament.
Usually, this writer uses the top of these articles to describe some pivotal moment where Penn seals either victory or defeat. The pivotal moment on Saturday was the opening tipoff. The Quakers shot out to a quick 9-0 lead and never looked back. It took a string of circus shots by the Bears (13-12, 6-6) in garbage time to trim Penn’s final margin of victory below 30 points.
Just how good were the Quakers on Saturday? BartTorvik.com, a KenPom competitor, assigns every team in Division I a game score of 0-100 for each game it plays. Think of the number as the probability a team will win through its performance on a given night.
Penn finished with a final game score of 97.
It’s all happy Quakeaways today after the Red and Blue pulled off their biggest Ivy weekend sweep in some time:
Penn took a huge step towards securing a berth in Ivy Madness on Saturday with a nearly wire-to-wire 80-72 win over Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
Though the Quakers (14-11, 6-4 Ivy) led the game for 38:59, there were some nervous moments in the second half, as careless turnovers and a scoring drought that spanned 5:51 of game time let the Crimson (12-12, 3-7) close their deficit to as little as three points with 3:37 to go.
Penn only made one field goal in the game’s final 10 minutes — a corner three from sophomore guard George Smith — and relied on 20-23 free throw shooting in the final 3:18 to keep Harvard at bay. Smith hit five three throws in that span, as did senior swingman Lucas Monroe.
The Red and Blue pretty much stuck the dagger in Harvard’s playoff hopes with the victory; Harvard now sits alone in seventh place in the Ivy standings, three full games out of playoff position.
Meanwhile, Penn sits just a game out of first place in the league and controls its own destiny for at least a share of the Ivy crown.
That tantalizing possibility is one of many things Penn fans can chew over from an uplifting win, such as the fact that …
PHILADELPHIA — Penn men’s basketball picked up a potentially season-saving win in style on Saturday at the Palestra, dominating Harvard, 83-68.
The Quakers (11-11, 3-4 Ivy) never trailed en route to their third straight win over the Crimson (12-9, 3-4). They scored 1.19 points per possession, according to KenPom. That marked Penn’s most efficient offensive performance so far in Ivy play.
Junior Jordan Dingle once again dominated Harvard. With Crimson star Noah Kirkwood no longer around to defend Dingle, the guard established his shot early on with a quick eight points in the game’s first five minutes. Dingle finished with 27 points on the afternoon on 18 shots and earned his third straight ‘game MVP’ designation from KenPom.
Dingle’s excellence set the Quakers up to run perhaps their most aesthetically pleasing offensive game plan of the season, one of many happy Quakeaways on the day.
Penn squandered a golden opportunity to gain position in the race for Ivy Madness on Saturday after another brutal second-half offensive performance led to a 70-63 loss at Yale.
The Quakers (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) lost despite a 27-point performance from superstar Jordan Dingle in which the guard hit six three-pointers. After a nice hook shot from Penn sophomore forward Nick Spinoso tied the game at 49 coming out of the under-12 media timeout in the second half, the Red and Blue promptly committed turnovers on their next seven offensive possessions over nearly four minutes of game time.
Dingle, as great as he was on Saturday, committed turnovers on three of those trips, including an offensive foul.
Despite that brutal stretch, Penn still nabbed a 54-53 lead with roughly 5:50 remaining after guard George Smith hit an open three-pointer off an inside-out feed from center Max Lorca-Lloyd. But Yale (13-6, 3-3) immediately responded with a go-ahead jumper from junior guard August Mahoney.
Mahoney would later stick the dagger in the Red and Blue with roughly 90 seconds left. After Dingle hit a tough three to draw Penn within 62-60, Mahoney responded out of a Bulldogs timeout with an and-one finish over Spinoso which extended the Yale lead to five and effectively ended the game.
The Quakers lost a game which KenPom and Vegas expected them to lose. But the way they got there should leave fans with reason for both consternation and hope.
Penn learned the hard way just how far Cornell and coach Brian Earl have come on Friday night, dropping an 88-69 decision to the Big Red in Ithaca, N.Y.
The Quakers were disrupted by Cornell’s uptempo offense and ultra-aggressive defense from the opening tip, even though they matched the Big Red for roughly 30 minutes.
The game flipped when Cornell delivered an emphatic counterpunch to a shot which Penn fans likely thought could have carried the team to victory. Junior guard Clark Slajchert hit a tough three from the left wing through contact to give the Quakers a 56-55 lead with 11:51 to play — and arguably should have had an opportunity for a four-point play.
No matter. On the very next possession, the Big Red’s Greg Dolan drove through the lane, hit a layup and drew a foul on Penn forward Max Martz in the process. The foul, Martz’s fourth, forced Penn coach Steve Donahue to pull the man who had been his most efficient player thus far from the game.
By the time Martz returned to the floor, it was too late. Cornell used the and-one to ignite a game-deciding 17-4 run.
As Quakers fans reflect on Friday’s contest, they’ll find themselves haunted by some ghosts from the team’s past, which are detailed below:
Penn started off Ivy League play on the right foot Monday, gritting out a 76-68 road win over Brown in Providence.
After a sluggish offensive start, the Quakers (8-7, 1-0 Ivy) leaned on their elite backcourt duo of juniors Clark Slajchert and Jordan Dingle, who combined to score 51 points.
Dingle put the Bears (7-7, 0-1) to bed with about 80 seconds left after he collected a lob pass from forward Nick Spinoso through a triple team and finished through contact at the rim to push Penn’s lead to 70-63. Though Dingle didn’t convert his and-one free throw opportunity, the damage had been done.
Here are the biggest Quakeaways from Penn’s fourth consecutive victory over Brown: